Beyond Better Education

syah2M. Syahruzzaky Romadloni
Siliwangi University, Tasikmalaya
Nahdlatul Ulama Institute of Islamic Studies, Tasikmalaya

Many people are still not consciousness on the importance of education for their children and youth. They underestimate it as the work for earning the money is more important than sort of lessons they get in the classes. This is getting worse since the government doesn’t give the wide chance of basic education for its citizens by serving the low-cost and qualified education.

An importance of education is obviously clear that it is an effort to put one’s potentials to maximum use. The human will not achieve its basic nature without the educational effort introduced before them. The uneducated human will look like the ‘animal’ that doesn’t have any ability to think and to reason as God had awarded it for human being. Can you imagine the man with no education? He may be a machine that follows what is being instructed without thinking and reasoning.

unescoThe UNESCO through its report stated that the education is the catalyst for human development. Education provides people with the tools and knowledge they need to understand and participate in today’s world. It helps to sustain the human values that contribute to individual and collective well-being. It is the basis for lifelong learning. It inspires confidence and provides the skills needed to participate in public debate. It makes people more self-reliant and aware of opportunities and rights.

The nation with the huge number of illiterate citizen finds the difficulty to get the progress from all angles of life as the education is the only means to improve someone’s quality. A qualified education obviously impacts the economic development of the country. In Niger, the incidence of poverty is 70 per cent in households headed by adults with no education, compared to 56 per cent for households headed by adults who’ve been to primary school. The facts show that an adult with a primary education earns twice as much as an adult with no education. Besides, the education influences the political stability and democracy. It builds people’s awareness to take part in political activities and do everything wisely. How will Indonesia be if its dwellers are not aware to take part in political activities? How is the portrait of modern Indonesia if its dwellers use the ‘ancient’ way to achieve their goals? Those statements strengthen our desire to apply the qualified education for all citizens so that we can derive its advantages as fast as possible.

Portrait of Indonesian’s Education

The portrait of national education recently leaves some homework for government to cope with. It is due to the belief that the education is the only means to sharpen the qualified citizens that will participate in developing the nation. The government, in this case, has at least three problems to cope with; the equality of education, the quality of education and the management of education. Besides, the low-rate of scholars’ reliance and excellence in developing the science is another trouble.

The low equality of education is clearly shown when we try to compare education portrait between cities and villages, western Indonesia and Eastern Indonesia and gender. In remote villages the access of education is something expensive that not all people have the access to it. In some case, the education in Eastern regions such as Papua, NTT, Celebes still remain some classic troublesome such as the lack of building, teaching medias, unqualified teachers, the lack of books as so forth and soon.

This contrasts to the condition of education in Western regions which are relatively better. We still see some regions whose the participation of education is still low. It is caused by the government’s ignorance in providing them with the sufficient educational facilities. How can the teaching be well conducted if the students study in the small ramshackle hut? How can the teachers give the up-to-date information if they have no sufficient resources to refer to?

As the result, the quality of education born from this bad fact is still sorrowful and unsatisfied. Indonesia is ranked 38 from 29 countries in Asia in case of the quality of its elementary students. This report is released by International Educational Achievement (IEA). Besides, Indonesian’s secondary students are ranked 39 from 42 countries in Math Mastery and ranked 40 from 42 countries in Natural sciences mastery.

Tweedledum and tweedledee, the management of national education still remains some problems. The centralistic management conducted by Soeharto’s regime still influences the educational management in some districts. As the result, most of educational polices approved by the house of representative and the central government failed when they are implemented in the districts. This can be seen when the central government has the policy to hold the national assessment of all students in this country, whereas, the problem of educational equality in every districts is still high. Some schools outside Java district could pass no students when the national final examination is conducted. It is obviously unfair if we equal the quality of the students in all districts when we see that the government still doesn’t give them the equal quality of education. Do the students in Papua have the same education with the students in Jakarta? Of course, not. So why should the government assess them as difficult as the students in big cities?

What Should the Government Do?

Seeing the importance of education and the fact that the portrait of education in Indonesia still remains some problems to cope with, the government and all educational stakeholders included practitioners, parents, and the students themselves have to think more seriously about how to apply the qualified and equal education in our country. Some policies must be approved to ease this ideal come true. Otherwise, Modern Indonesia that we dream together will be the only big dream of all Indonesians.

4 thoughts on “Beyond Better Education

    • Anyway, I wait for your comment on my writings. Besides, I’ll forever pray for your success on your exam. Don’t go back to Indonesia till you’ve completed your master program in Al-Azhar! Good Luck!

  1. I have even witnessed the worse condition ever, when I thaught and sorrowfully found that one of my students couldn’t join class due to his father’s ‘illogical’ demand: money and money!.
    But I believe every thing will gonna be okay as long as we do not be affraid of dreaming.
    Let’s enlighten what should be enlightened.

    • Yup, we’re waiting for leaders who have great attention to the development of education in Indonesia. Having an access on free or cheap education is citizens’ right!

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