Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What's wrong with Indonesia & How to fix it

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What's wrong with Indonesia & How to fix it

    According to James Riady, a problem is that underperformance of the Indonesian educational institutions and Indonesian students. As evidence of the poor quality of an Indonesian education, Riady mentions that Indonesia is one of those rare countries in which merit-based scholarships outstrip demand. More precisely, scholarships reserved exclusively for Indonesians for top-tier international universities goes untapped. Why? Because Indonesian students do not have the educational standards to be able to compete and gain acceptance into these schools.




    January 15, 2010

    Top-Flight Foreign-Educated Graduates Can Help Indonesia Go Truly Global

    With the appointment of Muhammad Nuh as minister of education, much has been said about the importance of our domestic education agenda.

    Equally important, but yet to receive its fair share of coverage, is the ministry’s global agenda — the need to cultivate a rising number of Indonesians who are educated abroad.

    This is important not because our domestic educational institutions are not competent — many of today’s greatest business and government leaders are entirely the product of an Indonesian education — but rather because it is important to build a critical mass of citizens who understand the complexity of the world and can serve as bridges to other cultures and communities.

    Traditionally, our nation’s place in the world has been framed by its leading role in Southeast Asia, similar to how Brazil was seen in relation to South America, South Africa to Africa and India to South Asia. With the inclusion of these four regional leaders in the G-20, Indonesia must prepare itself to take on a role that goes beyond national and regional concerns to include leadership on complex global issues.

    Indonesia is expected to help shape the discourse on international issues — this makes the ability to bridge cultures critical. To this end, we need to move away from xenophobic sentiments that promote false perceptions of the world and perpetuate obsolete policies based on national insecurity. We need ideas that embrace globalization and place Indonesia in a position of influence. A solid group of foreign-educated citizens is essential to achieving this role.

    Prior to the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, there was a steady flow of students — both self- and government-funded — to the best institutions in the world. Today, with the exception of the Foreign Ministry, there seems to be no systematic program that selects and funds students to attend foreign universities. As the fourth most populous country in the world, Indonesia is under-represented in almost any top foreign educational institution.

    This is not about money. If you think funding is the problem, consider these facts: Almost every year the Jakarta-based Sampoerna Foundation has more available scholarships than students that qualify for them. Granted, one of the requirements is acceptance to a top 10 business school — no easy task — but surely out of 230 million people there ought to be enough students to fill the slots. Harvard also has a need-based fund for Indonesian students, but this remains untouched. The National University of Singapore has trouble finding three qualified candidates to enter its School of Public Policy on a fully funded basis. The Wharton School of Business, too, has scholarships available but was not able to offer admissions to any Indonesian students in 2008.

    Indonesia is probably the only country where the supply of scholarships exceeds demand.

    This pattern is troubling. Although funding will always pose a challenge to students, it is not the main problem. There is also no reason why our citizens should be considered inherently less qualified or intellectual. On the contrary, there is ample evidence to believe that the brightest of our students are among the best in the world. National law schools that compete in the International Moot Court Competition, an annual event in Washington that attracts more than 500 schools from 80 countries, consistently finish in the top ranks. In 2009, Pelita Harapan University ranked 13th, and the University of Indonesia finished 28th. Similarly, Indonesians who compete in the Physics Olympics and other international competitions do very well.

    If the problem is neither funding nor the ability to compete, then what is it? I would suggest two reasons — infrastructure and preparation — both of which present the Ministry of Education with much-needed areas for improvement.

    Infrastructure is the ability of our nation to identify talented students and to grant them opportunities to pursue a career path and compete for scholarships. Singapore is one country that does this particularly well — so well that it is able to spot talent not only within its own borders, but in neighboring school systems also. Indonesian and Indian students with great academic potential — as evidenced by winning a Unesco award, for example — are immediately offered scholarships to the country’s top institutions.

    With only four million people, this task is much easier for Singapore than it is for Indonesia. Nevertheless, the same idea applies here, just on a larger scale. The government must create a systematic program through which students with the right talent and character can be identified. The mechanism to spot talent must be decentralized to the local and regional level, and once identified, candidates should be aggregated at the national level where these students can compete with each other.

