How Strada Humanizing Young People?

By Marisa Irawan, SMK Strada II Jakarta *)

Education around the world has been overgrowing and is trying to make new changes now and then. Every school wants to give something that feels special to each child and indeed they want to be different from every other school. Every school is standing in a different place emphasizing quality. Some schools are only focusing on one, which is the quality of the students. How smart the students are; even when looking for a job, they will look for your degree.

As previously stated, teachers or schools focus more on the quality of children’s grades, regardless of their attitude. At this time, there are a lot of juvenile delinquency out there that make us shake our heads, such as sexual relations outside of marriage, disrespectful towards elders, and so on. So, having good grades does not guarantee a good attitude. Sometimes there are many students whose grades are good, but he tends to belittle other people who are not on the same level as him. This is the importance of learning to humanize humans within the scope of the school.

As young people, we tend to let the adults do the talking. Besides, in school, our grades are designed by our teachers. What we got in school, that’s our value. Furthermore, people will only judge us by our grades in school. As a result we learned that it was often better to compete rather than collaborate, because collaboration was either a detrimental to our grades, or worse, punishable as cheating. These are not the skills we want to impart to young people. Our school practice rewards those who submit to power and punishes bold individuals. We need to reexamine this idea, which is at the heart of our current education model in every school.

What is happening in the classroom might matter in the future, not now. Grace Lee Boggs, one of the inspirations, wrote about this in her book “The Next American Revolution”. She quotes John Dewey, one of the great thinkers on American schooling. “Dewey insisted that education is ‘a process of living and not preparation for future living.’ He called for the school to ‘represent present life. Life as real and vital to the child.’” She goes on, “From the standpoint of the child, Dewey concluded ‘the great waste in school comes from his inability to utilize the experience he gets outside the school in any complete and free way within the school itself, while on the other hand he is unable to apply what he has learned in school in his daily life. That is the isolation of the school, its isolation from life.’”

They shouldn’t be telling young people they can’t do something just because of who they are, what they want to be, the way they speak, their personality or any other trumped-up basis for discrimination. The impact of teacher-student relationships is well researched. It might also be the best way to humanize young people in education.

Strada is different to all other schools. Strada does not only look at the quality of how smart you are, who you are, and what your status is. They focus on how to make the students discipline, to behave, to talk and to act to elderly people. Strada makes you learn that we should not constantly receive help from other people, but we also have to help everyone in need. In Strada, they talk about what you will be like in the future and focus on the things you are going through right now. It’s not all about studying. They taught you how to become a better person in life. We never know who we will be in the future but Strada wants us to be people who always remember and care about others. Why? It’s because we will never be able to live alone. That’s why, we should always be kind to other people.

All the teachers, staff, and also students there have been helping everyone in need in every way, especially to become a better person for both students and teachers make all the students more mature than they really are. They want their students to grow not only as students but also as individuals. They never look down on their students just because we are students, they allow us to take part in everything we can. They accept our criticisms and suggestions well. Strada makes their students comfortable because they know how to deal with young people especially at times like this. This is the hard time for the young people in how we should act in this time. Strada helps their students and handle them wisely.

As a teenager and young person we tend to choose wrong paths and wrong actions in behaving with everything that happens in life. We tend to see just from our perspectives and never see if it’s really what is happening out there or not. Strada’s teachers always encourage us in every action and path we choose to take, as long as the action and the path is the right one for us to take. Strada is never pressuring their students to do something that makes them uncomfortable. They want all of the best for their students. Strada never makes their student feel like they are forced to do something they dislike.

Strada want all of their students to appreciate the process we had in school. They wants us to enjoy the process as we take step by step and closer to our own future. Strada teach their students that it is not just all about the results but how important the process is. We would be more satisfied with the result if we appreciate the process that we go through.

By learning about how Strada humanizing young people, we also has to commit on doing it. Strada already make an example so that we can imitate them. I hope every school in every country would actually pay attention of how we should actually humanize young people. That’s because after all the young people will be the next generations of the world.


*) Pemenang Juara II Lomba Writing English Jenjang SMA SMK Tingkat Perkumpulan Strada yang dilaksanakan tanggal  18-19 Mei 2022