Tag Archives: pendidikan

Smart Kids, Stupid Parents

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I spent last Sunday evening in my brother-in-law’s house. The whole family looked pretty serious towards the TV screen, where the loud volume of people yelling, screaming and crying mixed with the sound of a very loud ‘adzan‘ from a nearby mosque. It was chaotic. But everyone seems to be enjoying the TV so much. As I gaze to the screen, there it was. Hosted by Mandala, the (not-so-real) reality show “termehek-mehek” has brought out the emotion of the whole family.

A father, a mother, with two boys of age 13 and 9, all eyes to the scene where someone is pushing someone else, screaming, and crying. And suddenly, the father decided to show his wrath, saying.. “What are you waiting for?! Go hit him until he collapse!” (or in Bahasa Jawa/Surabaya, “ngenteni opo seh? ayo ndang diantemi sampek pingsan..!!)

Shocked, I escorted my 2.5 year-old son out of the room for clean air..

Parenting is not an easy job, and that is why we’re far from perfect. But supporting a violent act in front of the kids? I think you can do better.

The above experience is just an example, a clear portrayal of how insensitive we are towards the future of our next generation. Here we are saying bad things about our government, but at the same time we are also the ones who are creating a violent habit within our own children. A simple emotions while watching a stupid show might not be that significant, but if you repeat it again and again, who’s exactly destroying our future generations?

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Terpaksa Belajar

Membaca berita tentang kecurangan terorganisir di sebuah SMU swasta di Lampung, membuat saya kembali bangga sebagai bagian dari bangsa Indonesia. Dengan sistem pendidikan yang amburadul dan budaya instan yang menyebabkan banyak remaja menjadi galau tanpa sebab, ternyata masih ada seorang perempuan tangguh bernama Nur Hidayatusholihah (Nunung), yang teguh dalam memegang prinsip, percaya diri, dan berani mengambi keputusan yang melawan arus, apapun resikonya.

Keberanian dan kepercayaan diri yang ditunjukkan oleh Nunung WAJIB menjadi reminder dan tentu saja menginspirasi siapapun. Walaupun gagal, ia menunjukkan bahwa harga diri manusia terletak pada bagaimana ia berani bersikap dan menjalani resiko dari keputusannya tanpa mengeluh. Bahwa tidak ada yang namanya “jalur ekspress” menuju keberhasilan, bahwa semua kesuksesan lahir dari kerja keras dan kemauan untuk mengambil hikmah dari kegagalan sebagai bekal melangkah selanjutnya. Inilah proses pendewasaan dan life skills yang tidak bisa didapatkan di mata pelajaran apapun di sekolah.

Tapi jangan lupa..

Kegagalan Nunung BUKAN karena sekolahnya terlibat kecurangan, tapi karena dia mendapatkan nilai Ujian Nasional (UN) yang rendah. Akibatnya, Nunung terpaksa tinggal kelas dan terpaksa terus-terusan belajar. Apakah guru di sekolah yang kurang memenuhi persyaratan sehingga gagal dalam memberikan pelajaran sesuai standar soal-soal UN, ataukah pihak Kemendiknas yang harus merevisi soal UN menjadi lebih mudah?

Atau sebaiknya UN dihapuskan saja?

Saya jadi teringat ketika bersekolah dulu. Setelah mabok selama 12 tahun (SD, SMP, SMA) dihantui berbagai ujian mulai dari  EBTA, EBTANAS dan UMPTN, akhirnya ketika mau lulus kuliah dan membuat skripsi, saya bisa berkata, “this is what learning is all about..” Bahwa pada akhirnya saya sadar buku-buku itu bukan berfungsi sebagai hiasan lemari, tapi mengandung berbagai teori yang bisa diterapkan dalam kehidupan nyata untuk memecahkan berbagai masalah yang kita hadapi, bahkan untuk menciptakan inovasi-inovasi baru yang bermanfaat bagi seluruh umat manusia.

