Education is the key to the future. This is a universal truth. However, you would be forgiven for thinking that most governments and people do not take the future seriously considering how little attention is paid to education or how little respect is given to teachers who are responsible for educating that future. Yet, it is governments and others that are quick out of the blocks to blame teachers and schools for perceived failures in educating that future based on arbitrary test scores and the like (the subject matter for another post perhaps).
classrooms at the elementary school level and build new classrooms in more remote areas of the archipelago. What is amazing is that this is the allocation for 2010-2011 and is the best part of the IDR 14 trillion that is supposedly set aside for the renovating and building program.
According to the Department of Education, the building component of the program is focusing on kindergarten facilities that are to be integrated into elementary schools and the building of new junior high schools so that Indonesian children have access to educational facilities that are no more that 2 kilometres from their homes. The idea of no student having to travel more than two kilometres to school is an admirable one, but one fraught with difficulties considering the reality of remoteness that many students will find themselves in outside of the more densely populated islands of Java and Sumatra.
The budget allocation and the plan is a good one. Perhaps once the renovating and building program is complete, the government can then direct some much-needed policy attention to ensuring that there are sufficient teachers available to staff the schools that exist. Then perhaps a little bit of time can be devoted to professional development of teachers to ensure that teachers are always at the cutting edge of teaching pedagogies and technology. After all, it is these teachers who we are tasking with the shaping of our collective futures. Finally, perhaps the government can spend a little (no pun intended) on teacher salaries. Not just thinking about salaries, but actually doing something to see those salaries increase and reflect the level of trust that we as a community put in teachers to educate our children.
Hopefully, governments and the powers that be around the world can dedicate their collective energies to making 2011 the start of a global educational revolution, one aimed at building our future together.