Democratieles in de praktijk: hoe ziet dat eruit?

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 October, 11, 2018 (RBB NEWS) – Zo’n 27 schoolklassen maken bijna iedere dag hun opwachting op de lange roltrap in de centrale hal van de Tweede Kamer. Ze zijn op weg naar de publieke tribune, als onderdeel van een rondleiding van ProDemos over het Binnenhof. In totaal bezoeken jaarlijks bijna 100.000 leerlingen op deze manier het parlement.

Maar dat worden er veel meer, als het aan het kabinet ligt. Minister Van Engelshoven van Onderwijs wil dat alle middelbare scholieren kennismaken met de Haagse politiek. Daar trekt ze vanaf volgend jaar bijna vijf miljoen euro voor uit. En naast een lespakket hoort daar ook een bezoekje aan het Binnenhof bij: ‘democratieles’ in de praktijk, gegeven door ProDemos.

Volgens Van Engelshoven is het belangrijk om aan leerlingen te laten zien hoe onze democratie in de praktijk werkt. “Je mag hier zeggen wat je wil, je mag geloven wat je wil, je mag zijn wie je wil zijn. Dat zijn hele belangrijke democratische waarden waar in het parlement het debat over wordt gevoerd.”

Ik kan me nog zo goed herinneren dat ik zelf voor het eerst in het parlement was. Die ervaring gun ik iedere scholier.

                     minister Van Engelshoven

De minister spreekt uit ervaring. “Ik kan me nog zo goed herinneren dat ik zelf voor het eerst in het parlement was, op de tribune zat en wat voor indruk dat op me maakte. Die ervaring gun ik iedere scholier.”

Hoe ziet zo’n ervaring eruit? Bij de rondleidingen van ProDemos brengen leerlingen een bezoekje aan de Tweede Kamer, de Eerste Kamer en soms ook de Ridderzaal, vertelt Marguerite Bos, een van de begeleiders. “Ook doen we spellen met de leerlingen om ze meer te leren over de democratie en de rechtsstaat in Nederland. We laten ze ervaren wat de mensen die hier werken eigenlijk precies doen.”

Vandaag bezocht een vmbo-klas uit het Friese Burgum het Binnenhof. Wat vonden de leerlingen van deze democratieles in de praktijk?

Bos’ collega Yvonne Gipsen vult aan: “We bootsen soms een Kamerdebat na. Dan krijgen leerlingen verschillende rollen toebedeeld, zoals die van woordvoerder of lijsttrekker. Of leerlingen gaan in gesprek met een Kamerlid, zodat ze vragen kunnen stellen.”

Spelregels

Het doel van de ‘democratieles’ is om leerlingen een beeld te geven van de ‘spelregels’ van de Tweede Kamer. “Normaal zien ze een debat alleen op tv, nu krijgen ze het ook in het echt te zien”, zegt Gipsen. Ruimte om kritisch te zijn is er ook. “We stimuleren leerlingen om tijdens het hele programma vragen te stellen, om de interactie op gang te brengen.”

Aan de rondleidingen over het Binnenhof doen leerlingen van alle onderwijsniveaus mee: basisschool, vmbo, havo, vwo en mbo. “Dat maakt iedere rondleiding anders”, aldus Gipsen. De rondleidingen worden ook aangepast aan het onderwijsniveau van de leerlingen.

180.000 leerlingen

Aan ProDemos de taak om – in nauwe samenwerking met de Tweede Kamer en het ministerie van Onderwijs – het aantal rondleidingen te verhogen om uiteindelijk alle leerlingen te bereiken. Gipsen: “We zitten nu op bijna 100.000 leerlingen per jaar. In 2023 moeten dat er 180.000 zijn.”

Volgens Tweede Kamervoorzitter Arib zijn er aanpassingen in het gebouw nodig om de grotere aantallen op te kunnen vangen. Daarover gaat de Tweede Kamer in gesprek met het ministerie van Onderwijs. Arib benadrukt dat nu al veel scholieren de Tweede Kamer bezoeken. Ze is blij dat het kabinet het belang daarvan nu ook inziet en extra geld beschikbaar stelt.

Verhuizing

Om veel meer leerlingen te gaan rondleiden – bijna een verdubbeling in vijf jaar – is wel een uitdaging, zeker gezien de renovatie van het Binnenhof, die in 2020 moet beginnen. “Dat is een belemmerende factor”, zegt Gipsen. “Maar het gaat zeker lukken. Het Binnenhof verhuist en de rondleidingen verhuizen mee.”

Achter de schermen werken ProDemos en de Tweede Kamer al hard aan de uitbreiding van het aantal leerlingen. Zo worden er nu al nieuwe programma’s ontwikkeld waarmee extra klassen kunnen worden bediend.

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