Berdasarkan pengalaman pribadi itu jugalah, bagi saya ada baiknya juga jika pihak Kemendiknas merevisi kembali standarisasi nilai UN sebagai syarat kelulusan. Daripada membuat siswa terpaksa belajar tanpa tujuan yang jelas, mengapa tidak mendorong mereka untuk mengerjakan sebuah proyek yang mengasyikkan, berdasarkan kasus-kasus yang terjadi secara nyata dan bagaimana teori yang mereka dapatkan selama ini bisa dipergunakan untuk memberi solusi. Selain memaksa siswa untuk kreatif, hal ini akan menunjukkan kemampuan mereka dalam membuat sebuah inovasi.

Jika sistem ini yang diberlakukan, Nunung pasti bisa menyelesaikannya dengan baik. Dengan keberanian dan keteguhannya dalam mempertahankan prinsip, saya yakin dia berhak melanjutkan hidupnya menuju masa depan yang lebih baik. Dengan dukungan sistem yang tepat, bukan tidak mungkin seorang Nunung akan merubah nasib bangsa ini, bersama Nunung-Nunung lain yang siap bekerja lebih keras, dan tidak hanya menunggu uluran tangan atau perlakuan khusus dari siapapun, melainkan bergerak sendiri dan menciptakan sebuah perubahan.

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Kalau Bisa Santai, Kenapa Harus Kerja Keras?

Di negara yang katanya religius dan tepa selira ini, mengapa tindakan Ny. Siami dan putranya yang melaporkan konspirasi busuk di SDN Gadel II, Surabaya, malah menyebabkan dia dihujat oleh tetangga dan wali murid?

Jangan terburu-buru menghujat.

Dalam komunitas orang tua yang mementingkan kelulusan anak diatas segala-galanya, perbuatan Ny. Siami yang mementingkan proses, tentu saja dianggap nyeleneh bahkan disebut sok suci. Tapi kita tidak bisa menyalahkan warga Gadel dan para wali murid. Mereka terlanjur percaya bahwa yang penting dalam sebuah perjuangan adalah hasil akhir. Kenapa begitu? Ya karena semua orang sekarang berfikirnya seperti itu!

Mana ada sih diantara kita yang mau ikutan tes CPNS ketika didepan mata ada yang menawarkan posisi pegawai negeri “siap pakai” hanya dengan imbalan uang 1 juta, misalnya?

Kita sering terlena dan tidak menyadari bahwa elemen “kerja keras” memainkan peranan yang jauh lebih penting daripada hasil akhir itu sendiri. Itulah sebabnya praktik perdukunan disini tumbuh subur. Ngapain  repot berusaha, kalau bisa ke dukun, minta jampi-jampi yang pasti manjur, hehehe.. Kenapa harus menolak uang hibah, nanti kalau jadi terdakwa kasus korupsi, hakim bisa disogok, atau ditinggal kabur ke luar negeri juga beres. Praktik jual-beli narkoba sekarang juga makin canggih, pelakunya hacker, jualan sabu lewat internet.

Orang makin nekat memburu dollar sampai lupa pada kaedah norma dan hukum. Tapi, sadar atau tidak, kita sendiri sering memberikan tepuk tangan dan hormat berlebihan kepada orang kaya, walaupun kita tidak tahu mereka bisa kaya karena apa. Halal atau tidak, kerja keras atau jualan narkoba. Yang penting mereka punya rumah besar, mobil mewah, sering kasih oleh-oleh dari luar negeri.

Anak saya belajar jalan, sekali jatuh langsung diangkat sama eyangnya. Anak saya terbentur pintu, malah pintunya dipukul sama eyangnya. Anak mau makan sendiri, dibilang bikin kotor. Anak mau mandi sendiri dibilang menghabiskan air. Anak teriak karena sepedanya tersangkut, eyangnya buru-buru mengangkat itu sepeda. Nggak usah jauh-jauh ke seorang eyang, kita sendiri sebagai orang tua kadang tidak sadar sudah mempersantai hidup anak.

Padahal, karakter anak dibentuk dari kebiasaan. Dan kebiasaan itu sendiri dibentuk dirumah. Tapi ya bagaimana kalau dirumah itu hanya ada orang tua yang juga terlanjur hidup santai dan tidak mau kerja keras?

