The global trend of increased connection and diversity necessitates a corresponding level of awareness in political education. The inclusion of such elements in public education would not only empower students as informed and prepared future members of society but also instigate active participation in the democratic process. We Youth activists, convinced by the pivotal role that political education plays in early development stages, decided to conduct a series of activities ultimately intended to widely open the gate of political education for students in NLCS Jeju. This article aims to articulate the significance political education holds on students as they become functioning members of society and the endeavors of the Youth Activist Society to improve upon the status quo.
To monitor the current situation, a whole-school survey was conducted, which asked students if they believed that the amount of political education being provided was sufficient or not. The results were rather tight- 48% of students responded that they were receiving sufficient political education, while 52% said the opposite. We found the fact that only half of the students recognised the paucity of political education in NLCS Jeju very concerning, as it showed two things: first, that the amount of political education that NLCS Jeju provided was lacking overall, and second, that most of the students were very unfamiliar with the concept of “political education”, given that almost half of the students responded that they receive enough of it, while the only subject that has the slightest similarity with political education is critical thinking.
We concluded that students are currently distant from the concept of political education, which was totally expected, as ‘politics’ is a very intimidating term itself and it is not an academic subject that all students have to experience. To close the gap between the two, we uploaded card news on social media that would deliver our message in the student-friendliest way to the widest range of audiences. Data such as only 15.81% of Korean students have engaged in public affairs regarding student politics were combined with the elaboration of why political education was important in our card news; this could inform students of why changes are desperate, or encourage them to gain interest in political education, which could hopefully bring the effects that we expect.
However, with the satisfaction that we enriched students to move on from the status quo to improvement in terms of the implementation of political education, realisation that the impact that activities conducted at an individual-level can have was very limited, as we knew that what we did will not remain in their memory for long, just like an ordinary day-long occurrence. In conclusion, we suggest that students should be provided with non-graded educational materials regarding politics on a regular basis by schools. Such a consistent supply of politics to students will naturally integrate politics into their process of thinking, which will aid in developing a sense of morality and grant them the ability to make effective decisions, even when it comes to daily matters. For these positives to be derived, schools must change first. Through the extensive implementation of political education in schools, we Youth Activists hope all students will grow as active and informed citizens.
Hanjin (Ryan) Lee
Publicity Officer of NLCSJ Youth Activists