The Flying Professors (Dosen Terbang)

The Flying Professors (Dosen Terbang)

The term is derived from literal translation of dosen terbang. This word is used to refer to university teachers/lecturers in Indonesia who never feel comfortable to teach at one university, and instead, go everywhere around country whenever and wherever their skill/expertise are required by any other Indonesia universities particularly outside Java where the qualified professors are of short supply. And as a natural consequences, their real students in which they are supposed to teach are step-motherly treated.

No wonder if a professor of UI (universitas Indonesia), for example, sometimes can only teach at UI for once in a month. There some case in which they can meet their real students only once in 6 months i.e. at the end of semester. Beyond that the task will be borne by the so called lecturer assistant (asisten dosen).

The flying professors is a saddening phenomenon. Mostly because it would affect in a great deal the quality of the students they should concentrate on teaching. What you expect from a student who hardly meet his/her lecturer?

Rian Saputra had this to say:

“Dampak yang seringkali timbul adalah seringnya dosen tidak masuk, penggatian jadwal secara sepihak, minimnya materi yang tersampaikan, serta masih banyak lagi…Klo cuman satu dua dosen, mungkin masih bisa ditolelir. tetapi secara agregate. Mungkin temen2 bisa simpulkan sendiri..”

Should we blame the lecturers who are willy-nilly flying around country to make their bread-and-butter of their family more safe? And what the root cause of this phenomenon?

According to Mar at Semisteri Alam we cannot and should not put all the blame to the teachers. Unless and untill we raise their salaries, the flying teachers will never stop:

“… Jika gaji guru/dosen naik, maka mereka akan konsen terhadap para mahasiswanya di satu kampus saja. Gak comot sana – comot sini. Kalau sudah begitu khan, mobilitas dosen jadi tinggi. Jarang di kampus malahan! … Guru dan dosen jangan hanya diberi gelar : Pahlawan Tanpa Tanda Jasa! Makan gelar apa ?!
” [If the salary of teachers/lectures are raised, they will concentrate more on their students at one university only.. Teachers and lecturers should not be given a hollow attributes like a Hero without medal..etc]”

How much the salary of university lectures in Indonesia? It’s around USD 100 to 150/month. India, where the $400 GDP/year is less than Indonesia’s $700, still afford to pay the lecturers around USD 400 to 600/month.

But the lecturers/professors should not escape from the blame either. Indian professors can live simple life with the $400-600/month and concentrate solely at one university, accessible fully to their students queries. I hardly found any Indian professors/lecturers who drive cars. Instead their satisfy themselves by riding a motorcycle or even a bicycle. That’s why even with that amount of salary, they can still afford to save money.

In Indonesia, lecturers in prominent universities like UI, UGM, UNAIR, etc will be ashame of seeing themselves entering the university gates without a car! So, even if their wages raised into the level of Indian lecturers, I’m sure, they will still be flying around and enjoy the status of Flying Professors!

The basic message is while we urge the government to raise the teachers wage, the lecturers themselves also should learn how to live decent life, without which the amount of their salary will never be enough to pay their bill.