THE development of a country is decided by the quality of its human resources, who should have competitive edge against other countries’, while the manpower quality itself is based on the education level that can be attained at the country. Many developing countries have applied international quality standard on their education. Indonesia, as one of these countries, is trying to catch up other countries like India, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippine, even Malaysia, in terms of their education grades.
Indonesian government realizes that education is a significant factor for their country’s improvement to compete with other countries. Therefore, it changes the policy for international schools throughout Indonesia to be not only accepting foreign students, but also local students, at least 20% from total students of the schools. Thus, the schools can produce local workforce with international quality. The government also acknowledges that a quite large chunk of children in Indonesia cannot afford to attend any school, let alone international quality education.
For them, education costs a fortune, and can only be obtained by rich people. To solve the problem, the government has allocated 20% of State Budget for education. Through the government’s programs, including: scholarships to study at well-known universities abroad for bright students, free school tuition program for poor people, Operational Assistance for Schools that include uniforms, textbooks, tables, and chairs, etc.
In addition to the international schools, there are international standard universities that combine Indonesia’s education system for two years with one year study abroad at the franchiser universities. By attending such universities, which are established in Indonesia, the graduates will also receive diplomas from the franchiser universities, such as, Melbourne Institute of Business and Technology (MIBT) from Australia, and Gandhi Institute of Business and Technology (GIBT), a franchise educational institution of Gandhi Memorial International School based in India.
Compared to studying abroad, some people opt to learn at international standard universities in Indonesia. Yet, many others pack their bags to study in other countries, where various well-known products and brands come from and their education levels are much higher than in Indonesia. For instance, if we want to study about information technology and business sciences, we better continue our education in USA, where Wall Street as world economic barometer and IT companies like Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell are situated.
As a matter of fact, local universities or schools in Indonesia are not that far behind from international establishments. Something that were proven by the numbers of Indonesian students who have won gold medals in various educational competitions and olympiads, defeating other attenders from USA, Europe, China, and Japan. From physics and mathematic olympiads, information technology competition, all the way to the International Robogames, an inter-universities robotic contest in San
Fransisco, USA, on June 14, 2009, of which was won by Indonesian students. Many Indonesians have better qualities than the human resources of other countries. But most of them choose to work for famous multinational companies in other countries, rather than working in Indonesia.
In other words, they build and advance other countries rather than their own. This may be caused by the fact that Indonesia is yet a developed country that can provide social security, public facilities, income, and competitive atmosphere that they get in other advanced countries, where such circumstances can optimize the performance and creativity of employees. They regard the circumstances as somethings they can only obtain abroad.
Also the local education system in Indonesia cannot develop the mind and soul of its graduates to compete in the real world, that is business and working realms. A tragedy that are exhibited by many expatriates that chair many top positions in companies in Indonesia. And it’s not merely due to their intelligence, but also from their leadership, organizational skills, and confidence as educated leaders.
Hence, international education sits on the thrones of developing countries who want to leap ahead. Not only because of the quality and facility of such education, but also the mentality training as someone who can compete and win against anyone from any country. (William Xue)
Jakarta Globe, July 22, 2009