A nation that wants to progress, independent, and prosper requires a strong character. For example, Korea becomes a strong and prosperous nation because all its citizens are systematically trained to be visionary, have a hard work ethics.
Korea had once been in poor condition, collapsed, and colonized. However, now the country has risen up and developed into a progressive and expansive country, because each young generation is given a character education that is based in the history of Korea's struggle against colonialism. "They instill character values to the younger generation to always work hard, never give up. Korea is a nation that is superior, intelligent, and sovereign," said researcher at the Center for Pancasila Studies, Hastangka, in the weekly discussions held by the UGM Study Club Center on Thursday (21/7).
Hastangka says the same thing also happened in Japan and China. Japanese progresses in the field of science and technology, because they have the passion to compete, competent, and innovate based on the spirit of struggle, hard work, and self-reliance. Similarly with China, which refuses to be outdone by Japan in relation to the technology. Therefore, China is often known as the state impersonator (plagiarist), as we can see whatever is produced by the Japanese, its forms and styles are also present in China. "Although it’s known as a communist country in Asia, China has the competitive character, practicing self-sufficient economy, and legitimizes itself as a nation that excels in global market expansion and sovereign," he said.
Meanwhile, Indonesia is a heterogeneous and pluralistic nation. With the condition of the nation as diverse as such, becoming the most populous nation in Southeast Asia that has Pancasila as strong unifying ideology, the potential to become a winning nation, sovereign, and independent is very high. According to Hastangka, character education should become a serious and major concern in the life of the nation and state. To become a sovereign, independent, and superior nation, every youth should have the character of Pancasila.
The study results of UGM PSC PSP (2011) Study Team concluded that the character of Pancasila includes national and global characters, i.e., hard work ethics, love the homeland, nationalist, intelligent, creative, critical, innovative, responsible, fair and wise. In addition, other characters are mentally brave (patriotic), diligent, have nation and global insight. The next characters are visionary, able to make choices in life, harmonious, friendly, respectful, honest, sporty, and powerful. "We are not second-class nation, a nation that is easily enslaved, a stupid nation, or nation that is not independent. Therefore, character education should be directed to answer the challenges of the ages, not just reacting to the problems facing by the Indonesian people today," said Hastangka.
The importance of Pancasila character education is not limited to responding to actual issues and serve as an education advertising commodity, but there are future achievements, namely to build a sovereign, independent, and superior nation. "As one example, Universitas Gadjah Mada as a university of struggle will not stand up splendidly and grow as rapidly as now if the founders of the university at that time just sat back, learned just as obligatory, and did not have the spirit to move forward and build the country," he said.
At the end of the discussion, he said to build Pancasila character required supporting factor, which is exemplary, because currently Indonesia is getting hit by exemplary crisis. Related to the issue, the UGM PSC PSP Study Team found at least 12 dominant factors in the formation and building of character, namely teachers, celebrities/artists, officials, community leaders, peers, parents, printed media, electronic media, the environment (family, school, and community), religious figures, intellectuals, and politicians. Without the support of those factors, Pancasila character education will only stay stagnant.