Ed­u­ca­tion in pol­i­tics

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - NEWS -

FOR­REST­FIELD Pri­mary School stu­dents re­ceived an early les­son in lo­cal gov­ern­ment pol­i­tics after vis­it­ing the Kalamunda coun­cil cham­ber to take part in a mock stu­dent coun­cil meet­ing.

Stu­dents were nom­i­nated by teach­ers to sit in the seats and take on the roles of elected coun­cil­lors. Blake Hill was ap­pointed the first stu­dent Mayor of Kalamunda, with City staff mem­bers on hand to pro­vide pro­fes­sional ad­vice dur­ing the meet­ing.

On the agenda was for the young coun­cil­lors to de­ter­mine whether they would sup­port the con­struc­tion of a toi­let block at the For­rest­field Skate Park.

The stu­dents had sev­eral sce­nar­ios pre­sented to them by the of­fi­cers that would en­sure that a toi­let block fa­cil­ity would be con­structed.

One op­tion was to ex­clude the pro­vi­sion of dis­abil­ity ac­cess toi­lets to re­duce the cost and the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

The stu­dents de­bated the mer­its of this pro­posal, with sev­eral rais­ing the issues of fair­ness and in­clu­siv­ity and hav­ing re­gard for the whole community.

After much de­bate, there was a pro­posal from the man­ager of as­set ser­vices to post­pone the planned con­struc­tion of a BMX ramp and use those funds to build the toi­let block.

The stu­dent Mayor put the mo­tion to the act­ing coun­cil­lors and they all voted in favour of it.

The visit was or­gan­ised by Year 4/5 For­rest­field Pri­mary School teacher Dy­lan O’Con­nor, who is also a coun­cil­lor.

“Learn­ing about the three lev­els of gov­ern­ment is part of the cur­ricu­lum,” he said.

“To be able to give the stu­dents a rich learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that is rel­e­vant to them as skate park users is cer­tainly a more ef­fec­tive way for stu­dents to learn about lo­cal gov­ern­ment and ap­ply their knowl­edge in a real con­text.”

The City is also ar­rang­ing a mock coun­cil meet­ing for in­ter­ested mem­bers of the community on Septem­ber 5.

For­rest­field Pri­mary School Year 4 stu­dent Casey Slater at the City of Kalamunda coun­cil cham­bers.

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