    Funding 330 students (10 students from each of 33 provinces) at a per student cost of $20,000 per year amounts to an annual total cost of $6.6 million — less than 0.1 percent of the ministry’s annual budget. If matching programs are created in conjunction with universities and the private sector, perhaps twice the number of students could be funded for the same amount of money. Over 10 years, more than 3,000 top-flight foreign graduates would become part of our work force.

    Secondly, preparation is needed. This can be broken down into long and short term. Long-term preparation refers to developing sophisticated skills that require a significant horizon to mature, such as English-language proficiency and the ability to express oneself in speech and writing. The only way to dramatically improve this on a national scale is to improve the entire public school system. In the near future, it is unlikely that our national school system will be able to teach English at the level that is expected at foreign universities, meaning students who are determined to study abroad will have to invest extra effort.

    Furthermore, there should be resources and guidance for students on how to put together a strong application — this is the short-term aspect. Many students who are otherwise qualified fail because they don’t understand what is expected of them in an application. Unlike applying to local universities, applications to foreign schools require a plethora of documents, test scores, personal essays, recommendations and, in some cases, interviews. Those unfamiliar with the process can get lost in the jargon and maze of requirements.

    In the long run, education in Indonesia should still be built on providing access to education at a mass level. Our domestic education agenda remains the key. Even a few hundred thousand foreign graduates cannot, without the support of an educated population, lift Indonesia to a sustainable level of social, political and economic development.

    Nevertheless, we can greatly benefit from having a critical mass of foreign graduates who understand the complexities of the outside world, can help facilitate knowledge transfer and can bring Indonesia to the world and the world to Indonesia.

    John Riady is editor at large of t he Jakarta Globe. He can be reached at [email protected].

  • #2
    I think it is a good idea to prepare very good students to fulfill the requirements for these scholarships . I also think necessary to create good jobs for them after graduation , otherwise they will look for better salaries in USA/Europe/.. In my country I have seen this happen . My government paid many graduated people to get master degree/PhD in USA/Europe with the obligation to return and work 1-2 years minimum back home . But with salaries a lot smaller back home , they just complied with the minimum requirement and went back to USA/Europe because of the salary . I remember reading an article in an USA's magazine in which the reporter wrote that about 20% to 30% of the employees in big American leading companies were foreigners . And he suggested USA should make it even easier for foreigners graduated in USA to remain there . According him these foreigners were free cost (for USA) manpower to help the USA's economy .
    Last edited by marcus; 18-01-10, 19:44.

    Comment


    • #3
      Daddy wouldn't buy me a PhD....

      ....... as long as Daddy can buy a degree or the answers to exams in seniotr Indonesian schools and colleges.....things will never ever ever change here, .........we've had the same argument here years ago when some barmy slapper kept harping on about how her qualifications made her a far better person than a poor kampung girl with little or no formal education .... and therefore made her a much better catch as a GF or potential spouse.

      I've had guys turn up for interviews with reams of certificates and no practical knowledge whatsoever of the subject they claim to have majored in........ even had a man turn up with a Certificate of Steelfixing !!!!

      To change the system the educational authorities would have to start at the top and rebuild everything.... it will never happen..........
      .... monkeys typewriters ..... typewriters monkeys

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree. I posted the article primarily for two purposes. One is to highlight that the Indonesian educational system is, at the international level, non-competitive. Indonesia is not yet a supplier of talent to the international market. Two, because I don´t think education, American degrees, etc. is, in and by itself, the/a panacea or silver-bullet. The country is rife with cases of Indonesians who come come with Australian, European or American university degrees and cannot even get their qualifications validated by the Indonesian authorities. Likewise, many of them can´t find jobs commeasurate with their degrees. The tall-poppy syndrome coupled with the absence of a culture of excellence (like Singapore) and a culture of the intellect (see, for example, a poster´s complaint that I read too many books and that I´d do well to pick up a woman´s magazine), too, serve to mitigate the potentially beneficial effects of a foreign education. Finally, many foreign students absorb a lot in the classroom, but very little of the ethos of the host countries, returning home with the same mentality and vices as when they first left. In some respects, as a tool for social, rather than individual transformation, these scholarship funds may be money wasted. Cultural change must go hand-in-hand with access to better education.
        Last edited by atlantis; 19-01-10, 14:12. Reason: Remove the name of a poster

