Student of the 11th grade Nikoleta Bakola was selected to participate in the workings of the 19th session (July 4th - 7th 2014) of the educational program Youth Parliament. The young parliament members were honored by the presence of the President of the President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias and Minister of Education Andreas Loverdos. For the first time, the young parliament members debated and voted, following a relevant address of the Children’s Advocate, a bill regarding the operation of Student Communities. The proposed changes were aimed at improving and modernizing the institution. Additionally, for the first time, the young parliament members had the opportunity to exercise parliamentary control over the leadership of the Ministry of Education, by posing six questions on current issues regarding education to the Minister for Education Andreas Loverdos.
The question posed by our student concerning “the establishment of an educational system that would provide food for thought, opportunities for reflection and debate so as to shape world citizens with critical thinking abilities” was chosen through a vote among approximately 140 questions. Nikoleta was warmly applauded by the President of the Republic and the Assembly not only for the content of the question but also for the structured way in which she raised the question to the Minister of Education, who complimented our student for both her critical thinking and eloquence.
Excerpts from our student’s question regarding her positions on the educational system which "focuses on providing standard, superficial knowledge, which only cultivates sterile memorization, while repressing triggers for the development of students' creativity” and stressing that “the sole goal of Senior High School is preparation for admission to the University, but unfortunately offers no preparation for life,” were broadcasted by the media nationwide. We would like to stress that in Section C’ in which our student participated for the composition of the bill in the presence of the Children's Advocate, G. Moschos, the views of this teenage MP were deemed important and challenging enough to circumvent established procedure to enable sufficient discussion.