Friday, August 20, 2004

On the wire: rambling about Indonesian education

Today I was interviewed by Indonesian radio - Jakarta based Radio 68h Utan Kayu. This was my 4th radio interview, but I still felt nervous... selalu rada ge-er euy!

Well, it was not directly broadcasted, so I wasn't 'on air', but on the phone! ..yep, 'on kawat' alias 'on the wire' and being recorded. Strangely, I always lebih gugup - more nervous - if being recorded in an undirect broadcasting rather than a direct one...

It was only a 10 minutes interview and I tried so hard to not to say 'eeee...eee' :(. The reporter sounded formal - she was much more informal in email - thus I was a bit dilematic to act formal or informal. Being formal is not my style... :p For example when I was asked about my motivation in hunting a scholarship, I directly answered, " Karena pingin jalan2 ke luar negeri gratis dong!" (I want to travel abroad without spending any penny!). Which perhaps wasn't expected by the reporter..:) (mbak reporter, what do you think?). Well, that was of course one of some reasons besides some logical and easy ones like: wanted to learn more (cieleh) and had no money to pay further study by my own....

I criticized the Indonesian education system a little bit. I didn't structurally communicate these well - as i'm better textually than verbally..:(... but here are my thoughts:

First the learning approach itself is misleading - mostly emphasizing on external forces (ngapalin yg banyak, baca buku sebanyak2nya, tahu rumus sebanyak2nya, pokoknya batok kepala didedet sebanyak2nya) rather than internal forces, i.e. building creativity, self-direction and andragogy (anak2 jadi seneng belajar krn ingin ketimbang terpaksa belajar).. both should exist together.. like this concept of structural balance in mechanic physic below:

Structures to be successful have to withstand the loads and forces which act upon them. When a load (external force)is applied to a structure, forces are produced within the structure (internal forces) to resist the load. Provided the internal forces balance the external forces, the structure will retain its integrity. When imbalances of internal and external forces occur, a structure will suffer what is termed a catastrophic failure.

Second there's no human agents who can really endorse the quality of education -- basically there are generally two groups of human agents: government and private. Goverment's education management - as you can easily guess - is very poor, some gov's related problems, among others: national budget for education is very low-comparable to other SEA countries (therefore there's lack of qualified teachers), the management of budget is poorly performed - corrupt, leaking here and there especially on middle management, curiculum isn't clear, (switched from centralized/single curriculum to competency based curriculum but no clear guideline... no clear efforts to implement orderly), no monitoring/evaluation system.
Meanwhile, private initiatives mostly are based on 'commercial values'.. profit making.. they only serve middle-upper class of society.. and still are suffered from some 'undemocratic' pedagogic approach.

Third is the fact that the culture of learning isn't yet embedded in the society. Learning should be like breathing... the necessity... part of life. And this is beyond the formal education... we, all entities in society, we need to hold hands and create this ambience of learning.. together..

...hey, these weren't exactly what I mentioned in the interview! Ugh.. as I say, I think I am better in writing... and I can only be verbally well when I am joking!

In my interview, I was talking a bit about some community based initiatives to make education better... like our beloved Beasiswa mailing list...:). I also told a bit about my personal story... who was I that I needed scholarship for further study... well, I was asked so.. I said it.

Guess, that's all the content of my interview.. Not much could be said in 10 minutes, right? Yet surely it's good to have a channel to speak up your opinion a bit. Thanks Radio 68h Utan Kayu, thanks Dewi!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Motivasi lain mengejar beasiswa ke luar negeri:
1. Sekolah di Ivy League gratis, dong!
2. Eeee.... eeeee... eeeee..... cari jodoh....
3. Dari pada bengong di kampung halaman?
4. Abis, temen-temen lain pada ambil PhD, saya kan jadi ikut pingin....