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IL News 019/2019

The same feeling pops up every time we facilitate Pancasila class: will we succeed this time? No, not to be a popular facilitator. But rather how the class could motivate students to understand the meaning and inspire them to become active and responsible citizens.

Finally, the class began at Bandung Theological Seminary (STTB), on September 7th, 2019. Democracy was the topic. Instead of lecturing them with definitions and theories they can find out from various resources, we held the role-play activities. They were divided into three groups, and were asked to portray the leader election process in the monarchy, authoritarian, and democratic states.

“Make sure that we can see the form of citizen participation and human rights on the role you play,” one of the instructors told the students as they were preparing.

The class became boisterous during discussion and preparation, full with sound of laughter and jokes among them. There was a student creatively made a crown from paper based materials. Noisy? Yes! Because they are students, human beings, who really need to be treated as subjects, in the classroom as well. Indeed, freedom and democracy need to be realized and celebrated there.

Long story short, role-playing time was over, continued by discussion to emphasize the difference between the three forms of government. They learned by experience, and were able to draw clearly the difference between each other. They were encouraged to express themselves, including asking questions.

If we ride a bicycle and fall, there might be a possibility that the bike is broken. “Same thing with democracy, there might be a broken element in the system that it has not provided the optimal results, right?”, asked a student. Interesting question. It showed their willingness to learn and a growing sense of curiosity for knowledge.

They have understood democracy, experienced it in a small scope, not only learning from the big theories or comparing the democracy system in several countries. After the class, they knew the power of democracy compared to the other forms, the role of citizens in democracy country, and the pillars that support the system in order to stand upright. However, what is more important than just knowing it is to get the meaning from the lessons learned, in context as a student and as a person who will serve the society. Thus, the knowledge they received can be more useful. Their self-awareness as a young cadre of the nation who devote their lives to others, could grow as well.

How do today’s lessons benefit you? How will you use this new knowledge? How do you see the conditions of your country based on the knowledge you have received, what needs to be done?

May these questions continue to reverberate in students’ heart, even though they have stepped out from the classroom.

“There are three things I learn: love, loyalty, and obedience. I hope Indonesian youth and I have these three things. To love Indonesia, to be loyal as Indonesian and to consistently work for Indonesia.

The Lord Jesus command me and all of us to be the light and salt in the world. So we must obey and accomplish that task. And there is something new I got: never think and say that politics is dirty, but realize that it happens because we have given Indonesia to the hands of stubborn, greedy and evil people. Love Indonesia by praying.” (Ronald, one of the STTB students)