Enlightenment after Mata Najwa

Today I attended Mata Najwa featuring Indonesia Mengajar’s talkshow entitled “Peran Pemimpin Muda dalam Pendidikan” or can be translated into English into “The Role of Young Leader in Education” in my campus’ auditorium. For some people, this talkshow might be boring (my friend actually slept in the middle of the talkshow!) and uncomfortable (since today was very hot in Surabaya, and there’s about 4000 people in one auditorium, so it’s really really cramped!), but for me, the talkshow is a respond for my critics in previous post about Indonesia’s educational system.

First of all, it’s really embarrassing for me to write this post, but think of this as my redemption. After the talkshow, i feel ashamed for my last post 😦

Today’s talkshow talks about Indonesia Mengajar, a movement founded by Anies Baswedan (the Rector of Paramadina University) to send some young teachers (most of them are fresh graduates from universities all around Indonesia) to remote areas in Indonesia. Basically, they teach in that area for a year, then a new teacher from Indonesia Mengajar will replace him/her in that area. I think this is a renewed form of service for the country, since education has been a serious problem in Indonesia since its independence in 1945.

From the talkshow, there’s a few notes that I made about educational problem in Indonesia:
– most of the kids in Indonesia have attended school, but there are about 3 million of them who haven’t finish it.
– the quality of Indonesian student is still very low compared to students in Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Japan.
– the number of teachers in Indonesia (especially in remote areas) is not enough compared to its students.
– the quality of the teachers in Indonesia is still very low. From a range of 1-11, the highest quality (in East Java) is still on 4.6, which is not even half of the proper level.

Therefore, Mr. Baswedan created this movement, inspired by PTM (i forgot the abbreviation of this) program in 1950s where university students teach in remote areas for 2 years. But it’s not the movement that i want to write about.

The highlight of this ”talkshow” (i prefer it to be called a seminar, since Mr. Baswedan mostly talks about the movement, and answering the questions from the spectators), is Mr. Baswedan himself. He is a very positive (and very inteligent man) to view the problems in Indonesia. Instead of criticizing the government (like myself :() he’s doing something about it. One of his motto that ”slapped” me the hardest is:

Stop cursing the darkness and start lighting the candles

In founding Indonesia Mengajar, he didn’t even propose anything for the government. The funding came from Indika Group. He said, ”It’s not that the government don’t want to help us, we didn’t propose anything or demand anything. The government had had enough problem and needs, so we should do what we do best: serve our country.”

I remembered what John F. Kennedy once said, and it has become one of the most famous sayings in the world:

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

Yeah, i know my last blog post was stupid -,- i was speechless in the seminar, thinking what should i do next. But i knew i should do something about my blog post, so i write this as my redemption. Thanks to Mr. Baswedan for his enlightenment and positive energy today, i will do much better in the future! Once again, let’s stop cursing the darkness and start lighting the candles!

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