Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim has referred to state ideology Pancasila as one of the best frameworks for character education, noting that his ministry would also make use of “above-the-line” measures common to marketing to help change mindsets.
During a discussion panel on Saturday, Nadiem said the problem with the country’s character education system was the absence of a “link and match” method. The current system requires students to memorize and read about Pancasila rather than presenting them with real examples by breaking down the five principles, he said.
“When you search Pancasila on Google, you’ll easily find that it has been broken down into subpoints. I, myself, was surprised when I discovered these only several years ago, because I was never taught about [the details of Pancasila],” he said.
The subpoints, he added, offered essential life values and principles that should further be modeled into daily life.
Pancasila consists of five principles: Belief in God, humanitarianism, unity of Indonesia, democracy and social justice. The government has also established 36 subpoints to elaborate the principles, which were mandatory to teach in school during Soeharto’s New Order.
However, since the fall of Soeharto, education in the details of the state ideology has not been a prioritized in schools.
“The problem is that we’ve never demonstrated key critical behaviors to the students. We don’t provide them with real-life situations in which these characteristics are reflected. We need to derive values and behaviors from each principle,” he said.
To streamline these values and behaviors, Nadiem said teachers must serve as role models. Students must also be “forced” into simulated situations in which they would have to make decisions, collaborate and even challenge their teachers and friends, all while implementing the reward and compensation system, he said.
The founder and former CEO of Indonesian tech giant Gojek argued that schools could also be aided by public content.
“The fastest way to influence people is through creating content, such as stories, films, soap operas, advertisements, billboards and so on. The above-the-line method has been used by almost every corporation that wants to spend its budget to change a certain mindset, including through social media. This is one of the strategies and channels that will be used by the ministry starting from next year,” he said.
Popularizing Pancasila and making people, especially youths, internalize the state ideology in daily life is also among the first tasks given to newly installed young aides of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.
“The main target for the Pancasila campaign is the young generation. If we can’t find new approaches, there won’t be any change,” said Aminuddin Ma’ruf, an aide to the President, as quoted by tempo.co.