Jadi sebelum ikutan protes ke pak gurunya Al, ke Mendiknas, ke Presiden sekalipun, atau meminta Ujian Nasional dihilangkan dari muka bumi, saya sendiri menganggap insiden ini sebagai reminder bahwa saya punya anak yang akan berkembang di lingkungan seperti ini. Apa yang saya bisa saya lakukan?

Yah, berkat Ny. Siami, saya sebagai bagian dari masyarakat yang sakit ini sekarang menyadari bahwa perubahan dan kesembuhan bangsa ini bukan sesuatu yang pantas ditunggu melainkan harus diciptakan sendiri. Kebiasaan baru yang menitikberatkan kepada pentingnya kerja keras bisa dilakukan oleh siapapun, kapanpun, dan dimanapun mereka berada. Sekarang tinggal bertanya kepada diri sendiri saja, mau atau tidak?

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Story of Siami, Story of Honesty

Mrs. Siami & Fatkhurakhman Apologize to Each other (tribunnews.com)

Today, in this so called “religious country” we have seen people acting contrary to what they believe. Worse, nobody realize it until “Al” a 6th grader from SDN Gadel II, Surabaya, bravely speaks to his mother, Mrs. Siami, about a shameful scenario made by his school teacher. Thanks to her, this horrible case finally opened our eyes to the real condition of our culture. That the cost of defending the truth is pretty heavy. Mrs. Siami and Al had to leave their home after a bunch of protesting neighbors showed their anger toward them.

Instead of blaming Fatkhurakhman, the teacher who instructed Al to cheat, parents are pointing their fingers to Mrs. Siami. According to them, Mrs. Siami shoud just shut-up and go with the flow.

Have they lost their mind? Yes, they have, obviously. They are pointing their fingers to the WRONG person. They should thank Mrs. Siami instead. If not for her nerve, Fatkhurakhman will continue being a shameless creep teaching kids that everyone deserves to cheat.

Mrs. Siami escaped from the angry neighbor (suarasurabaya.net)

But it’s hard to tell when you’re just a fish in an ocean contaminated with oil spills. After a certain time, you eventually “adapt” to being black, just like the rest of the contaminated ocean. You do it due to the the fear of being alienated. The fear which has took over your sanity, dignity, and even your fear of God. The fear that forced you to neglect the truth, as long as you can still remain on your comfort zone.

From this embarrassing and heart-breaking case, we know now that we are living in a sick society where the limits between good and bad are no longer clear.

But thanks to Mrs. Siami and her brave-smart-son, Al, we also know that there is still hope for honesty and dignity. All we have to do is learn from her, that sometimes you need to stand up for what you believe, even if it means that you will be alienated, hated, and lose your comfort. And above all, there is still hope for children like Al to grow up and take this country to a better place.

Mrs. Siami's "now empty" house. (surya.co.id)

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If You Decide To Go To Hell

Last night, I was watching one of my favorite series “Glee” and got mixed feelings about the show’s gay character: Kurt and Blaine. I’m not homophobic, I’m just a parent who is still uncertain on how to react. To be honest, they aren’t exactly the kind of role model that you want your son to have, right?

Kurt & Blaine of Glee

But homosexuality is not the only confusing culture which bothers me as a parent of a young boy. A study has presented a controversial result where 51% of female students in Jabodetabek area admitted they have had a sexual intercourse. It’s not a matter of virginity, but it’s how prone they are to sexual diseases and unwanted pregnancy. And yet for the minister, sexual education is still considered unimportant.

As I searched for answers to overcome my confusion, I became lost. For some people, one of the reason behind this “alarming” facts of teenager behavior is parents who no longer stressed on the importance of religion. For our government, represented by the ministry of education, ‘character-building‘ (which will soon be implanted to our current school curriculum) is going to fix this problem. And according to our minister of communication and information Tifatul Sembiring, pornography is the reason behind this mess, hence blocking it (and putting Ariel to jail, maybe) will become the best solution available.

None of the above mentioned solution is satisfactory. Instead of finding the answers, I became angry and more confuse than ever. Luckily after Glee, there was a documentary program about the recent megaquake and tsunami in Japan. And somehow, it was the scientist’s words that opened my mind. “We can’t pretend that the threat of natural disasters don’t exist. We need to find a way on how to live with them, and prepare ourselves for the danger they possessed.”

