A Tour of Tynwald and a mock debate can be run anytime during the school year. The objective is to encourage children from all the Island's schools to visit the Legislative Buildings and to encourage students to become more engaged in their parliament and increase their participation in democratic processes.
Prior to the visit, teachers are asked to work with students to decide topics they wish to debate in the House of Keys, usually linked to their learning objectives in school. We find that students aged 9-12 enjoy this type of learning experience. The students chosen topics are added to an Order Paper which each child receives during the tour.
During the Visit
After a short tour of the Chambers with question and answers, the children sit in the seats in the House of Keys and use the voting system during a mini debate on a topic of their choice, taking on the role of MHKs and Mr Speaker. The Standing Orders of a sitting of the House of Keys are explained and followed as closely as possible during the mock debate.
Each child is presented with an Order Paper with their Motions on, an information sheet about the MHK whose seat they sit in and a certificate to commemorate their participation.
For each motion, the students vote using the electronic voting buttons - all votes are anonymous and the results shown on display screens in the Chamber after everyone has voted.
Debated so far 2018/19:
- If you do the crime, should your parents do the time?
- Should children get paid for going to school?
- Should animals be used for testing new products?
- Should surveillance cameras be used at school?