The Importance of Political Education in the Classroom: Why Children Need It?
The young brigade of today is the nation builder of tomorrow. Though appraising the children in their early years about politics, government, and democracy may build their abstract knowledge. Still, over a while, their understanding will evolve, and they will feel empowered to transform the dynamics of the community, society, nation and the world as a whole.
Political education is the process by which citizens develop the skills and knowledge necessary to participate effectively in the political process. It is a vital part of a healthy democracy, and it is essential for the preservation of liberty and the maintenance of a just society.
Why political education is important for children ?
Children’s inquisitiveness is at its peak in the growing years, and their thirst for knowing and observing what’s happening all around needs to be quenched by the teachers at school and by parents at home.
Talking to them about how a nation functions, what voting is, how and why we elect leaders, and ongoing political campaigns will open up their minds, which will help them understand a system’s functioning. They will be able to distinguish right from wrong, thereby making the right choices. How the leaders who run the nation play a significant role in progress and prosperity will awaken their spirits to be one.
It will give the children a voice and realise that their thoughts, words and actions indeed matter and can impact the world.
Organising conversation cafes, debates and discussions will help children build their perceptions and ideas about the world around them. In these activities, they will have their say. They will develop their confidence and acquire free thinking skills in expressing themselves.
Multifarious activities and programs like electing the class monitor, being a part of the student council, and participating in open Mike, just a minute talk show, widen students’ horizons of knowledge. At the same time, they learn about it in classrooms.
It goes a long way in building the concept of rights and responsibilities and equips them to be better citizens of tomorrow.
How political education can benefit children?
Children will become more aware, informed human beings, confidently stepping forth and taking the right and the required action. It will make them conscious of their actions' impact on building a peaceful society.
We, as adults, are constantly under their surveillance.
Listening to our conversations about political issues, leaders, and systems of bias, justice, and injustice helps them explore and understand these concepts more deeply. It sets them thinking. It becomes imperative to share with them about civic sense, day-to-day happenings, working of various political organisations, further encouraging them to research about it will build in them the 21st-century skills. This will enhance their personality and leadership qualities.
The most required values of discipline, positive attitude, code of conduct, team-building, cooperation, and respecting others' opinions will definitely reflect in students when they are made aware of the political system.
Importance of teaching children rights and responsibilities.
Engaging the children in choosing the food they wish to eat, deciding the place for an outing, plan their day helps them identify the value of liberty. On the other hand, making them participate in clean-up drives, plantation campaigns, visits to museums, and following the rules and regulations required at public places like parks, stations, and community centres is a source of reminder that they have specific responsibilities too.
In following the rules, they learn self-control, patience, and perseverance, recognise the boundaries, and limit themselves of their own volition.
Benefits of politically educated citizenry
Each politically educated child will become an aware, empowered citizen who will lay the foundation for building a strong, secure, progressive nation. The collaboration will overtake the competition, friendships will flourish, and happy and healthy talks and dialogues instead of arguments will enrich the countries. Equality and justice will prevail.
Human beings will value being human and understand the situations and problems of their fellow beings. Politically aware citizens will vote for capable leaders who will develop programs and policies for the betterment and empowerment of people.
The focus will shift from selfish needs to the much required and larger needs of society, such as improving infrastructure, health facilities, education, and encouraging literacy programs for the underprivileged.
It will build courage in them to stand up for their rights confidently even if there is opposition and say a big no to any kind of exploitation.
Let’s keep empowering our children today in a way that they become happy, wise and compassionate citizens of tomorrow.