“Dear Mayor” Program


The challenge in democratic culture in education lies in bridging the gap between current democratic practices and the active, inclusive participation necessary for a thriving democratic society. Democratic culture extends beyond mere election participation, encompassing dialogues, decision-making, and societal actions. However, it faces degradation due to diminishing trust in democracy, particularly evident in the European Union, and a disconnection between politics and everyday life. We see this with the growing euroscepticism in the EU, which arose from 17% in the 70s to 29% in 2014 (DeSilver, 2019). This degradation is a multifaceted issue, necessitating a long-term, incremental approach that considers the renewal of generations.

Key to addressing this challenge is political education for children, which currently shows significant disparities across countries. In regions with inadequate political curriculum, children grow up ill-equipped to understand and engage in democratic processes, exacerbating the gap in active civic participation. In proposal 3, the need for a transversal political education across regions is stated, but how do we enact such curriculum while avoiding potential controversies regarding indoctrination?


We suggest a pedagogical resource to discuss political topics of interest for students, choose an issue of their interest, explore its political dimensions, and write a call-to-action letter to the relevant authority under the guidance of a teacher or facilitator. Children are expected to acquire the necessary tools to engage in direct relations with relevant institutions and to be empowered to advocate for their needs and ideas. To enable such a process, some institutions also need to be cooperative, especially the local authorities such as municipalities and regional governments, to give an adequate response while acknowledging that results at higher levels are less probable.

At the forefront of this proposal are the students themselves, aged between 8 and 15 years old, whose educational experiences are the vital point of any meaningful change. The proposal also directly involves teachers, as well as school administrations tasked with implementing and managing educational initiatives. Furthermore, the engagement of municipal authorities is crucial, as they play a pivotal role in facilitating and supporting educational programs at the local level. Ministries of Education hold a central position in overseeing and coordinating broader educational policies, ensuring alignment with national objectives.


Anticipated outcomes of this proposal are expected to have a transformative impact across multiple dimensions of the educational landscape. Foremost, the students within the age bracket of 8-15 years are anticipated to experience enhanced learning experiences, promoting not only academic growth but also the development of critical life skills. At the institutional level, schools are projected to become hubs of dynamic and inclusive education, promoting a positive and collaborative learning environment. Municipalities, through their involvement, can expect to see heightened community engagement and improved educational infrastructure. Ministries of Education, as overseers, may observe positive shifts in national educational statistical indicators, reflecting the success of a more student-centric and holistic approach. Ultimately, the expected impact spans from individual student achievements to broader societal advancements, establishing a foundation for a more vibrant and resilient educational system.