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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    Mid's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    Indonesia : The school of corruption

    Editorial Desk

    The school of corruption

    The recent shocking revelation of widespread “teacher-sponsored” cheating in Indonesian national examinations and the way authorities have handled the reports illustrate how, where and why the corrupt mentality has been nurtured.

    The reported massive cheating has also cast big shadows of doubt over the exceptionally high passing rates nationally, which the government planned to use to measure the success of its national education programme that saps 20 per cent of the state budget.

    The national exam system was designed to improve the standard of education nationwide, from ill-equipped schools in the impoverished Papua hinterland to affluent and well equipped schools in Jakarta. But widespread cheating suspected to have occurred throughout the country every year means the government must now return to the drawing board to rethink its well-intentioned, albeit controversial, policy.

    In Surabaya, housewife Siami became an “icon of honesty” after courageously sounding the alarm with Mayor Tri Rismaharini and subsequently had her whole family evicted by irate parents who accused her of tainting the school’s reputation. Siami’s sin was apparently retelling the mayor her son Alif’s story that a teacher had asked him, as the smartest child in the sixth grade, to pass around the answers to the tests that a teacher had prepared for the whole class.

    In Jakarta, cheating graced media headlines when a Pesanggrahan 6 state primary school pupil’s parents filed a case with the National Commission for Children Protection after the school management refused to look into it.

    Particularly flabbergasting is the schools’ and government bureaucrats’ tendency to try to cover up their dishonest practices after the scams went public, simply to try to make things look good. The underlying message is that students learn that goals justify means at school.

    Pundits have linked the dishonesty instilled in our innocent children with the well-known corrupt mentality of our leaders, from top politicians to clerics, government bureaucrats and educators.

    The silence of the public about this cheating also adds credence to perceptions that corrupt practices have become an “acceptable” norm here. While the loathed corrupt, authoritarian New Order regime under Suharto is now 13 years behind us, corruption has only become more widespread.

    Worse, law enforcement against corrupt people often defies a sense of justice, and thus fails to serve as a deterrent. Many corruption convicts, particularly those who are politically wired, breathe fresh air after short spells in prison thanks to the government’s generosity in granting them remissions or conditional release for “humanitarian” reasons. Not to mention special privileges that allow them to travel while serving detention, as in the case of former tax official Gayus H. Tambunan.

    That’s why corruption convicts are unashamed about flashing their big smiles in public, rather than showing remorse.

    If dishonesty is being taught at our schools, hope for the ongoing crusade against corruption is remote.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    GRUMPY's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Balikpapan, Indonesia
    This shit is close to home for me Mid.

    Honesty Prize for Duo Who Exposed Indonesia Exam Scam

    A mother and son who revealed mass cheating at a school in Surabaya have received an honesty award bestowed by the National Commission for Child Protection.

    The award, the first given out by the agency known as KPAI, was presented to Siami and her son, Alifah Ahmad Maulana.

    Acting on a report from Alifah, Siami told the press in early June of her suspicion of mass cheating at her son’s school, State Elementary School 2 in Gadel subdistrict, in the national examination for the sixth grade.

    “Honesty is an expensive thing in these times, but it should be implanted from childhood,” said KPAI chairwoman Maria Ulfah Anshor, adding that honesty was an increasingly rare quality.

    Maria said the award coincided with the launch of the KPAI’s “Movement of Indonesian Children for Honesty.”

    “Somehow, I believe that there are still many honest people out there, but most of them are afraid to speak out the truth because there are threats from other people” Maria said.

    She said the award was a symbol that honesty was not completely extinct in Indonesia.

    “It is expected to provide motivation for others, especially children, to be honest wherever they are, from now until they mature later,” she said.

    “I will wait for another Siami and Alif in Indonesia.”

    Siami told the media that her son’s teachers had forced him to share the answers on his national examination with his classmates.

    Her action angered the parents of the other students and led to them being forced to leave their East Java home town. Siami’s revelations led to the removal of the school’s principal and two of its teachers.

    Magdalena Sitorus, a former KPAI commissioner, said children should not feel compelled to follow the erroneous wishes of adults out of fear or a desire to please the adults.

    “Start with a small lie and then it will become a habit. That’s bad, because the children are the future of our country. Can you imagine what our country would be like in the future if prospective leaders are accustomed to dishonesty?” Magdalena said.

    She added that parents and teachers had an important role to prevent that from occurring.

    “This Siami case might be an example of similar problems in other schools that were never revealed. We need a figure like her to reveal this and fix the problem,” she said.

    While being ostracized by the school and the parents of other students, Siami and Alifah’s courage had earned them widespread support and praise, including from Vice President Boediono, the People’s Consultative Assembly and members of the public.

    Many students at Alifah’s school claimed they did not use the answers because they did not trust their accuracy. Education authorities decided against making students resit the test.

    Honesty Prize for Duo Who Exposed Indonesia Exam Scam | The Jakarta Globe

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