We’re Indonesian, part of a democratic state in the form of republic. Note that our nation use Pancasila as its main value. Proven that in the Opening of 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia stated, “…therefore the independence of Indonesia shall be formulated into a constitution of the Republic of Indonesia which shall be built into a sovereign state based on a belief in the One and Only God, just and civilised humanity, the unity of Indonesia, and democratic life led by wisdom of thoughts in deliberation amongst representatives of the people, and achieving social justice for all the people of Indonesia.”
Democracy itself is “a system of government in which people are entitled to vote and take part in decisions – directly or by representative – in the formulation, development, and regulation making process”. Democracy includes social, economic, and cultural conditions that allow the practice of political freedom freely and equally.
In general, democracy has four important aspects: election, participation, protection, and justice. Early education is necessary for all the citizen to understand the importance of these aspects, which we should take part in it.
While carrying out democracy education for the four points mentioned above, things to be understood that:
- Democracy process happens gradually and continually.
- Democracy process is evolutionary, in the sense of taking it slow.
- Democracy is a medium to achieve a smooth transformation without violence.
- Democracy happens deliberately to achieve agreement.
Democracy education performs in various contexts, formal education (school, college), non-formal education (nonscholastic course), and informal education (multicultural society, relationships). Following are some democracy education forms we could perform:
- Election –Early childhood education is necessary to teach them in decision making. We can give them several options or alternatives, educate them to see both the negative and positive sides of the options. Furthermore, children must learn to choose according to their personal preferences along with the risks. For example: decide a holiday spot, major in college. Compare with Joshua who give options to Israellites about to whom they will serve. “…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15 – NIV). Children must be educated to respect other people’s choices. They can’t impose their will but must perform flexibility, so the decisions were made voluntarily. Sooner or later, they’ll able to pick the right decisions and be responsible for electing the future leaders.
- Participation – Children and young generation must be included in most activities at home, church, school, and in society. They can’t be a mere spectator or commentator, but must involve themselves according to their interests. It starts with a small part. If you have been faithful with a few things, God will put you in charge of many things (Matthew 25:21 – NIV). Sooner or later, they’ll have a great sense of nationalism and will be involved in parties (regional parliamentary elections, as well as presidential election). At the future, they’ll become a part of national activities, and it opens up the chances like Daniel who become God’s loyal witness in government.
- Protection – Children must learn how to respect and to defend someone weaker. They are educated not to bully their peers, besides protect and respect them as the fellow of God’s most precious creation. Sooner or later, they’ll learn how to protect the minority in their society: from the ethnic minority, social-economy (the poor ones), people who have no access to higher education, to religious minority. Jesus Himself had compassion on the poor because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a sepherd (Matthew 9:36).
- Justice – Children and young generations are guided to act justly in taking actions. Start from entrusting them with a simple law case, and ask them to conclude what is right and what is wrong. Appreciate them if they deserve it, and give penalty or punishment if they did wrong. On a higher level, entrust them with a case where one of the disputants is their friends, will they able to remain fair? Sooner or later, they’ll be able to do it, as well as God Himself is just, He requires us to act justly (Micah 6:8).
Democracy education can’t be just learning to know, but it has to be learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together in any fields.
Democracy Education Constraints and Solutions
Democracy education is not an easy task to do. There are some difficulties, which need further attention and we need to look for its solutions. First, the intervention of foreign culture, if we’re not careful, it could affect our nation’s nature of democracy. Second, people lack models in state officials, those who sit in the executive, legislative, and judicial fields. Models are necessary for every aspect of life, family, and school. In the old church, parents, teachers, and the servants of God are the closest ones to the children. Third, parents are unwilling to spare enough time to teach their children. Overworked is the main reason. For parents, it’s necessary to have various roles, so their kids are educated in the faith and cultivated the high sense of nationalism at once, so later in the future, they become a democratic person no matter where they work and live.
Once again, democracy education is not a simple process, it has to be performed gradually. So that later, the generations who are brave to make decisions for nations, actively involved and care as a responsible netizen, defend the poor, and act justly to everyone without exception will arise. When they appear as a democratic individual, that pleased God, it will make a turnover to Indonesia. Our nations will become one great nation.
by: peter freshman
This article can be read ini BAHASA INDONESIA