Sat, 13 Aug 1994

Pancasila course to be made more interesting

JAKARTA (JP): The government plans to make the orientation course on Pancasila -- a compulsory for civil servants, politicians and professionals -- more interesting.

Former vice president Sudharmono, who now heads the agency which oversees the course, said yesterday that he hoped to improve the quality of lectures to encourage people's participation in the implementation of the ideology.

Sudharmono said the quality of the material, lecturers and teaching methodology needed to be improved so people truly feel the benefits of taking part in the course, known popularly as the 'P4.' "We are making improvements so people will take part in the course because they want to, not because they have to."

The government organizes lectures on Pancasila for high school and university students, civil servants, politicians and professionals, including lawyers and journalists. A P4 certificate often is a crucial factor in pursuing a career in the government.

Sudharmono said the agency was aware that some people participated in the course only to obtain the certificate and that attending lectures were seen as a means to an end and nothing more.

He said these views had been taken into consideration when they decided to improve the lectures, adding that the government had the obligation to make its people knowledgeable of the ideology.

When asked if the rise of white collar crime and corruption had something to do with the lack of knowledge of Pancasila, he said people should not jump to this conclusion because there were probably other reasons for the crimes.

Sudharmono said that when crimes occur it could generally be assumed that the ideology was not fully implemented. However, he stressed that there were other factors to consider.

It would be naive to suggest that because the ideology was not taught properly, people were not willing or able to shun criminal activity, he said.

Sudharmono also said he would investigate allegations that a number of cabinet ministers had never taken part in the P4 course. (par)