MICHAEL GRIMES: It’s very probable that citizenship
will no longer be a centrally programmed curriculum subject. It will still be on the curriculum
but on the Basic Curriculum, where schools will be left to decide how they deliver it.
What do you think the implications are for young people and for democracy? DANNY BARTLETT: For young people the implications
are huge. It’s going to damage political literacy across all age groups. I work with sixteen
years upwards, but even people that are 35 – 40 years-old respond to what I’m doing in
my workshops; and actually, teachers that I’m sitting in with – in terms of citizenship
and politics – they didn’t actually know the things that I was teaching. So if you take
away citizenship as a framework, it is going to damage political not just of young people
but when those young people grow older they’re not going to know about the political systems
and the rights and responsibilities of the individual in this country. And I just think
it’s catastrophic at a time of high unemployment, issues of civil unrest that are going on around
the world; at a time in that instead of reverting moving away from engaging with young people
this should be the time when people are actually jumping in and actually getting young people
engaged. Because there’s so much going on around the world at the moment that it’s the
perfect catalyst to really get young people enthused about politics.