Education for Everyone
Posted April 11, 2008on:
For many of us, June and July were the most favorite months during our childhood. It was when we had a long holiday. Some of you went to your grandparents’ house, went abroad or out of town, joined a short course, or just stayed at home and enjoyed the holiday. We had so much pleasure buying new books, uniforms, shoes, bags, and other school needs to start another new education year.
That is a sweet memory we never forget. At that time, we did not know and never thought how much money that our parents spent for our school fees and other things we needed for school. As time goes by, we can now see the reality of life which is not always as easy as our childhood.
A period of education year has ended and the new education year will start soon. Ideally, this is the chance for all people to improve their knowledge. However, das sein and das sollen not identical for all times. In fact, many people could not have the benefit of this. Until now, a big number of Indonesian citizens are uneducated not only in remote areas but also in big cities like Jakarta and Bandung.
In 2003, 6.025.940 people in Central Java, more than 20 percent of total population, did not finish their primary school. In Banjar, Ciamis, West Java, in the year 2004, more than 50 percent only finished their primary school. This is the truth that we can’t deny and should be our concern.
There are a lot of reasons behind this problem. High cost of education becomes the main reason. Nowadays, there are programs of free school in some areas in Indonesia. In West Jakarta, a primary school already has this program. Some schools in Surabaya and other areas in Indonesia also have this program. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to fulfill the needs of education for all Indonesian citizens.
On the other hand, the free school program has its dilemma impact. This program decrease teachers’ income. A teacher in SMUN I Bontang, East Borneo stated that, “We support this program. To improve the quality of education, some additional education need must be fulfilled by teachers. However, teachers don’t have a good income.”
In this new education year, the fee to enter a private primary school in Jakarta is around Rp 10 million. Can you imagine how expensive our education cost is? Consider that half of Indonesian citizens are still below the poverty rate because they don’t have the privilege to have education.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights in article 26 states that:
“Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.”
In more details, this right is stated in article 13 paragraph (1) and (2) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. And, article 5 paragraph (1), Indonesian Act No. 20 in year 2003, concerning National Education System, states that:
“Every citizen has the same right to get the qualified education.”
To improve the human quality in Indonesia, a high-quality education is needed. A high-quality education simply means it has better educational facilities than the low-quality education. Better facilities are important so that our education system is able to produce better students.
It is sad to know that our government is unable to provide its people with good education facilities. Around 65 percent of school buildings in East Jakarta are broken and less than 43 percent of school buildings in Central Java are in good condition. This situation causes more than half of Indonesian citizens can’t enjoy a good education. The fact is in 2004, more than 15,5 million Indonesian citizens can’t read and write.
As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, education is part of human rights. Indonesia also recognizes this right as stated in the Indonesian constitution in article 28C paragraph (1):
“Every person shall have the right to develop him/herself through the fulfillment of his/her basic needs, the right to get education and to benefit from science and technology, arts and culture, for the purpose of improving the quality of his/her life and for the welfare of the human race.”
This right is also stated in article 12 of Indonesian regulation no. 39 in year 1999, concerning Human Rights.
Our founding fathers realized that a good education is very important to escalate the quality of Indonesian human resources. Therefore, the paragraph 4 of preamble of The 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia states that one of many aims of our state is to educate the life of the people. This shows that Indonesia has been aware of the importance of education as a part of human rights.
However, this consciousness means nothing without any coordination and participation from all elements of this state; the government and the citizens, including us.
Picture was taken from here.