M. Syahrul Zaky Romadloni,
Siliwangi University, Indonesia
Why is education so important for our sustainable life? Many scholars on educational philosophy have the prolonged discussions on it even though they have different notions on how it should be carried out. They all agreed that mankind should have the access on education in somehow it forms, unless, they couldn’t develop and maintain their great civilization. All what we’re watching now from complicated development of sciences and technologies are the fruit of what is so-called sustainable education.
Everybody knows that one of the secrets of Japanese advancement nowadays is their effort on making education the first priority of government’s concern. The story of Japanese emperor’s question that asked the amount of nation’s teachers when 1945-Hiroshima-Bombing had been already well-known as the point of the emergence of Japanese’s resurrection. Teachers, in this case, become the pioneers of Japanese’s resurrection after a deadly bombing which destroyed all angles of Japanese’s life.
Well, I won’t talk about the importance of education as it has been discussed by most scholars. Here, I’d like to tell you how the education in our country should be carried out if we concern that education is a key to the advancement of our country. As a preceding statement I’d like to describe you the portrait of our recent educational practice.
I’ve written in my previous post that our recent educational process has been industrialized. The industrialization of education is exactly influenced by the western education which tries to put education hand in hand with industry. The schools are the producers while the students are the consumers. The earlier should give the best service, for the latter pay for that. The more the latter pay, the better they will get. The theory of business, in this case, is obviously implemented in our educational process.
This circumstance, therefore, grows the amount of high-cost schools which give a high quality of educational process for their students. In many cases, parents should provide million rupiahs per semester for their children in a ‘qualified’ elementary school. In charge of that, the children will get a qualified experience of learning provided with complete facilities and excellent teachers. Furthermore, the schools guarantee that the education they give will bring students to get better life and education.
Through this post, I don’t mean to blame the parents who school their lovely children in this kind of schools, for it’s their right to assure that their children will get qualified education. I could accept the fact that most parents want their children keep the prestigious tradition of the family by schooling them in excellent schools which guarantee them to get better future. Furthermore, I don’t intend to criticize the qualified educational process given by these prestigious schools, for the quality of education should be primarily concerned by all educational stakeholders. The qualified education will certainly produce excellent students which contribute positively to the advancement of our nation.
What is being my concern is that the emergence of these schools bears other serious problems concerning on the equality of education. These schools don’t give any chances to the poor of getting as same education as the rich. The poor must be satisfied with the low service of education which won’t guarantee their better future. As soon as this circumstance goes on, the status-quo will exist in which the poor will remain in their poverty, while the rich will keep enjoying their prestige as the high class in society. In this case, the Darwin’s Concept of Evolution plays its role; the strong will survive, while the weak should die.
I agree with the statement that education should be expensive, for it needs much money to fund all programs concerning on its assured quality. The high-cost education will provide students with a high experience of joyful learning and encourage them to maximize their potencies as high as possible. The survey shows that students living in big cities are smarter than those who live in suburbs, for the former get better education than the latter.
On the contrary, the low-cost education will certainly impact its quality that it won’t guarantee our youth’s better future, for they get low-service education. The uncomfortable classrooms, unqualified teachers and limited schools’ equipment which have been our national problems for a long time make the graduate of our schools uncompetitive in global competition.
To avoid the inequality of education, that high-cost education shouldn’t be wholly burdened to students as the customers of educational services as practiced in our recent educational praxis. As mentioned before, the poor who cannot afford to pay such large salaries won’t have any further access to it. On the contrary, the rich have a wide chance of having these qualified educational experiences. Finally, it will cause the status-quo of the latter in our society.
Instead of burdening students with all educational costs, the government should provide a high number of subsidies that enable to cover them. In a deeper sense, government should provide the free access of qualified education for all children of the nation. Thus, educational sector must have a high bargaining position in determining our national budget. Twenty percents of national budget should be at least prepared by government to fund all educational practices every year.
The private sectors, in this case, should take part in providing excellent educational practices which are widely open for all children of the nation. They can use as many ways as possible. One of them can be seen in how Al-Azhar University in Cairo gives the free education for its students by expanding a great number of waqf in all parts of the country. Or we can imitate how Anis Baswedan from Paramadina University works hand in hand with some conglomerates to provide a great number of scholarships for hundred students every year. In this way, private sectors can take part actively in giving free qualified education for our children.
What is being my concern is that a few people are conscious enough that education should be open for all children. Recently, the issue of the industrialization of educational practices has been discussed by most of educational stakeholders. They argue that educational institutions should imitate the success of how business corporations organize their managements. Unfortunately, it makes our education too far to reach for most poor people in our country.
Let’s make our education accessible to all children of the nation.
Garden of Knowledge,
Thursday, December 16, 2010