THE GOAL of education for political participation is to develop the political interest, knowledge and skills of young people to participate fully, actively and effectively in democracy.
In this case, what is most undesirable is political indoctrination.
It must therefore involve freedom of thought and action. Educators must be sincere. The goal is not to determine who gets the youth vote. The objective is for young people to participate effectively so that democracy matures, is stable and functions well so that young people and the people benefit from the fruits of democracy.
We don’t have to create new topics. What is needed is to create a holistic “political participation education module”, which involves the integration of idealism, activism and intellectualism, as well as a balance between knowledge/academics, the co-curriculum and the interaction between schools/universities and students/young people with society.
This module should be designed so that it can be at the heart of multidisciplinary teaching and learning. It can be used either to enhance the content of subjects in school, for example, civics, history and general studies, or to enrich other subjects, for example, geography, Bahasa Melayu and English. It can also contribute to the enrichment of fields and courses in universities and the enrichment of student/youth programs outside schools/universities.
This module should also be central to extra-curricular activities in schools/universities, in the relationship between school/universities and the community as well as for the whole curriculum and activities of the student/youth movement.
Its content cannot begin with a blank. We need to recognize the fact that students/young people are already, to some extent, exposed to politics.
The meaning of politics must be explained truthfully and the meaning of democracy must be explained comprehensively.
Students/young people must be exposed to the need for reform, refinement or “islah” to ensure that democracy functions fairly and cleanly.
It must be practical and not utopian. He should be open to a variety of ideas based on a culture of knowledge, rather than blindly clicking on a single, influenced, biased and emotional opinion.
It must take into account the various interests of the pupils/young people. It must be multidisciplinary and multilevel. This should facilitate those who have a higher interest than others and wish to specialize in a particular chapter.
It should be youth oriented and not party, government or school/university oriented.
It should cover three settings: students/youth practice self-government, students/youth practice partnership in government with school/university administration, and students/youth practice partnership in government with authorities. communities outside their institution/organization.
This is all part of the maturing process of Malaysian democracy.