The Politics in Action group of Portadown College has certainly not been idle while in lockdown.
On the 27th January Politics in Action students joined a number of schools and had a meeting with the Education Minister, Peter Weir. The topic of conversation was Mental health in Young People and how the government was going to address this. Although £5 million has been set aside for Mental Health in young people the students were concerned that the government does not have a clear picture of what young people need.
The students were also very concerned with the grading of examinations in 2021.
PC’s very own Year 13 student Rebecca Stewart was able to ask the Minister a direct question:
Due to the pandemic no one can teach each other face to face but mental health issues are on the rise and can’t simply be solved by online meetings with others. Do you have any alternative ideas to this?
Later that evening, thanks to Sophie Barnett, Year 13, who not only is a member of the Politics in Action team but also a member of NI Youth in Government, the group attended a Q & A session with the Justice Minister Naomi Long. PC students were on top form with Ray Cardwell and Alanah Cahoon grilling the Minister about the government’s handling of the pandemic.
On the 3rd February we had the honour of attending a virtual meeting with Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Junior Minister Gary Middleton; The First Minister was unavailable. It was a great occasion to see the government listen to the voices of the future. Let’s hope they take heed!!