Synopsis: Mendidik bakal pengundi = Educating voters-to-be

Apakah yang dapat dilakukan di sekolah untuk membangunkan pengundi yang bertanggungjawab?

= How can schools contribute to the development of responsible voters?

Sepanjang bulan Ogos, kita telah menerokai persoalan ini melalui (a) perkongsian sudut pandangan daripada tujuh penulis dalam post Pengenalan, (b) petikan daripada rencana yang berkaitan dari Malaysia dan luar negara dalam post Apa Kata, dan (c) temu bual bersama Qyira Yusri dan Tharma Pillai, pengasas kempen Undi 18, dalam post Q&A. Minggu ini, kami menghuraikan perbincangan tentang mendidik bakal pengundi ini.

= Throughout August, we have explored this question through (a) the sharing of opinions from seven different writers, in our Pengenalan post, (b) a selection of comments from relevant local and international articles in our Apa Kata post, and (c) an interview with Qyira Yusri and Tharma Pillai, co-founders of the Undi 18 campaign, in our Q&A post. This week, we summarise this discussion about educating future voters. 

1. Pelajar patut diberi peluang untuk mengamalkan demokrasi melalui pilihan raya di sekolah.
= Students should be given the opportunity to practice democracy through elections in school.

Pendapat saya mengatakan bahawa pihak sekolah wajib mengamalkan sistem politik seperti demokrasi dalam kalangan pelajar ketika hendak menentukan keputusan yang adil dan bijaksana. Hal ini boleh memberi persediaan awal kepada para belia Malaysia untuk mengundi secara sistematik. …

—Felicia Erica Rinto, dalam post Pengenalan

Let the students practice parliamentary elections in electing their class monitors, school perfects and club leaderships. Allow the club’s, students’ class and school leadership autonomy and allow them a seat in the school PTA.

—Maimon Arif, commenting on our Pengenalan post on Facebook

I’d like to see the formation of Student Unions (in a university’s Senate) as well as student elections in public schools. I don’t believe that formal education is a determinant for someone to have the right to vote. That being said, formal institutions like schools and universities need to put in place avenues for students to voice their opinions freely without the fear of being penalised. I believe student elections will also encourage youth leadership to blossom as well giving students a glimpse of how an election could be.

—Qyira Yusri, when she was interviewed in our Q&A

2. Para pelajar juga patut diajar tentang isu politik dan sivik di Malaysia.
= Students should also have lessons about political and civic issues in Malaysia.

… Seperti yang diketahui, topik politik ini merupakan topik yang sentiasa dielakkan oleh guru-guru dan ibu bapa. Hal ini demikan kerana mereka berpendapat bahawa topik politik ini tidak sesuai untuk pelajar sekolah yang tidak matang dan masih muda lagi. Oleh yang demikian, pelajar-pelajar hanya mendapat pendedahan tersebut melalui media sosial yang bukan selalu tepat. Justeru, saya berharap agar topik politik ini dapat dipupuk oleh pihak sekolah agar pelajar dapat bersedia untuk mengundi secara adil dan bertanggungjawab.

—Mica Williamson, dalam post Pengenalan

Reintroduce sivik subject and our history starting way before colonising era.

—Azizan Midon (@azizanm2), replying to Ong Kian Ming’s tweet about our Pengenalan post

3. Di samping itu, mereka patut diajar tentang demokrasi daripada pelbagai segi, termasuk prinsip hak asasi serta pengalaman politik negara lain.
= Besides that, they should learn about different aspects of democracy, including human rights principles and the political realities of other countries.

… One thing that schools can do to prepare young Malaysians to vote responsibly is to inculcate democratic education and participation in our children. The syllabus may include political education and the basic science of governance, and even practices such as electing student representatives and signing petitions among the students. …

—Alethea Wong, in our Pengenalan post

… it is important to expose and teach our children about democracy, human rights and voting. … Schools can provide children with basic knowledge/ foundation in democracy, human rights and voting – that’s where everything starts.

Sharm Rajoo, commenting on the Pengenalan post on our website

Note: Sharm recommended the book Politics for Beginners as an introduction to the topic.

… Personally, one of my main concerns when it comes to the content syllabus for Civic and Citizenship Education is what should be included in the syllabus so that there is a strong awareness for the students to realize that our daily lives and politics are inseparable and interrelated. It is not enough that we expose them to the concept of democracy but not expose them to countries that have democracy as their political system but in practice are actually authoritarian. The students must be made aware of what makes a state democratic and what does not, even if the country officially states that it adopts parliamentary democracy. This could be supplemented with classroom activities that use authentic sources such as written and audiovisual forms of news regarding the nation’s political affairs. …

—Auzellea Kristin Mozihim, in a blog post on the challenges of building civic awareness among Malaysian youths

Note: Civics education (Pendidikan Sivik) was re-introduced in Malaysian schools this June (see news coverage in English and BM).

