Knowing about politics and caring about politics are two separate things that need to be addressed. A lot of young people aren’t taught or told about politics from a young age which can lead them to not caring about it in the future. Politics affects our everyday lives, it affects everything we do and the decisions we make. Surely if Politics affects people that much it should be introduced into the school curriculum?
Currently, not many schools across the UK offer GCSE Politics, A Level Politics is more common among students if the sixth form/college offers it at all. In fairness there are other subjects that are taught in schools that cover parts of politics itself such as Citizenship and Sociology but it still doesn’t cover the understanding of how society works, what their role and purpose is in society and how their country is being run. This leaves the younger generation misinformed and oblivious to what is going on around them unless they watch or listen to current affairs on the news or have an active interest in politics as it is.
Ideally, I think Politics should be taught in school from year nine; politics isn’t an easy subject to grasp at first which is why it should be introduced to give young people the basic knowledge on what it is about and what they are going to be studying in the years ahead. Politics should become a compulsory GCSE for years ten and eleven and if the student then wishes to no longer continue Politics for A Level they are able to drop the subject with enough knowledge and understanding to get by in the real world without being confused about things like voting, party ideologies and the difference between parties.
Everyone has to have the basic understanding of how their country is politically organised, what rights they have, the power of the media and press and some aspects of international politics and how it affects our government and how we live as a whole. Most people detach away from politics because they fail to see how it affects them in anyway. This; I feel, needs to change. Politics gives people the chance to think for themselves, debate and put forward their ideas and what they believe. If taught at a young age, there could potentially be younger people who are politically active.
It should be taught in an unbiased manner so that students have the actual ability to think and debate for themselves until they are mature enough to choose which path they want to follow.
The syllabus should begin with the absolute basics; the Westminster government, differentiation between the House of Lords and the House of Commons, positions held in parliament then going into political history, different ideologies and current affairs.
The compulsory GCSE syllabus would be an enhancement and a push forward from what they had previously learnt, such as different types of elections and their periods, party influences, voting systems and processes, political policies, taxing, inflation and debt and also unseen influences of power and money. I personally think it’s in the country’s best interest to start teaching politics in schools, for a number of good reasons. Teaching politics in school will make younger people feel more in touch with their society and the country in which they live in and it will give them more understanding in what goes on around them and why it happens they way that it does. I think this decision will be beneficial for all.