I believe in education. I believe how it can helps us gain more knowledge, broaden our perspective, make us understand and handle things better than we used to. Good education would give us a richer way of thinking. Great education would create ways to an open wide imaginations.
Sadly, in lots of places, we had lost the essence of education. Like how ‘3 Idiots‘ movie describe it perfectly, the education system in India had change their focus from knowledge to simply an ability to give the right answer on some tests; from a comprehensive understanding to perfect grades; from creativity and imagination to memorizing what the book said word by word.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t really understand what you read. It doesn’t matter if you forget almost everything afterwards. As long as you can remember them for the tests and get some good score, then you will be all right. You will be considered as a successful student. But are you?
According to the Indian, and so sorry to say Indonesian education system, you are. But if we took a good look on what education are suppose to help us become, then the answer is you actually might not.
When we understand what we’re learning, we might going to have good scores as well. The problem is, knowledge enhancement was not the priorities in the first place. The problem is, the tests were created without considering all the aspects of learning and understanding process. Because it just doesn’t matter!
What we do is based on where we want to go, our purposes. When our purposes are solely good grades and certificates, then no wonder if we were doing just about anything to get it. Forget all the beautiful process where we learn so much during, forget all the enlightenment we could’ve get, the integrity, the growth of various senses within us. Forget them all, they were not the purpose.
To study only to get good grades is already sad. To cheat to get them is even sadder. But as I wrote before, it’s the system who create those conditions, it’s the purpose we set that make us do what we’re doing. Who cares how we get there, as long as we do. The system don’t judge the process, they just simply don’t care. All they care is the result. Then that’s all we have to care.
I’m not proud to say that cheating to be able to graduate from school is not really a new thing in Indonesia. And it’s not just the student who cheats. Their teachers help them cheat by giving them the answer to the test so the school could avoid a bad name from low graduation percentage. There’s this test called UN (National Test), that have to be taken if you want to graduate from elementary, junior and senior high school, that’s creating the whole phenomenon. But long before that, the cheating habit has been existed.
Here in Indonesia, cheating has become something common. People used to feel scared and guilty when they did it back then, but those feelings are fading from time to time following the environment “permission”. Most people are doing it, even some teachers are helping, and that’s why it doesn’t feel so wrong anymore. Education are suppose to help us become a better person, to create a better live, a better world. How can we be, when our education system are teaching us, our children, the society, to lie, to cheat our way to what we so called success.
It has been so common that students who is not cheating or refuse to help the cheaters is treated like they’re the one who doing the wrong thing, the not cool bad guy.
It has been so common that we no longer surprise hearing the news about it. We no longer care.
It has been so common that this terrible case happened.
It tells us that the education system had failed miserably when a parent who reported a cheating plot made by two teachers, involving their son, so all of their student can graduated from elementary school, were attacked by parents of other students.
Those parents were defending the teachers that were fired and calling the reporting parent as “have no hearts” and “exagerrating things”, then telling them to get out of the village.
Isn’t that the saddest thing?
I think it’s a wake up call for all of us, especially in Indonesia, to start paying more attention to this problem. This is no longer something we can ignore if we don’t want it to destroy us.
I believe this case is just one of so many out there. We are creating a society full of liars and cheaters, the one whom cannot see the right from the wrong, that would do anything to get what they want no matter how it harm themselves or others, the short minded people.
We need to stop.
I also believe that there are still many people who cares, deep down. We can start from ourselves to not accepting this kind of crime anymore, to keep reminding ourselves what education is actually about, to practice honesty in all aspects of our lives.
As a respond to the case, there’s been this movement meant to create more awareness about this problem. You can check it on twitter under the hashtag #indonesiajujur (honest Indonesia) or read about it here.