Stupidest Thing I've Read All Decade

Written on May 22nd, 2014. We've got comments, too!

The Indonesian government has decided to remove English and Computer classes from elementary school. Your read that right.

Looks like I’m in for another rage session. This is slightly old news, but the severity just came to my attention when schools started dropping them off the schedule.


Hold on, let me look at a poignant snapshot of our education situation first. It’ll help me calm down. Okay, maybe not.

My sentence above should make my point. In a world where we have insane amounts of information at our fingertips through the power of computers and global outreach… We decide to turn around and say “meh, we probably don’t have enough people to teach the stuff, why bother?”

I’m not making that bit up, by the way. I kid you not:

Terkait bahasa Inggris tidak terdapat dalam kurikulum SD, Ramon menerangkan, kalau bahasa Inggris dimasukkan dalam kurikulum berarti wajib diajarkan di setiap SD. Padahal tidak semua daerah memiliki sarana pendukung untuk diberikan pelajaran bahasa Inggris.

Misalnya, ujar Ramon, di daerah pelosok, tenaga pengajar bahasa Inggris belum ada. Nanti kalau dipaksakan masuk dalam kurikulum malah diajarkan oleh orang yang tidak memiliki kapasitas mengajarkannya.

“Kalau anak-anak diajar oleh orang yang tidak paham isi materinya nanti malah rusak. Makanya lebih baik bahasa Inggris tidak dipaksakan masuk kurikulum,” kata Ramon.

tl;dr: you know, some schools lack the teachers, so welp, screw it.

Because encouraging a stronger education workforce to go around and teach children essential communication skills is asking too much. No, no, that would be outrageous. I’m sure no poorly managed school would fire their english and computer teachers to save some cash, either.

For the love of pachyderms.

I can launch into an exhaustive speech about stupid decisions that try to increase numbers by lowering the bar rather than raising performance, but they guessed my move: the government’s quick to state that, YES, if your school DOES want to teach English, it totally CAN!

Bahasa Inggris dan TIK, kata Ramon, merupakan mata pelajaran muatan lokal. Artinya setiap SD boleh memasukkan atau tidak memasukkan bahasa Inggris dan TIK dalam mata pelajarannya.

“Misalnya saja, SD pulangnya jam 12 siang. Maka mereka bisa menambahkan mata pelajaran bahasa Inggris dengan menambah satu jam mata pelajaran, jadi anak SD pulang jam satu siang karena belajar bahasa Inggris,” kata Ramon menerangkan.

… You know, just like it totally can teach us about horseback riding, coffee brewing and not-giving-a-crap.

Good sirs, “you can still do it if you want” is probably the worst excuse to reduce a standard this side of Saturn. The reason standards exist is to enforce a level of knowledge. By omitting something from the standard, you’re telling people it’s not important — and as a technology advocate, I will happily remind you that the whole world runs on technology and english.

Ignorance can only get you so far.

I had a chat with my associates in the education industry, and it appears the official justification says that English “is too hard” and computers “can be learnt at home”. But worry not! They’ll get some basic English in grades 7 through 12. You know, basic’s all they need.

My forehead tells me I cannot physically facepalm harder than I did just now.

They should drop math while we’re at it, I’m pretty sure every parent can teach their kids basic addition. We can also drop — oh who am I kidding, we should drop everything except history. That stuff’s hard.

Oh, but the newer, cooler politicians must have a different point of view, right? Right?

Gubernur DKI Jakarta Joko Widodo mendukung sejumlah perubahan yang tercantum dalam Kurikulum 2013. Salah satunya adalah penghapusan pelajaran Bahasa Inggris dari kurikulum Sekolah Dasar.

“Saya kira untuk siswa SD lebih baik diperkuat pelajaran Bahasa Indonesia dan muatan lokal,” katanya di RSUD Koja, Jakarta Utara, Rabu, 11 Desember 2013.

Menurut dia, pelajaran Bahasa Inggris lebih baik diberikan kepada siswa SMP. Alasannya, supaya siswa sekolah dasar lebih memiliki rasa nasionalisme.

Nationalism, eh. Yeah, screw this whole “global industry based on technology” stuff. Don’t worry, kids, fucking your generation over the international workforce is totally worth you going home an hour early in grade school.

So when things go to shit 15 years from now…

… Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.