National Education in the Eyes of Sugeng Susilo Adi, M.Hum
“Education is a systemic effort to improve human intelligence both as individuals and members of society. Education is often understood as an entity’s endeavor, it can be government, private, community, NGO, or individual in educating human life to become a more dignified human being,” said Sugeng Susilo Adi, M.Hum, a lecturer of English Education Program Faculty of Cultural Studies Universitas Brawijaya. As a system, education consists of inputs, processes, and outcomes. “Input can be students, students, or other students. The process can be formal or informal in the form of teaching and learning activities. And outcomes can be measurable or statistically measurable outcomes,” he continued.
Sugeng states that education should be seen from many parameters. “If education is narrowed down to schooling, then there are some things that concern me over years,” he explained. First, the imbalance between schools in urban and in rural and suburban areas, even in remote areas. Secondly, the commercialization of education in which only a few members of society are able to reach quality education with all its facilities and curriculum. “But I really appreciate what the central government is doing in an effort to give all citizens access to education with the Smart Card Indonesia program. This is a constitutional mandate. I also appreciate some local governments, provinces, districts and cities that provide free education to the people of the community,” explained Sugeng who also serves as Director of the UB Language Development Unit.
Sugeng said that the education system abroad provides a more portion of pedagogical development. “I just watched from the story of the parents of the students I met there, and my short visit to elementary, junior and senior high school when I was attending a non-degree program in the USA. The main difference is the freedom of expression. Elementary students are almost without homework. They are only given the task of reading fiction at the weekend, and then they must retell what they read in the next day,” he said. In this storytelling activity, students will be accustomed to expression and opinion independently. All questions are opinion questions, so students are very familiar with openly expressing their opinions. “Another example is when our students are asked to draw a field, they are drawing the same, there is a picture of the sun flanked by two mountains, and there is a rice field beneath which is separated by the highway. While the children abroad can draw a mall in the middle of the rice fields, and the teacher does not blame. All that is the development of their imagination,” said Sugeng.
Having received a Master of Education degree in English Education Department, Faculty of Education, University of South Australia, Sugeng provides an overview of the different educational atmosphere with campus in Indonesia. “OSPEK has been designed with great interest and is directly related to student activities. OSPEK activities are truly the introduction of campus and its environment in the form of direct experience. New students are invited directly to the library, register members, to classrooms, to clinics, student dormitories, cafeterias, and all campus facilities,” he explained. They are also introduced to off-campus life that is relevant to everyday life such as how to take a bus, to a hospital, to a market, to an immigration office, to a tax office, to a doctor, to a city library, and to places that are beneficial to life college student. While in the curriculum, since the beginning of the semester students have been prepared with a very detailed and clear syllabus of what they should read and what tasks to do in one semester. “The fundamental difference is that we ourselves are responsible for our study, so we are made aware from the beginning that the responsibility of learning is entirely on our shoulders,” explained Sugeng who also studied at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta.
In relation to National Education Day commemorated every May 2nd, Sugeng gave his opinion on national education after more than 70 years of independent Indonesia. “If the comparison is the colonial era, then I think our education is already free. But in the colonial era the challenge of education is clearly very different from the present,” he said. In terms of the opportunity to get basic education, according to him, Indonesia is already independent. At this time, all members of the community are very easy to get a chance to go to school. “For the underprivileged, to my knowledge the government has provided various scholarships, both in primary, middle and high education,” he continued.
Sugeng also feels, “Indonesia is a multicultural, plural society, with a diverse community character based on its social background. There are fishing communities or traditional farming communities whose school-aged children should help their parents in the winter season or planting or harvesting rice, so that on certain days they should not go to school because they help the parents,” This is an example of a case where the curriculum calendar should adapt to a particular community background. “Thus a uniform national curriculum system should be reviewed. Second, education should be directed to create a learning society, not solely to meet the needs of the labor market,” explained Sugeng.
As a lecturer of Prodi Pebasis who printed candidates for English teachers, Sugeng felt that before entering the world of education, students, especially from Prodi Pebasis, had to improve their English competence. “They must be able to express complex ideas into acceptable academic English. In addition, they must improve their pedagogical competence in designing, managing, and evaluating learning. They should be familiar with IT because now learning methods should follow the development of ITC. “