4. Para pelajar juga patut dilatih dalam cara berfikir secara kritis tentang berita terkini dan cabaran dunia sebenar.
= Students also need to be trained in thinking critically about news items and real-world challenges.

… the most useful tool which schools can provide to young Malaysians is to ‘train’ them to read and assess news items analytically and independently. … Topics such as how to verify if a news item is fake news or not, understanding the biases and motivations of various news portals, evaluating the public policy positions taken by various political parties and politicians are just some examples of the preparation which young Malaysians can and should go through before they cast their vote when they turn 18. …

—Ong Kian Ming, in our Pengenalan post

I feel in the classroom there needs to be more lessons based on more real-world issues in tandem with critical thinking. They can then take a stance and may then be encouraged to be take a stance based on the issues they care about, and having that influence their political leanings based on who are the MPs and ADUNs who support those issues.

—Charlene, commenting on the Pengenalan post on our website

Note: For some examples of initiatives to build students’ media literacy around the world, look at this interactive map. There is also some relevant advice in our Apa Kata post.

5. Salah satu pendekatan untuk membina pemikiran kritis dan penaakulan ialah menggalakkan pelajar di sekolah dan universiti untuk membahaskan isu yang penting dan rumit.
= One way to develop these critical and analytical skills is encouraging students in schools and universities to debate important and complex issues.

Untuk jangka masa pendek, saya mencadangkan agar pihak sekolah dan universiti menggunakan debat dan pengucapan awam dalam pelan pengajaran dan pembelajaran. Kita perlu membiasakan pelajar untuk berfikir secara kritis, memahami hujah dari kedua-dua belah dan menyuarakan pendapat dengan tenang, jelas dan membina.

Untuk jangka masa panjang pula, kita perlu mewujudkan pelan pendidikan yang melindungi kebebasan bersuara dan bersekutu untuk para pelajar. Kita perlu meminda atau memansuhkan undang-undang bersifat menindas seperti AUKU, yang diwujudkan untuk mengekang politik mahasiswa dan mengawal pergerakan pelajar. Universiti seharusnya menjadi pusat ilmu untuk tokoh pemikir dan mahasiswa berdebat dan berfikir secara bebas, dan bukannya hanya menjadi pusat ijazah.

—Tharma Pillai, apabila ditemubual dalam post Q&A

Nota</span>: Walaupun AUKU telah dipinda pada tahun 2018 untuk menghapuskan beberapa subseksyen yang mengekang kegiatan politik mahasiswa, masih terdapat halangan terhadap kebebasan politik di universiti. 

For a first-hand discussion of restrictions on university students’ political freedom despite the 2018 UUCA amendments, read this article by Nah Yan Sheng, an industrial biology student at a local university.

6. Sekolah juga patut mengasuh kemahiran kepimpinan melalui peluang, bimbingan, dan teladan yang sesuai.
= Schools should also foster students’ leadership skills through suitable opportunities, guidance, and role models.

… Murid-murid juga perlu dibiasakan untuk mengurus dan mentadbir kegiatan mereka. Guru-guru tidak harus memerintah dan mengawal mereka. Sebaliknya guru harus menjadi pemudahcara untuk murid. Lebih penting lagi, guru-guru harus menjadi contoh dan model atau idola ikutan murid-murid. Selain itu, murid-murid yang memiliki kaliber dan karisma sebagai pemimpin harus dibimbing dan diketengahkan. …

—Abdul Aziz bin Bari, dalam post Pengenalan

… Teachers should be a catalyst of student leadership. They should facilitate processes whereby students would be encouraged to take up roles in student bodies, simulate an election process to choose their leaders and be responsible in ensuring a conducive environment in school. By taking these steps, they would have a better understanding of governance and vote more responsibly. …

—Faizul Zuraimi, in our Pengenalan post

7. Akhir sekali, kita perlu ingat bahawa bukan sahaja sekolah, tetapi juga badan bukan kerajaan serta pertubuhan politik patut memainkan peranan dalam membangunkan pengundi yang bertanggungjawab.
= Finally, we should remember that not only schools, but also non-governmental groups and political organisations should play a role in developing responsible voters.

We need more multipartisan/nonpartisan organisations for political and civic education, for one. Kids and youth all over Malaysia don’t even get to visit their state government or Parliament as part of their education.

—Alissa Rode, commenting on our Pengenalan post on Facebook

Terima kasih kerana mengikuti perbincangan bulan ini tentang membangunkan pengundi yang bertanggungjawab! Sertai kami bulan depan dalam perbincangan baru: “Apakah cara yang terbaik untuk mendisiplinkan pelajar?” Dan sila lawati kami di Facebook. 🙂

= Thank you for taking part in this month’s discussion on developing responsible voters! Join us next month, when we will discuss: “How should teachers discipline their students?” And don’t forget to visit us on Facebook. 🙂

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