Tag Archives: sekolah

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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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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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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