The Dumbing of Indonesia

By N. Mark Castro

In one of the most perplexing education policies ever proposed on earth — next to Taliban’s strict refusal to allow girls to study, Deputy Education and Culture Minister Musliar Kaslim supports the omission of English, Mathematics, and Science in elementary schools across the over 17,000 islands of the Republic of Indonesia.

According to reports, the Deputy Minister said:

Elementary schools won’t have English lessons because [students] haven’t even learned to understand the Indonesian language yet … Now, even some kindergarten students take English courses. [That’s haram [prohibited by Islamic law]. I pity the kids.

I highlighted in red a part of the Deputy Minister’ statement which was not included in the published post at The Jakarta Post but which had appeared in the mailing list.

Further in the report said that “the ministry, however, is still mulling whether private schools will be allowed to teach English to their students as a secondary subject or not.”

If you’re Indonesian and have received fair education that your parents have struggled to provide you, how would you feel that this Kampoeng-educated public servant can now mandate and dictate the entire educational future of your children?

As for international schools typically using English as their main language of instruction, the ministry had not decided what to do, he added.

I would honestly like to assist the good Deputy Minister now and save him from embarrassing the rest of the 250 million people in the country.

The very reason it’s called “International” is because it applies an international standard curriculum in its subject matter. Typically, “International Schools” adopt English as a mode of instruction simply because, well, the rest of the civilized world use it.

Naturally, everyone is a nationalist in his or her own right. Arabians are patriotic about their country and so are their fellow Moslems in Africa; however, if both meet at the Soekarno Hatta Airport, the language by which they would try to communicate would be in English, not in their native language. Thus, the earlier they learn to become knowledgeable about the language, the quicker it would be for them to foster friendship, conduct business, or simply communicate and express each other’s thoughts.

Are they being less patriotic for speaking in a language both foreign to them?

Well, yes, if you’re the Deputy Minister of Education and Culture and, depending on the length of time by which you have studied such language, especially in elementary, why, you are definitely pitiful for committing such haram acts early in your childhood.

That, in a nutshell, is the shell of a nut of the current policy of the Ministry of Culture and Education in Indonesia.

Which explains these:

Can someone give them an A for Affort?


About Asmartrock

N. Mark Castro is the Southeast Asia Director of JUMP DIGITAL Asia, which is an internationally-awarded and fully integrated digital marketing agency with 5 out of 10 offices in the ASEAN region. He is also the Secretary General of the Philippine Business Club Indonesia, managing and assisting the traffic of investments between the Philippines and Indonesia. He shuttles between Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Singapore, Cambodia, and Australia. The views posted here are his own and do not in any way reflect the views of the companies he represents.

Posted on October 14, 2012, in General, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I truly thangs you for your excellent writing. I’m glad I fisit your blog

  2. I won’t mind if Wendy’s threat me using burgers. I will just eat them. 😆

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