Now, that, my friend, is what I call a reasonable solution. There’s nothing wrong with having a solid knowledge about religious doctrines that you believe, but when it comes to protecting your child against something that he is unaware of, we need to go beyond heaven and hell.

First of all, we all need to accept the fact that every normal teenager will want a taste of intimacy. But sexual intercourse, is not the only way to satisfy those needs. Especially when it puts you at risk of being infected with deadly viruses such as herpes, hepatitis, and of course the incurable and life-threatening virus of HIV. When you’re enjoying a sexual intimacy, you are “doing it” with anyone else whom your partner have ever had sex with. And who knows what those people are carrying in their genitals. That is why we are strongly recommended to only doing it with our “eligible” partner whom we are married with. It decreases the possibility of being infected with those deadly viruses.

People are threatened by natural disasters, the same way my son (along with the rest of our future generation) shall be exposed to negative sexual stimulator such as pornography. But hiding it away from his sight will be like pretending that tsunamis and earthquakes don’t exist. At any moment, not just from the media, but also from friends, my son (and everybody else’s child) will see it, hear it, feel it, and eventually digest it. Our duty is to provide them with survival tools to choose the good ones, and give them sensible reasons on why they must leave the bad ones. And to my opinion, the hot flames of hell is not sensible enough for the critical minds of the modern young.

Nothing is taboo when it comes to survival and staying alive. It does not mean that I disagree with religions who forbid sexual activities before (or without) marriage, but I do know now, that I can’t solely rely on its doctrines to keep my son away from the danger of modernization. But on the other hand, I can always explain the importance of wearing a condom, just in case he decides to go to hell.

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This post was submitted to join “The Jakarta Post – IMO Blog” Blogging competition on May 2011.

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A Normal Life: Me Mocking The Government of Indonesia

Being a blogger has taught me to be honest in everything I wrote. And right now I’m going tell you the truth: we can no longer rely on the government to give us a normal life. We don’t have access to normal education, normal health institution, normal television programs with normal people in it. Our education system sucks, our TV stations are delivering unimportant news, and more people are talking about Malinda Dee’s huge boobs instead of paying attention to what we can learn from the case, and avoid being a victim in the future.

The rest of my story is not important, because I’m going to share things that I hate which I have written over and over again for several times. You are excused to leave, but I’ll love you if you stay with me and laugh together.

Let’s face it. How can we create a smart generation without a proper education system? But talking about the flaws of our education system is overrated. It’s not going to change anything. For us who live in big cities and raised by parents who cared enough about our education and have the money for it, getting into college was not that hard, right? All we have to do is be present in every class and if we’re lucky, after 4 years we can get our Bachelor Degree. If we’re not so lucky, maybe it will take us 8 years. Will it guarantee us to get a decent job with a good salary? Of course NOT. Who are you kidding here?!

For the less-fortunate who can only finish high school, they can always work and hope for life to be kind on them. Some can pursue their dream to be the next Teuku Wisnu, acting side-by-side with Shireen Sungkar or Nikita Willy. Because no matter how destructive it may seems, there’s no way that sinetrons are ever (I repeat, e-ver!) going to vanish from our beloved television screen. Don’t worry if you have a “mediocre look” because our entertainment industry no longer gives a damn, as long as you can upload your video on YouTube dancing like Briptu Norman. Girls, you don’t have to be pretty, because when you’re playing as a pocong nobody can see your real face. You only have to master the act of jumping and ngesot-ing, or washing your hair like the latest version of pocong movies.

Where the hell is Mr Tifatul Sembiring and all his powerful disciples on the Menkominfo department when we need him?!

So you see where this is going? It doesn’t matter what the government do, or in general, it doesn’t matter what other people are doing, because the situation is not going to change anytime soon. We are not going to have an education system like the one in Finland who pays high respect to teachers and their careers, because here in Indonesia, teachers are struggling with their own debts and no money to pay it. Why are they receiving low salaries? We all know the reason, it’s because the people on the house of representatives can not work before their new building is ready. Please understand, they receive salary not less than 10 million rupiah/month, they are equipped with fancy cars, the last thing they need is an awful office in the form of a green bug! And we’re asking for a special budget for education?

