FIRST Minister Mark Drakeford faced a different kind of grilling this week as he took questions from school pupils in an online Q&A session.
The Leader Dialogue sessions are facilitated and hosted by The Politics Project, a not-for-profit, non-partisan, democratic education organisation and funded by Welsh Government. These sessions give opportunities for schools to support learners in realising one of the four purposes of the Curriculum for Wales, becoming “ethical informed citizens of Wales and the World.”
The four Senedd party leaders are all taking part in these Leader Dialogue sessions with 14-18 year olds from nine schools across Wales.
The sessions are part of Digital Dialogue: Wales, a wider programme of workshops and online events that have been taken place since the spring using digital platforms. Over 40 primary schools, secondary schools, and sixth form colleges took part, which saw politicians from all major parties across Wales speak to children and young people, giving them the opportunity to ask the questions that matter to them. Questions ranged from finding out about the politician’s journey into politics, how Wales can best tackle climate change and whether Wales can win the World Cup.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“It has been a pleasure to take part in this programme and to engage with our learners from across Wales. Engaging our young people in politics and helping them to understand their part in Wales and the world is so important. I was impressed by their thoughtful questions and who knows, maybe there is a future First Minister amongst them.”
Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles added:
“I’m delighted that we are offering these insightful sessions with party leaders to our pupils, giving them the opportunity to ask their burning questions to those at the heart of politics in Wales.
Our curriculum is designed so that each pupil benefits from a broad and balanced education, and one of its four purposes is for schools to support their pupils to become ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world. These sessions are a fantastic way to engage pupils and give them the appetite to want to find out more.”
Director of The Politics Project, Hattie Andrews said:
“It is such an honour to facilitate these vital conversations between all the leaders of the Senedd parties and young learners across Wales. We are grateful to all the politicians, teachers, and learners who have put so much time and energy into making the very most of this opportunity. It is so important to support young people to learn about the role of the Senedd and their Senedd members and have the space to discuss the key issues in Wales. It has been fantastic to see politicians and young people learning from each other through discussion and debate about the issues that are important to Welsh learners.”