Unruly children or empowering active citizens? Our readers respond to introducing politics in schools
In a recent article published by Parent24 titled "Politics in schools? Yes, if we want our children to be active citizens" a lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Heidi Matisonn, suggested that in order to empower students and encourage them to become active citizens, we should introduce politics in the classroom.
Heidi explained that politics affect children’s lives as well and so they too should be able to develop their own opinions and be able to speak up and voice those opinions on particular issues:
"There is no reason for children to be excluded from developing their abilities as “political animals”. If we keep them out of politics, we deprive them of their right to speak – even about issues that make us uncomfortable."
See related links on politics and education below.
Our readers, however, were conflicted, and not very many responded positively to the KwaZulu-Natal lecturer’s idea of introducing politics in school.
Some felt that we should focus on the subjects we already had in school and teach children the basics.
Others felt introducing politics would only result in unruly and disobedient children:
While some believed it would result in the indoctrination of our youth:
Clive suggests there won't be political tolerance continuing, "The wearing of political regalia will follow. The so-called education institutions will become political strongholds of political parties. Think this one through!"
There were however, a few positive comments and people who believed we should let children voice their opinions.
Judy continues, "I learn from my own 14 year old. Very opinionated and not easily swayed. He knows what's right and what's wrong. We must encourage open communication with our children so they feel free to discuss anything without fear."
And some who felt it might be worth considering. A hopeful sentiment, if you will:
Katlego comments that, "many people do not agree with it but mostly because they're all relating this [introducing politics in schools] to parties and how they operate."
She continues, "In my my opinion I think it's a good idea to teach politics at school so that those who will be interested in being involved in the governance of this country and how you supposed to lead, engage and understand political policies and how everything involves government departments, municipalities and other businesses, works and links to each other."
She suggests this "will be a great advantage as the country will be having civil servants that has knowledge of politics."
She concludes, "What we are witnessing today is the result of voting for people with less knowledge of politics but whom are rather enjoying the benefits that comes with the cravy train they're riding along with their families and friends forgetting to serve. I believe if we can look at it just as politics, not including any of the existing parties and their crappy dealings, I hope someday we can have peaceful governance of the country where everyone living in it will be treated fairly with respect and dignity."
- Politics in schools? Yes, if we want our children to be active citizens
- How do you talk about Mr President in front of your children?
- Decolonisation: Academics must change what they teach, and how
What are your thoughts on introducing politics in schools? Tell us by commenting below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your comments.
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