Tag Archives: school

Don’t Take Education For Granted

12 Jan

I want to go to school too...

Education is very important in our lives. Unfortunately, Indonesian education is not at the maximum standard, and not everybody has the access to education. However, it is really frustrating to see privileged children who are in school taking education for granted.  They protest every day on how much they hate learning or going to school. Many of them can’t be bothered doing their homework, and not many privileged children have the will to achieve something great academically. On the other hand, children from financially struggling families want the luxury to be able to go to school.

Four of the biggest problem in Indonesia’s education are:

1. Low quality facilities and infrastructure. People are so busy building shopping malls, not proper school buildings. Many bad quality school buildings in isolated areas and smaller towns of Indonesia need attention from the government. Every area in Indonesia needs a proper library where children can read, even in their spare time.

2. Low appreciation of teachers. Teachers here aren’t happy enough, they have to work for a low income. Plus, sometimes they have a big burden of teaching 40 children in one class! Therefore, some teachers don’t have a professional attitude.

3. Access to education is not evenly distributed around the country. Isolated areas in Indonesia still have minimal exposure to education. Education should also be made available for everyone from all financial backgrounds. Has the government really been spending the budget (APBN – Anggaran Pendapatan & Belanja Daerah) for education wisely?

4. The subjects taught in schools are taught in the most uninteresting way… ever. Juuuust memorizing. That is all we do at school. There is a better system to teach children so they can be more interested in the subject they are learning, and get them to learn better. Just memorizing is not going to teach them anything, learning with practical activities will help them understand the subjects better.

But for those who have the luxury to receive education, please do not ignore the importance of education. There are so many people out there who would work hard for education. Education gets you jobs, and knowledge. This country would thrive if the people are educated so they’d have more open minds, so that they’d be more creative, more systematic and more useful for this country.



Your Child Doesn’t Need to Get A+ For Everything..

6 Jan

You HAVE to be at the top of the class!!

I’m not a parent. I’m still young and I don’t have a child, so maybe a lot of parents out there might be annoyed by this post. But I just want to express my opinions. Ever since I was young, I’ve always met parents who force their children to get the highest marks at school. They don’t care how, their children needs to be at the top of the class. There is nothing wrong with parents wanting their children to get the best, but it’s not good to force them to do things that is beyond their abilities.

I’ve been lucky to have parents who never forced me to be at the top of the class. They only motivated me to do the best I could. If I could only get 70% for Information Technology, and I’ve already tried my best, they wouldn’t get angry. Every child has their own potential and ability. Even though my mathematics wasn’t that great, I had good marks for my history, social studies and art subjects, because that’s where my abilities are.

It’s even worse when parents compare their children to other children. “Why can’t you be like this kid, they got an A for this subject”. Big NO NO. Please remember that they have their own talents and potential. Parents who force their children to take the parent’s choice of university course are also annoying. Some parents prefer their children to take law, medicine, engineering (prestigious courses which creates more potential to earn more money) when their children wants to study photography, anthropology or literature. However there are also parents out there who know their children’s potential better than their children do.

The point is, motivate your children to do their best, but don’t force them to do things beyond their own ability. They’d be too overwhelmed. They don’t need to get A+ for everything. There has to be a balance between study and play. Find your child’s potential, and let them grow 🙂


Kids.. The Walls, Doors and Exhibited Objects in the Museum Are Not Meant to be Vandalised!

1 Jan

Children, you're not supposed to write on the walls!

I enjoy photography as well as drawing. A couple of my friends and I went on a day trip to North Jakarta’s Kota Tua (Old City) for photography hunting. The first museum we went to was the Fatahillah Museum. The building was beautiful, I am a sucker for old colonial buildings! When we were there, a lot of school children were also there for a field trip. However, it didn’t seem like they know what they were doing there… They were taking pictures of themselves with their mobile phones, flirtingwith their girlfriends/boyfriends, gossiping.. But what irritated me the most were the children who vandalised the museum! They were writing on the walls, the doors, and even on the exhibited objects!

When I arrived in the museum, I already noticed writing on the walls, doors and the exhibited objects and I thought those were writings from people a long time ago, but – apparently not! They’re still doing it, and they were doing it in front of my eyes! I met this junior high school student who was busy writing on the door.. with a white-out! Now, how can I not be angry at the kid?? So I told him off politely. I said “Excuse me, but please don’t write on the door, this is a public space, and supposed to be protected and preserved.” His answer was stupid. He said “Don’t panic, it’ll disappear, it’s just for fun”. Oh… my… Goodness. WHAT have they been teaching you at school? Is this the reflection of the education system we have in Indonesia??

The whole museum looked like it wasn’t well looked after. The explanations of the exhibited objects weren’t even complete. Most of them were only printed explanations, laminated and stuck on the wall by double tape. It was pathetic and heartbreaking. It was actually understandable why children would write all over the place, because the museum looked unmaintained in the first place! Very different to the Wayang Museum we went to next. The place looked clean, well maintained, therefore children weren’t bold enough to vandalise the place.

Mr. Jero Wacik (our Minister of Culture and Tourism) .. or anyone who will become the Minister of Culture and Toursim in the future… PLEASE DO SOMETHING!


Bullying Is For Losers Who Can’t Earn Our Respect

1 Jan

Senior vs. Junior

Bullying still exists until today. Seniority happens everywhere.. in the schools, offices, the Army,… everywhere. Tradition teaches us that we have to respect those who are older than us. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who misuse their seniority. Some feel that they are more important than others, some feel like they’re always right, there are also others who feels like they’re the best, and nobody can go against them. But this sort of mentality is the type of mentality I do not want to support. It is true that we have to respect people who are older than us, but older people, or the seniors, have to learn how to earn our respect! Don’t just boss around and bully other people.

Seniority starts at school. The seniors feel like they own the school, and if there are juniors who appear to be a threat to them, or break their “rules”, they start bullying the juniors to spread fear, and so that the juniors would do as they say – even though the juniors have done nothing wrong. Sometimes the seniors just want to show their power, flex their muscles.

When I was at school, I was one of the brave kind of juniors, I liked to stand up for myself, and many of my seniors disliked me for it. I was brought up in a family who taught me to stand up for myself (if I know that I am right). I remember being bullied once, and I was brave enough to talk back. When I went home, my mother rewarded me with a big bucket of chocolate ice cream. I didn’t care if many of my seniors didn’t like me. I was at school, so I’d rather focus on my studies, and that year when I got bullied, I was at the top of my class. Bullying didn’t affect me at all because it wasn’t the severe type of bullying. However, it does affect many people. It triggers suicide, depression, and many personality disorders.

So, if you are a senior student, and someone from a junior class annoys you, please tell them nicely. Be a good example to the younger kids.  That way, they would respect you, not hate you. If the juniors are being rude and offensive, it’s not a case you can handle yourself. Please tell a teacher or your principal, they will work it out. Bullying creates social inequality, rather than harmony. Just because you are older, it doesn’t mean that you are always right, and that you know best. Let’s stop bullying!


Please read Sharing a Love of Teaching, a blog by Michael G. for more information and articles on bullying.