Indonesia Education

May 2 celebrated as national educational day in Indonesia. We call it HARDIKNAS (Hari Pendidikan Nasional). I don’t get used to write something for a particular national day like this. National day or even a birthday is a common day to me. There’s nothing special about it. For government official, national day is a big day for various reasons which is nothing to do with remembrance or self-reflection:

1. It’s a day when they don’t need to go to office for work.
2. It’s a day when they will set up a ‘committee’ to make a flag and speech ceremony and for that they can spend a little office money

Flag ceremony followed with a patriotic speech by the most senior official in a particular office regarded as a sacred ritual. Anyone who don’t join this brouhaha will be considered unpatriotic. Indonesian ambassador to India Mr. Donillo Anwar got angry when no students were coming in the flag ceremony in Hari Sumpah Pemuda (Youth Day) last year; and if some rumors to be believed, that’s the reason why KBRI New Delhi halt the financial assistance to pay Indonesian student headquarter’s rent.

I don’t condone ourselves (Indonesian students) for not attending or coming late in any national day ceremony. But emphasizing the importance of a national day with a ceremony is not a smart move either on the part of Indonesian officials.

For me national day is important. No doubt about that. But there’s certainly a very different perspective on how we –young generation and the elder ones– look into it. We think, and I think, national day is good day for (a) a reflection, free-of-charge reflection. Flag and speech ceremony is ok but it should be free, no money should be spent, and for (b) making a better policy on the part of government in accordance with national day we are celebrating.

Educational day like today (May 2) for example, should be used (by the policy makers) to make a better and cheaper education; cheaper books; cheaper newspapers and magazines (not the pornographic ones though).

Indonesia education is just getting more expensive by the day which means only the middle class people will get access to it. How about the havenots, the majority of Indonesian youth? How about the poor youth? Where their dream are heading?

When majority of Indonesian youth got no access to higher education and growing up as an uneducated adults what we expect from future Indonesia? This is what should be in the mind of our policy makers i.e. the educational minister and President SBY today instead of delivering a patriotic hollow speech, a traditon inherited from Suharto’s era.


Indonesia Education

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