Reading this post by Elisabeth Pisani I thought a future family problem is looming. The very Ministry of Education and Culture plans to scrap science and social science from elementary schools’curriculum. The present ideology obviously is ‘back to basics’.
I’ve got two grandchildren who are genetically 62,5% Indonesian. One living in Jakarta carrying an Indonesian passport ( as well as a Dutch one) and the other one living in the Netherlands being a little Dutch citizen. The first one is attending “school” ( at the age of two and a half) in Indonesia’s capital, the other one ( four and a half) is in group 1 of the regular primary school in her home-town near Utrecht. And then, the other day, suddenly disturbing news reached us which make us wonder whether Kris will have an inferior primary school education compared to Esha. I doubt whether he will be able to find Jakarta and Amsterdam on the global map. Namely the new Indonesian primary school program seems to imply that even topography will no longer be part of what children will be taught .
The worrying part is the new definition of ‘basics’. According to law maker Dedi Gumelar it means stressing “patriotic values, courtesy, culture and principles of Pancasila“.
His colleague Mi’ing, added that Western cultural invasion should be rolled back. Gee, the new educational policies are really bad news to both the 62,5 Asian and the 37,5% Caucasian part of Kris (^_-). Neither does this new course do justice to, for instance, teachers like Muslimah Hafsari and Harfan Efendy Noor and their eager pupils from the autobiographical novel The Rainbow Troops.
Although perhaps Dedi – who, I read, before turning to politics was a professional comedian- was only joking.
Yet I agree with him that teaching maths and literature in Kindergarten is pretty premature. But I sincerely hope my grandchildren will know a little about society, the sun, the moon, the earth, the birds, the bees, the flowers, warm and cold, large and small, triangles and circles by the time they reach the age of eleven or twelve. And of course I hope they will be reading fluently and will love books. Probably e-books or the successors. Also I demand they can flawlessly do their additions, subtractions, multiplications and divisions without the help of a calculator. Moreover I would very much appreciate if they had some idea about here and there, present and past. Of the country and the globe at large.
So I strongly disagree with Dedi if he wants to have elementary schools to limit teaching primarily to standing in awe for national hymns and hoisting red-white flags. Not to mention the gruesome impact on adults who attended schools that trained them to just revere and not question traditional truths.
In stead I hope teachers will install a firm critical mind in both granddaughter and grandson ( in case what is left of my DNA in them doesn’t suffice ). I want my grandchildren to be educated to become responsible informed citizens with a cosmopolitan perspective and a humanistic attitude.
So beware mr Dedi and co-law makers, don’t mess around with my offspring’s education or else….