Education budget? What education budget? We already give BOS to every public schools! You know, BOS is the funds that being corrupted by the principals and province government!?

Now look at me making fun of our nation’s tragedy. Criticizing and not providing any solution. Well, what can a solution do if nobody is supporting it? I’m just kidding, I’ll talk about some solutions in other time. Sorry, shame on me! But you know what, I forgive the government for failing and neglecting their promises. I forgive their messy priorities, their awkward rule on internet and BlackBerry censorship, and how they never settle the dispute between FPI and the-rest-of-Indonesian-people. Yes, I forgive them. I understand their burden in governing this diverse country, and it’s not their fault for have abandoned Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, UUD 1945 and Pancasila. I’m sure they didn’t do it on purpose. They have a lot on their minds, bomb threats are emerging, they can’t go to Bali for a vacation due to enormous garbage on the beach, our state intelligence body (BIN) didn’t find anything on Twitter, and Citibank is being a bad bad boy.

Please don’t take this seriously, people.. This is just me, complaining and making fun of my own misery.. Sorry for not providing any pics or links, I’m too lazy and you can search on Google yourself..

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Because We Don’t Remember What School Has Taught Us…

Perhaps I’m not the only one whose life has been haunted by so many tests. From elementary to college, it took me 20 years to finally get out from the chain of “formal education.” At second grade in high school, I got a low score after taking a test in the subject of chemistry, and it ruined my plan to be an architect. I was unable to go to A1 class (natural sciences), and I was placed at A3 class instead (social studies). After graduating high school, I couldn’t take the architectural major because I didn’t came from A1 class. No universities allowed us to do that back then.

I have to take the Economics major, and spent 8 horrible years in college. Now I’m working as an Administration staff, with no passion whatsoever and forgetting what every teacher have taught me for as long as 20 boring years.

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Bad Education = Bad Future

That was one of the reason why I hate tests. And to make it worse, the education system in Indonesia haven’t move forward to a better future. While other countries such as China and the United States are continuously reformed their education system, we are still struggling on how to make the BOS (school’s operational fund from the government) free from corruption. But let’s not lose hope, we can try to monitor and share some thoughts about education by ourselves, to friends, families, and maybe to the educators.

Back to those tests. I agree with what the US president Barack Obama said: “All you’re learning about is how to fill out a little bubble on an exam and little tricks that you need to do in order to take a test, and that’s not going to make education interesting.” And he got a point, one of the reason why tests are useless is because it makes the process of gaining knowledge to be boring. To my opinion, this is an important fact that we all need to think about.

What President Obama said during his explanation on the updates of his program “No Child Left Behind” is true. And it is no doubt that every country must consider this matter highly important for their educational system. Including China, who through a recent survey have emerged as a powerful country when it comes to in the field of education. They spectacularly rebuilt their system as a modern, high-performance and also egalitarian. And once again, the use of traditional teaching methods are being questioned. How can a system designed 60 years ago could possibly matches China’s goal to engage with modernity, technology, and the world?

Chinese experts have sought to deviate from the pattern of exam-oriented teaching and learning to develop creativity, problem-solving skills and lifelong learning attitudes in students, and to turn tedious study into a pleasant experience. (read more)

Now enough with the trip to USA and China and let’s go back to Indonesia. Our educational foundation (the Indonesian educational curriculum) was latest revised on 2006 and we have our ministry of education who plan, supervise, and in charge to develop/improve our system. We have received enormous assistance from the world bank (so if the reason is insufficient fund, then we know that there are institutions who can help us), but why does it feels like we are still experiencing a major failure in creating bright students? I admit that we have Indonesian students who won international awards, but how many are them compared to the rest of the nation?

It’s not impossible for us to have prodigies, genius children, and to make education as part of everyone’s right. But in order to achieve that, perhaps we must no longer trapped by the old, traditional, way of thinking that test scores are everything and start paying attention to what other countries are doing for their people.

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(I also wrote this article on my “IMO Blog– JabberGibber)

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