Omit "English" in Elementary Level

English At The Crrossroad

The plan of Deputy of Education and Culture Minister to ban English in elementary level has raised vibrant reaction from academician and children's parent. The education curriculum in Indonesia dynamically changes over times, the purpose is modest, to find the fittest among attempts. English is yet not predominant subject in elementary school over the country by average but Religion, Civics, Bahasa, and Sciences to include Maths. English becomes more important in certain schools particularly in big cities or standardized international elementary school, both state-owned and private school. However, some 'labeled' international schools under state ownership still run common curriculum just like normal school due to obstacle to find qualified teacher practicing any kinds of lesson in English in fullest. So, the label remains tag for price taking from additional admission fee burdened by parents even though the govt free any kind of payment through BOS (Bantuan Operasional Sekolah) subsidy.

The ban plan now pays tremendous attention from academician and education observer. It emerges reaction as well from parent whose children undergo formal education in elementary level. The Department of Education, Regency of Malang, East Java through release by Surya Online expresses against reaction over the ban. They commit to put English in their curriculum with reason mastering English is the additional skill which is important for their student life. The same reciprocal may also occur in some other schools whose the mission alike.

I quote my fellow's opinion on his Facebook post as his reaction against the plan that "...the abolition of English from elementary curriculum just results unfairly obvious gap. It impacts to force parent spending additional fee if only they want their children have ability in English through extra course outside school. How about the poor? They can't afford it and their children would only gawk with less confident to see their friend compete in global world through their fluent English as most requirement. That ridiculous ban could only educate our people to stay calm powerlessly seeing their govt keeping 'peaceful' nation by their own way."

English in elementary level is practiced as additional subject initially, though some school treats it near to obligatory. The reason of it may be different for each school regarding to their necessary. I who never get any English lesson during whole elementary level was caused by there were no English teacher, so did some fellows. We have to pursue extra study to try mastering it though our proficiency still needed to be improved. Now my former elementary school has English teacher so the student has been directed their way into more options. If the Deputy really applies the ban, it would whip out one path toward more global knowledge despite interest of elementary student in English is immense.

In our education curriculum based on my experience during elementary school, we learned two kind of languages, Bahasa Indonesia and one traditional language in which adjusted where we are taking education. For example, if you are living in Yogyakarta, you take Javanese as one of subject. Those subjects are beside Science and Maths, and predominantly Religion and Civics, and Sport as well. Today it may change a little.

Me personally in my conspicuous analysis think that English is preference to be thought regarding to the school itself without any ban. It doesn't really mean disregard Bahasa Indonesia and traditional language to be practiced. Fairly English and altogether linguistic studies are appropriate to exist because there must be no restriction in seeking knowledge.

The matter that appropriately to be concerned now is about fragmented thought adopting so far in our curriculum that weaken analytical intelligence. It has been bigger question whence high school student riot in Jakarta and other places busting, where our Religion and fundamental Civics do go? Theoritically it teaches student of how to live harmoniously among society but practically it doesn't touch the conscience. In my "Character Building" class, my lecturer barely questions about this matter which would turn jeopardy to the future society. Some researches have been conducted about the method of education mostly practiced in this country. We have been leaving the fundamental of character education, starting something from seeding goodness and willingness to do good thing in any part of subject from conscience, started from very young age at elementary school. The method of education is more likely to perform memorization and worsely our people accustomed to deify intelligence from mathematical and scientific measurement without attempting to respect other kinds of intelligence. Linguistic is one of another. The worst impact ever is damaging confidence for some students who are unfairly judged foolish because only of bad grade in class. The perception is totally killing machine of character.

Now, when the regulator prefer to ban certain of needed proficiency, why don't change our education method through interesting learning approach instead of conventional ones which bury the creativity. Most importantly, the character of student must be on top priority instead of camouflage achievement.

The 19th Tri-U International Joint Seminar and Symposium

Role of Asia in Communities and Sustainable Development

It's been almost a week when the program ended, now I unleash into amid of busy exam week. Just a week before, I and other delegates stayed at Padjajaran Suites, Bogor to run the symposium as participant or paper presenter and cultural performer as well.

This year is the 19th of Tri-U International Joint Seminar and Symposium or literally merely TriU held since the first time introduced by founding universities from three countries (Chiang Mai University, Thailand - Jiangsu University, China - Mie University, Japan). Now it has extended the founding member by including Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) among elite four-university group since IPB frequently join the program as inviting university in the mean time shows respectable record of achievement. Thus the trustee of each representative consider to put huge relying on IPB participation must be beyond invitation status, moreover the main league player. IPB officially this year runs the burden as host for first time.

