Education Should not Alienate from Tradition

Kompas, page 12

National education that could serve people with special situations, such as indigenous peoples, has not materialized. Generally the practice of education for children of indigenous people still alienates them from traditions. Therefore, there must be a formula of good education in order for educational practices to not keep children of indigenous communities away from the traditions so they can navigate cultural development in a positive direction.

It was raised by founder of SOKOLA Rimba, Saur Marlina Manurung, at the Morning Talk of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) on the Seminar of the Role of Culture in Development, Thursday (30/3) in Jakarta. He said educating children of indigenous peoples cannot be by way of directly practicing the guidance/ pointers in the text book.

Saur expressed the importance of the ability of teachers serving in the innermost communities, especially indigenous peoples, to understand the local culture, such as learning the local language. Through the local language, she continued, the teacher can understand the mindset of the environment in which the students were raised and incorporate them into their teaching so as to create a unique curriculum. However, the constraints on the ground are that teachers are not too alert in catching the local culture. In fact, some have insisted on using the examples of learning that are not included in the thinking of the children of indigenous peoples so that they have more difficulty in learning.

In response, the Director of Higher Education, Science & Technology and Culture of Bappenas Amich Alhumami said reform of the education institution of educational personnel and materials for practice teaching in various communities will be honed. Not only indigenous communities, every urban and rural community has its own uniqueness which if used in education could provide progress.

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