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hombre de Maiz View Post
          I agree. I posted the article primarily for two purposes. One is to highlight that the Indonesian educational system is, at the international level, non-competitive. Indonesia is not yet a supplier of talent to the international market. Two, because I don´t think education, American degrees, etc. is, in and by itself, the/a panacea or silver-bullet. The country is rife with cases of Indonesians who come come with Australian, European or American university degrees and cannot even get their qualifications validated by the Indonesian authorities. Likewise, many of them can´t find jobs commeasurate with their degrees. The tall-poppy syndrome coupled with the absence of a culture of excellence (like Singapore) and a culture of the intellect (see, for example, Tantori´s complaint that I read too many books and that I´d do well to pick up a woman´s magazine), too, serve to mitigate the potentially beneficial effects of a foreign education. Finally, many foreign students absorb a lot in the classroom, but very little of the ethos of the host countries, returning home with the same mentality and vices as when they first left. In some respects, as a tool for social, rather than individual transformation, these scholarship funds may be money wasted. Cultural change must go hand-in-hand with access to better education.
          Recently Indonesian students can compete internationally in physics and math. They even win gold, silver or bronze medals in physic and math olympic. So Perhaps it's more than just the educational system.

          Comment


          • #6
            Its depressing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JohnJohn2 View Post
              Recently Indonesian students can compete internationally in physics and math. They even win gold, silver or bronze medals in physic and math olympic. So Perhaps it's more than just the educational system.
              Relative to the country's population, John. Does Indonesia supply the international market for professional talent in numbers commeasurate with its population?

              Comment


              • #8
                "Over 10 years, more than 3,000 top-flight foreign graduates would likely get a job somewhere that pays well (not indonesia)" - fixed

                "Many students who are otherwise qualified fail because they don’t understand what is expected of them in an application. Unlike applying to local universities, applications to foreign schools require a plethora of documents, test scores, personal essays, recommendations and, in some cases, interviews. Those unfamiliar with the process can get lost in the jargon and maze of requirements."

                Oh those poor dears, they are the brightest people in the education system but they cant work out the requirements for an application all by themselves....
                On Religion: Deep down they really believe it's a scam and they don't like to be reminded of their gullibility

                Comment


                • #9
                  ‘Amerikaku’ Shows the Stories of Indonesian Students in the USA

                  Did anyone see this story in the Jakarta Globe on January 17 (Sunday)? I missed the first show last week, but I will catch one soon. I’m sure the story should be good. It airs on one of the local channels that is an affiliate of the Voice of America Channel here. VOA recently opened a new office here on Jl. Iman Bonjol.

                  http://thejakartaglobe.com/artsanden...the-usa/353169
                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  ‘Amerikaku’ Shows the Stories of Indonesian Students in the USA

                  It is always keen to project its self-image as a place where the world wants to go to live, and now America is making a TV show about how a group of Indonesians get on when their wish to do just that is realized.

                  Indonesian students increasingly travel to the United States to expand their educational horizons, often as part of exchange programs or to attain a college degree, and four are now being trailed on their voyage by camera crews, courtesy of the US Embassy.

                  Running as a six-part series exclusively on O Channel, “Amerikaku” (“My America”) documents the story of the four high school students, selected from among thousands of applicants, who are studying in the United States as part of the US State Department’s Youth Exchange and Study program.

                  Established in 2002, with about 100 Indonesian participants every year, the scholarship program is available for students in “countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the US,” said Tristram Perry, who, as the public diplomacy officer at the US Embassy in Indonesia, is in charge of the program here.

                  “Students live with host families, attend high school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures,” he said.