After the successful event, it reminds me how we all prepare many kind of things few months before. Me myself join TriU inspired by predecessor, its scientific value and international relationship experience is immense yet challenging. Since April, any student  whose interest in TriU from IPB submit their research abstract as initial prerequisite before further test. From more than 100 applicants, merely around 50 students are called for presentation selection under 5 scopes (Food, Energy, Environment, Population, and Ecology). The examiner consist of three lecturers from different background. Announcement of successful applicant is released few days aftermath. I'm so surprised when my name shortlisted among 17 students passing the research presentation test. Initially the  judge consider to pick 20 names as maximum requirement but since the qualification put at high standard, they reduce number of recipient. The remaining three students are those achiever of gold medal in Student's Creativity Week (One of the most prestigious competition for university student level in Indonesia) who successfully list IPB the 2nd overall winner among Indonesia universities.

We start our presentation rehearsal as well as deepen research strength just no longer after announcement. For the moment we are considered the delegate candidate, not fully candidate. The reason is simple, because the university really strives to choose the person who will be representative must meet the standard, not merely scientific value but also attitude. It makes sense I guess, this event would not be only seen by which university measurement, but the origin where participating country comes. In brief, any delegate of IPB must show the good attitude of Indonesia hospitality and excellence. 

In this term, I decide to concern my research on application of remote sensing after considering my hometown regency is the proper study case. I'm fully aware number of publication in which putting Sumbawa as study case still remains less. It really triggers me to step on higher through this research I'd like to introduce the potential and benefit of agricultural and tourism development over there is really appropriate. Fortunately, my last 2 week and few days more stay in Sumbawa during feast day break really gives me spacious time and chance to deepen my research by traveling to some places in the regency to take evidence pictures of geographical condition as well as statistical data from regarding government institution. It is very helpful to strengthen my analysis.

I come back to university as the holiday ceases with ton of spirit and confident. I promise I have to convince people they have to see another thing amongst 17,000 more islands, a big potential of resource is still hidden, just waiting the human resource will have managed to endure challenge to handle it wisely, for citizen prosperity.

All delegates

Well, the due week has come. All participant, including university professors and board from founding member countries and inviting universities from Malaysia (Universiti Putra Malaysia), Australia (Adelaide University), and extending invited universities such as Ibaraki University (Japan), Suranaree University of Technology and Chiang Rai University (Thailand) gather up at the first night when cocktail party held at Sentul. Counting them in, it reaches around 100 more people. The volunteers who turn out student of IPB are really busy to handle the participant, but they look so happy to burden this duty. I have to thank them for their hard-work.

Best Paper Award

Here we are not only doing paper presentation but also creating student project splitting into 6 groups where student mingled from different university to make new design and prototype of futuristic green energy stuffs. Through this experience, I really carry up many things to be learnt, how to lead the group member from various background and characteristics, how to pour the idea into one conclusion, how to negotiate, and how to make creative action presentation to unite the member. It means a lot. It gives a lot as well. Our team successfully grab the title "The Best Teamwork" group. Every member look so happy and yelling our slogan "PAWW". My team members are from Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Japan.

It has been at the edge of the day. The last day of paper presentation, all participants gather up at IICC (IPB International Convention Center) for closing remarks and announcement of the best paper presentation each scope. It's so very surprising and joyful when the announcement calls 3 out of 5 award belong to IPB student. Award of best paper for the scope of Food belongs to Faradilla, scope of Population belongs to Azka, meanwhile scope of Ecology belongs to me. I feel so much thankful to those who support my research and all IPB delegates for supportive teamwork during our preparation, we did practice more often and doing paper check each of member by giving suggestion and sharing. We really do mutual teamwork. At least we have impressed and proven that we can be good host and good participant as well.

Cultural performance from IPB delegates

But the joy has not ceased. The night will be farewell party and Cultural Performance from respective country. Wow, seems it would be free festival I guess. But actually we have prepared Indonesia cultural performance, Merak dance (West Java), Bali dance, and Saman Dance (Aceh). Every participant do their best with their traditional performance. Everyone wears the best costumes and it looks so nice. I often think, tonight is more likely     international cultural festival instead of scientific forum instead. But this point that I have to recognize TriU is more than just scientific forum. It means a lot. The student is amazing with their talent in representing their home country with pride. The spirit of Asia and its confident to take role in global partnership feels so fiery as the concept of TriU. 

One more again I take another great experience and learning lot things. Thanks for that.