Tarmizi bin Anuwar, Cohort 2018
The alternative civic education is a civic education in informal sectors such as NGOs, individuals, political parties, and youth organizations which promotes political socialization and citizen participation by establishing links between citizens and political systems that allow the meaningful participation of the citizens. The Democratic School (SEKDEM) was established by Democratic Action Party (DAP) to share knowledge with youth on politics and democracy, debate the role of the state and interest of people in the economy, as well as providing the platform to create a democratic youth generation. By using a collection of interviews and secondary data, the study categorized respondents into three groups, the main facilitator or organizer, the participants or alumni, and the individuals involved with another alternative civic education besides SEKDEM. The study identified five impetus of DAP for the establishment of SEKDEM, controversial allegations, decreasing of youth political participation, the exclusivity of new politics discourses, creating of democratic youth, and weaknesses of formal civic education. This study argued that the emergence of alternative civic education in particular SEKDEM is an evolution of civic education vision from good citizenship to democratic citizenship, which in turn impacts the critical thinking of participants on social, economic, and political issues. In addition, the study also argued that SEKDEM not only enhances youth political participation in informal politics but also formal politics.
Key words: alternative civic education; new politics; democratic citizenship; youth participation; politics