                  There’s not much Hollywood magic about the show, but the interest in “Amerikaku” lies in the comparing the tales of students all coming from different backgrounds and being sent to live with different families in four different US cities.

                  The first episode, which aired on Sunday, introduces the audience to the students and their American host families. It begins with a scene at the US Embassy in Jakarta, where the batik-wearing student applicants are nervously waiting for their visa interviews. The students appear edgy, but after the interviews are over, some say it was “not that hard,” and one is surprised that the American interviewer conducted the whole process in Indonesian [emphasis mine].
                  --------------------------------------------------

                  Tak Calle, yeh? <grin>.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hombre de Maiz View Post
                    Relative to the country's population, John. Does Indonesia supply the international market for professional talent in numbers commeasurate with its population?
                    What I mean it's not ONLY related to education, but in my opinion there are cultural hindrance/blockage as well.
                    Asian cultures in general support more to the "immitation" than 'creaitvity". Strong seniority culture also has the same impact in the flight and the lack of Indonesian talents.

                    Just my opinion. Formal education is only one source of education.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i agree w. you fully, john.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hombre de Maiz View Post
                        .(see, for example, a poster´s complaint that I read too many books and that I´d do well to pick up a woman´s magazine),
                        I've edited and modified this part of your post Hombre, in order to remove the name of the poster. The board is not to be used for bullying other posters. Thanks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would submit to you, Atlantis, that the bullying was from T. to me when she said that my imagination was "crap". Are you going to edit that post also?
                          Last edited by atlantis; 19-01-10, 15:53. Reason: Remove the name of a poster

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Hombre de Maiz View Post
                            I would submit to you, Atlantis, that the bullying was from T. to me when she said that my imagination was "crap". Are you going to edit that post also?
                            Bullying, in my understanding, implies a notion of repetitively harassing someone. I may be wrong in my understanding of the word tho' since, unlike you, I am not a native speaker. Feel free to correct me if my understanding is wrong.
                            The post I have edited mention a spat you had with this poster, in another thread. Your mention of her in this thread is constitutive of the "repetitive", in my opinion. It is also enforced by the fact that you already made your point in the other thread, I believe. It was unnecessary for you to name her, here, in this thread. It is flaming.
                            Another notion that "bullying" implies, still in my opinion, is when one does it to a weaker person. Should I understand that you feel weaker than her to feel bullied?

                            Last, but not least, if you feel offended at any time by a post written, please don't hesitate to push the "report" button. It sends an email to both wm, paman and me. We will take care of it, after assessment, and remove it if necessary. The same applies if you feel that my present answer is biased. Wm and Paman may have, or not, a different view than I. Regarding moderation, Paman and I often have different views I believe.
                            Salam.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Some friends of mine had passed the enrollment tests for Master or PhD, from top international universities in the world like Oxford University in UK,
                              Waseda University, Tokyo University in Japan or even Harvard, etc.
                              They didnt attend expensive schools like UPH,owns by Mr.Riady or other expensive school ...
                              hm...those friends who are success are really brilliant, hard working, and they never used "Money" to pass those all...not all of them are from rich family, one friend of mine, her father is Metro Mini driver and she could enter one of top universities in Japan, Waseda...

                              Well I admitted, I did try some and was not success, because at that time, I was not ready for detail of my project I had to prepare in presentation and Im not that good compared to my friends...
                              Some of the institutions
                              put priority to them who are working for government or in formal fields...
                              They came back to Indonesia and work in many fields...

                              some people here, who can get the chance of good education maybe less than 40% of students...
                              from my point of view, the main problems are
                              economic problem, less access to get more information, difficult access to education
                              and maybe in some places, not good quality of teachers so the student should struggle harder....
                              big gap is still found here...

                              But I agree for a poster statement here, that there are some of them who came back and couldnt prove or implement what they had achieved...

                              so much problems that are still unable to be handled by government but it doesnt mean there's no effort.......(im still wondering though....will they...?)
                              I wish so much, the government gets serious and try more to reach rural area...
                              [FONT=Georgia][COLOR=blue]fear is where the negative power has a room to grow..so leave it.. [/COLOR][/FONT]

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X