On Friday (17/6/16), I spoke to Mbak Astriani from Mitra Wacana’s public education division. She has worked at Mitra Wacana for over five years in a variety of roles, holds a degree in counselling and is particularly passionate about children’s education.
Sophia: Please introduce yourself first.
Astriani: Thank you my name is Astriani, I work in the Mitra Wacana public education division.
I first joined Mitra Wacana in 2010 as a volunteer for data support and until now I have experienced working in several divisions. I have worked in the data support division, media division, as organisational secretary and I am currently in the public education division.
Sophia: Why did you want to become a Mitra Wacana activist?
Astriani: At Mitra Wacana, we can learn a lot about what gender is, how to prevent sexual violence against women and girls, and we can also learn ways to prevent the marginalisation of people. It’s so interesting when we join together at Mitra Wacana, for me that’s why I’m still here and why I’m still interested. Take the road to learning.
Sophia: What is children’s education?
Astriani: I think education is a lesson that is given to children, but the program we provide must be stimulating to the child because it is preparing the children for further education both physically and psychologically. It includes motor skills as well as mental and socio-emotional aspects too.
Sophia: Why are you particularly interested in children’s education?
Astriani: Because the child’s world is very interesting. It’s magic. Lots of surprises given by children when we interact with them. Every day evolves thinking and growth so I am very interested in the world of children.
Sophia: Can you please explain the principles of children’s education?
Astriani: There are six principles of children’s education:
- Oriented to the needs of children. As adults we only give stimulus and encouragement for development.
2. Learning through play, children can explore, find, utilise and draw conclusions.
3. Create a conducive environment for the child, so the child can learn. An environment that is safe, comfortable, and clean.
4. Develop life skills. This is the process of habituation, so that children are disciplined, independent and responsible.
5. Using a variety of educative and interesting mediums so we can prepare and encourage children to learn.
6. Implemented gradually and repeatedly so that children can understand easily.
Sophia: Can you please explain the rights of the child.
Astriani: The rights of the child are:
- The right to life, the child has the right to life from when they are in the womb.
2. The right to growth and development, children are allowed to grow and develop appropriately with their age.
3. The right to protection, adults provide protection for children so that children are not exposed to violence.
4. The right of participation, children are encouraged to express their opinions, have aspirations and when the child is speaking we should listen.
Sophia: Why do children need to be protected from of violence, especially sexual violence?
Astriani: Children are not yet able to protect themselves, as adults we have to protect these children, especially from sexual violence, and other violence. We can begin to teach children to be sensitive when there is violence. When there are strangers who give candy, for example, we can teach children to resist and scream if there is a stranger touching their body.
Sophia: What is Mitra Wacana doing to prevent violence against children?
Astriani: Mitra Wacana’s campaigns for the prevention of sexual violence against women and children. This was done with socialisation in schools and also through discussions with the children’s parents to learn what sexual violence is and how to prevent it.
Sophia: Thank you for joining me for Mitra Chatting today. Do you have a closing message?
Astriani: Let the children grow and develop as appropriate for their age. As adults we are only facilitating the task of the child to grow and develop to their full potential.