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.



2 Response to Omit "English" in Elementary Level

November 5, 2012 at 3:02 PM

Interesting analysis and reflection on this subject. Just like you I do think English should be one of the subjects, even in elementary school. If only to provide for an equal treatment of rich and poor.

English is - and probably will stay so in the foreseeable future- the world wide 'lingua franca'. Though perhaps Indonesia's part of the world Mandarin Chinese may become a competitor ( it is significant Australia is considering adding that language to the mandatory subject at secondary schools).

November 8, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Seems here also Mandarin Chinese is likely to be more adopted like never before. In High School level, additional language such as Japanese, Mandarin, Germany, French, or Arabic has been option to be thought, not to mention English alone since it's the obligatory subject.

I take the positive perspective over the booming foreign language involvement in education curriculum WITHOUT ignoring the fundamental Bahasa Indonesia as national language and mother tongue traditional language as it presents. Though, the worry of extinction of those traditional language emerges as number of speaker declines or yet switch the preference more likely to foreign languages. I do hope (and wish me myself someday) will have documented the traditional literature so could ward the worrisome amid global turnaround.

Post a Comment