Lower Sixth Politics students enjoyed two morning visits to Parliament Buildings, Stormont as part of their AS Level course on Monday and Tuesday. The visit covered key aspects of the AS1 course and provided opportunities to meet with committee clerks and MLAs. These meetings provided an opportunity for the students to get useful examples for their exam because the clerks know the story of how legislation is negotiated and amended.
With the political crisis keeping MLAs out of the Assembly Chamber, it allowed students the opportunity to go take their seats (a privilege not allowed in Westminster) to hold an impromptu debate on whether voting rights should be extended to 16-17 year olds. Of course, the party talks also meant that the visit was cut short with fewer MLAs around to be able to meet the students, although Nichola Mallon (SDLP) and Trevor Lunn (Alliance) had time to meet the group on Monday.
Students in the second visit had every right to feel short changed, as the talks obviously stepped up a gear on Tuesday and so MLAs weren’t so able to meet students. However, as the group was about to leave, a Sinn Fein delegation were arriving in and Marina from the Education Service was able to call the Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, over for a quick chat and photo with the students.
Thanks once again to the Education Service for organising the visit.