Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Developing Nation's Character and Culture

by Pormadi Simbolon
The issue today is the nation's character left in the life of society, nation and state. Educational character of the nation further and further away from the spirit of religious values, Pancasila (five priciples), and culture. Increasing problems in society such as corruption, violence, sexual abuse, vandalism, fighting mass, consumptive economic life, political life is not productive and so more and more valued as a result of the abandonment of religious values, culture and Pancasila. Solutions offered are rules, laws, increased enforcement and tougher.
 Another alternative is often raised to overcome, at least reduce the problem of national character are dealt it is through education, including religious education. Religious education is one of the preventive and was considered to improve the quality of young people today.
In the dictionary of philosophy (Lorens Bagus, 2002), one of meaning the character described as "the name of a number of personal characteristics that include such things as behavior, habits, likes, dislikes, abilities, tendencies, potential, values, and patterns of thought.
Some people describe the meaning of the character as the attitude of honesty and courage to speak according to reality, keep their promises and do not spill the beans and act consistently, only words and deeds. Thus the character is a choice. We create characters every time we make a choice: to face or avoid something difficult; bend the truth or the firm support it, taking shortcuts or pay the price.
 From that description, we can conclude that the character is one's personal character is formed in the environment, including culture.  This means that the development of culture and national character can only be done in a process of life that do not release the individual from the social environment, culture, society and culture.

Sources of values
Character is personality that is formed from the internalization of various virtues  which are believed and used as the basis for the perspective, think, act, and act. Virtue consists of a number of values, morals, and values ​​such as honesty, courage to act, trustworthy, and respectful to others. These values ​​can be identified from various sources, including:
Culture: no human life without culture and values ​​that affect their lives. Cultural values ​​were used as the basis for giving meaning to the concept and meaning of the communication between people.
Religion: Indonesia is a society of religious people. Therefore, the lives of individuals, communities and nations are always based on religious teachings and beliefs. Politically, any state of life based on values ​​derived from religion.
National agreement, Pancasila: the unitary Republic of Indonesia established on the basis of the principles of nationhood and statehood, called Pancasila. Pancasila found on our Constitution (UUD 1945) and further elaborated in the articles contained in the  Constitution. Pancasila’s values ​​globally are: divinity, humanity, unity, deliberative /democratic and social justice.
Some of the values ​​identified (Kemdiknas, 2010) from various sources to serve as the nation's character is: religious attitudes and behavior, honesty, tolerance, discipline, hard work, creative, independent, democratic, curiosity, love the country, recognize excellence, friendship/ communicative, love peace, love reading, environmental care, social care, and responsibility.
 These are the values ​​that must be developed and used as a character not only in school, but also in the family, neighborhood (village), national and international. Embodiment of these values ​​is the responsibility of all, government, and society.
 We may need to learn from the Korean nation. Korea became a strong and prosperous nation for all its citizens are systematically trained to think ahead (visionary), has a hard work ethic is high, and always struggling.
 Korea before, still in poor condition, collapsed, and the colonized. But now, the country rose and advanced to the advanced and expansive as each generation of youth is given a character education (work hard and never give up) is grounded in the history of the Korean struggle against the invaders. Korea is a nation of intelligent, superior and sovereign. Indonesia, when? We eagerly await the results of ongoing efforts by the Government of the cultural and educational development of the nation's character.

Developing character through education
Today the Ministry of Education and Culture was incessant echoing the nation's culture and character education. It is very appropriate and in accordance with the mandate of Law Decree No. 20 of 2003 on National Education System of the function and purpose of national education. Article 3 of the Education Law that says "National Education functions to develop and shape the character and civilization of the nation's dignity in the context of the intellectual life of the nation, aimed at developing the potential of human learners to be faithful and devoted to God Almighty, noble, healthy, knowledgeable, skilled , creative, independent, and become citizens of a democratic and responsible. Formulation of national education goals is a formulation of Indonesia's human quality that must be developed within and aimed at each educational unit. Therefore, the formula is the basis for the development of culture and national character.
 Developtment of  culture and character of the nation based on religious values, Pancasila and culture, so important to see the situation and condition of Indonesia that is still underdeveloped in many areas, particularly in the areas of living together. It is important to overcome, or at least to reduce blemishes, corruption, violence, offensive statements, hypocrisy, bad moral and collective evil.
Pormadi Simbolon is an alumnus of STFT Widya Sasana Malang, worked in Jakarta

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