Education is one of many factors that affect our future. With education, we can contribute to society, with the main purpose of making our world much better. But, in several developing countries, like ours, Indonesia, the education system is still not good enough. In this text, I will discuss and explain about what makes our education system not good enough and how to overcome it.
So first, I will discuss about why our education system is often criticized as “bad” or “not good enough”. Our education system is often centered in achieving good scores and mastering all of the subjects which are being taught in classes. Now, I will confiidently say this is very WRONG. The main interests of every children are different. One may have excellent scores in maths but that doesn’t mean that the child is also outstanding in sports, or let’s say, arts. And on the contrary, Children who have interest in arts or sports may also have difficulties doing algebra equations or logarithm. What I’m trying to imply is, Indonesian education system often pushes children way off their limits, which is VERY bad. Some children are often being told by their parents or teachers that if he/she is doing good at maths or physics, then he/she is considered SMART. THIS here is one of many actions that will lead to some self-esteem problems on the children who is involved. As the child grows, he/she will have a mindset of “I have to be good at maths” or “I have to be good at physics” and he/she will end up not doing what he/she is really passionate about, because of the doctrine that parents or teacher may have told him/her way back when he/she was still a child. To me, a school that provides choice to their students of what subjects will the students take is a good school criteria, for the students will be able to develop themselves in the field that they are passionate about.
The second thing is the exceeding school hours and the overwhelming homeworks that teachers give to their students. It is true that we are students, and our obligation is, of course, to study, but we are also normal human beings. We need sleep of approximately 5-6 hours. Now if you give us a task of making a movie which is one hour long within 2 weeks, how will we be able to go to sleep? I’m not saying that teachers shouldn’t give us any tasks. What I’m saying is that, please include some considerations of our personal life.
The third thing is the National Examination (Ujian Nasional). A few days that will judge your whole 3 (or 6) years of learning, determining whether you should pass the school or not. I feel strange that people study for like 3 (or 6) years and they will be told about whether they will be able to pass the school or not, by only 3-4 days of exams. And not to mention that the subjects which are being tested are only 3-6 subjects (depending on your school level), not all of them. And there are also many other factors, such as how fit is the person while taking the test, or some machine errors that may happen (we use scanners to check our answers), an answering sheet with a bad quality, and so on. But, the National Exam has been, let’s say, a tradition for all of us Indonesians. So if the National Exam is suddenly erased from the government regulation, I won’t say that people will entirely agree either. And I haven’t said anything about the government’s reaction. I heard that they have been considering about this and now the passing of the students is not entirely based on the National Examination results. Nice development!
And the last one, but definetly the most important one is, of course, the mentality of the students. Most of Indonesian students nowadays have bad studying enthusiasm. It is true that it is mostly caused by the things I mentioned above, such as the amount of homeworks, the pressure from the teachers and the environment, and such. But, if we, let’s say, change all of those things, I’m still not pretty sure that we can totally change the mentality of the students here in Indonesia. And this one is REALLY hard to overcome since it comes from one’s self. We can’t tell people to study or to pick their subject of interest just like that. Some people need process. Some others already know what they want to do or what they are passionate about. We are very diverse. So, if we really want to change the education system, especially here in Indonesia, we have to start from ourselves, from the little things, starting now.