One might question what is the relevance of the topic to the field of educational technology. However, it plays a significant and essential role in the field of education. It is imperative to establish a clear differentiation between the concepts of education and teaching. While acknowledging the necessity of both aspects, I am compelled to express my thoughts on this matter.
In the course of my research into the field of gamification, I encountered certain instances of gamified political lessons that have prompted a significant question: “Are we successfully providing comprehensive political education to our student population?” It appears that the main sources of political information for students are frequently influenced by biased perspectives passed down from preceding generations, politicians, television, and social media. The dependence on partial information may have a substantial influence on the younger generation, leading them to form a distorted understanding of politics, perceiving it exclusively as a domain characterised by favouritism, corruption, and economic concerns. There is an urgent need to incorporate comprehensive education on the nature of politics, its underlying philosophy, the functions of politicians, and its historical significance into the curriculum for students. This will enable them to develop an in-depth comprehension of the workings of the political structure and acquire a foundational knowledge of key political concepts.
The absence of political education
Unfortunately, it is evident that a significant number of students possess an inadequate comprehension of various political ideologies, including but not limited to liberalism, socialism, nationalism, Marxism, communism, and social democracy. The lack of political education can be assigned to the limitations of existing political structures, which have resulted in a narrow political landscape characterised by the dominance of two major parties in Malta. As a result, this limitation poses a barrier to the cultivation of comprehensive political education and reinforces the intergenerational transmission of knowledge pertaining to two political parties.
The Empowerment of the Youth Generation
Given the current circumstance wherein individuals of the younger generation are granted the right to vote at the age of 16, it becomes crucial to provide them with a thorough comprehension of politics and international relations at an early phase. The implementation of political education within educational institutions can effectively cultivate a comprehensive understanding of political structures among students, thereby equipping them with a well-rounded knowledge base that exceeds the narrow scope of two-party politics, ultimately preparing them for active participation in the democratic process upon reaching the eligible voting age.
The comprehensive nature of political education should encompass a range of aspects, which includes the examination and analysis of diverse political philosophies and ideologies. Educating students on various political ideologies that have the potential to expand their viewpoints and foster their ability to engage in critical analysis of political systems, policies, and decision-making procedures. This will facilitate the development of a more knowledgeable and actively involved population, capable of engaging in democratic procedures and formulating comprehensive political assessments.
Comprehending the Field of Political History
A crucial element of political education entails a comprehensive examination of the historical backdrop surrounding political systems and the development of political ideologies. Through the examination of political history, students have the opportunity to acquire valuable insights pertaining to the evolution of governance frameworks, the efforts made to secure rights and liberties, and the consequentiality of political movements. The comprehension of the historical underpinnings of politics facilitates the cultivation of a deepened appreciation among young individuals for the significance of political institutions and their consequential impact on the formation and development of societies.
The deficiency in political education among students can be attributed directly to the constraints within our political institutions. By adopting a proactive stance and implementing a comprehensive political education programme, we can equip the younger generation with a more profound comprehension of politics, encompassing its ideologies and historical import. Through this approach, we aim to foster a knowledgeable and actively involved populace, equipped with the ability to make well-founded political choices and effectively contribute to the advancement of our communities. The imperative arises to address the knowledge deficit and guarantee that our students acquire the essential resources to navigate the intricate realm of politics and assume an engaged role in shaping their own destinies.