Why are we here?
The trigger behind this initiative lies in student-elections results which had a very low turnout and at the same time shown that the high school students, the first- time voters, tend to lean towards populist and extremist solutions in the actual political situation in Slovakia. In 2016, the Slovak National council would have been given 33 seats to a populist party and 31 seats to an extremist party. Since we are still high school students we can see the shortcomings in our educational system from practice and we daily encounter the ignorance of youth about socio-political issues. In the year 2017 we conducted a small survey on knowledge of 468 respondents with an average age of 18 years. The overall success percentage of respondents was only 37,31%, which has proven to us that young people lack information about the functioning of states and international organizations. We realized that the main reason why students voted primarily for the populist and extremist party was the most likely the lack of information about the functioning of the state. Young people do not realize the consequences of their actions on the public processes and its further influence on future generations of the country.
After we were shown the Student's election results we decided to took the initiative to help young people with education in this specific sphere to fulfill the gaps in the educational system through the project Create&Control. We believe that it is very important to be educated and to acquire various competences in terms of the state and civic responsibility also outside the school, in the very form of the national and international parliaments' simulations which we consider to be the most effective method.
The main goal of the project is to focus on inadequate information of high school students about internal and external policies of a state, economical and political systems, public administration and the functioning of world stock market, along with our secondary goals such as better argumentation skills, skills in creating compromises and skills needed to work in a team. All the above-mentioned competencies we consider to be very important that every young person should master to become an active citizen with an adequate education.
Project Create&Control seeks to support the youth in their active participation in political processes by various discussions held by public officials, which at the same time fulfill the main objectives of structured dialogue. Also by supporting and encouraging the students to create detailed solutions to problems that affect their fictive states on both national and international levels. Their main task is to solve given problems in their teams (national problems) and later at the meetings of elected delegations (international problems), which are then objectively evaluated by the group of experts (politicians, political scientists, economists, and youth workers)
We would like to spread awareness among the young people, who are increasingly resorting to radical solutions to the actual political situations and do not trust the government either higher political subjects like the European Union or NATO through various forms of non- formal education. By the use of different approaches, we would like to show them how difficult it is to rule the country yourself and to make responsible decisions, which can affect individuals, the whole country and the citizens of their state. It stands on a principle of their fictional states, where students hold the government position and learn how a state functions and which are their responsibilities. This all during the international summits, which are a form of simulation of EU Summits with elements of UN negotiations.
During the periods between summits are students supposed to work in their teams on assigned national problems, bonus tasks, or invest in ministries or fictive stock market - Investopedia. Our main aim is to achieve an informal form of education, where we do not express our opinions to the accuracy of student's solutions but instead, we try to grab their attention to the consequences of their actions so that they can themselves fully realize their deficiencies and could take adequate responsibility for them.
The experts take part in the regular meetings of the elected representatives of particular countries personally
and evaluate their solutions to the problems right on the place. The outputs are meant to push the young people to find ways how to most effectively help their own country, to secure the citizens and to take care of the economical growth, while learning practical daily needed skills for their future job positions, career growth and the admissions to the best universities in Slovakia or abroad. This project introduces a whole new concept connecting fictive states with elements of model summits of their states, which carries the potential to extend beyond the borders of Slovak Republic or to join the education system, specifically the sphere of civic education.