The Parliament of Montenegro organises the educational programme Democracy Workshops “Barbara Prammer” with a goal to encourage interest among the children and the young in politics and democratic processes.
The programme is envisaged as a programme of informal civic education for students of primary schools. The workshops are implemented on three subjects: “Democracy and Parliament” “European Union”, and “Human Rights”, within which they learn about the parliamentary democracy, adoption and implementation of laws, active citizens, values and history of the European Union, and universal principles translated into the human rights and the rights of the child.
Through various interactive activities and in a manner adapted to their age, and with the help of selected and specially trained teachers/trainers, the children and the young ages from eight to fifteen are discovering how democracy functions using creative methods, which imply practical and experiential learning.
Within the workshops on the subject “Democracy and Parliament”, workshop participants have the opportunity to visit the building of the Parliament and find out on the spot how laws are adopted, and often to watch the sittings live from the citizens’ box.
Within the programme, the students have the opportunity to meet and converse with the members of the Parliament of Montenegro and other foreign and domestic officials, and to get answers from them regarding the subject of the workshop they are attending, as well as regarding the duties they are performing.
The students transfer the acquired knowledge and experiences into newspapers, video or radio feature, which they can watch or listen at the very end of the workshop, and which are later published on the children’s parliamentary website (www.demokratskeradionice.me).
At the end of every cycle of workshops, in a ceremonious event, the participants (the representatives of the schools which participated in that cycle) are presented with certificates.
Apart from the Parliament of Austria, the Parliament of Montenegro is the only parliament which implements this or similar kind of programme for the children and the young.
The programme was launched in October 2012, with the help of the Parliament of Austria, financial support of the ERSTE Foundation and professional and technical implementation by the NGO Forum MNE (Forum Youth and Informal Education). In June 2014, the Parliament took over the implementation of the programme using its own capacities.
Since its beginning until today, the programme has gathered more than 21,000 participants.