Political education the key - Sunday Star


“Often than not, we are told in school, university and at work, not to bring in politics. We can’t talk about it in class or write about it in our assignments. Some people have even signed contracts at work saying that they cannot get involved in anything political or post anything political online,” says Liyana, 30.

It doesn’t help that there are repercussions for anyone who tries to be ‘political’, she adds.

“We have seen many young people suspended from university or dragged to court for making a stand, for dissenting and resisting. So it is hard to keep that political interest going when you are told from all sides to cut it out, it’s dangerous or bad.

“It is drummed into us that we should not get involved in anything political until we graduate, until we get that job, until we get that car and that house or until we pay back our study loan.”

Liyana acknowledges that there is a growing interest among the youth about their rights but it does not translate into political participation.

“Many are channelling that into social enterprises, environmental activism, helping the homeless and others.

“We are seeing a wave of political activism among the young in the West, especially in the entertainment scene where many 20-something stars are taking a political stand and expressing their opinions. I think that is seeping here but it is not enough.

“I don’t think we ‘politicise’ our lives enough. We don’t see how the decisions we make every day are political or how our commercial choices are political.”