Education budget to blame
The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) has revealed that Indonesia has been outclassed in math and science by a neighboring country, Singapore which topped the study in mathematics and was second only to Taiwan in science (The Jakarta Post, Dec. 7, 2000).
This news should serve as a warning to the government and educators concerning the handling of policies and strategies in education and the teaching of those two vital subjects in this country.
Allow me to comment on this matter from nonmathematical or scientific points of view. In my opinion such a low achievement has to do with how the government allocates the education budget, which is far from adequate considering the huge number of people needing education.
I would like to appeal to the government to reserve a budget substantial enough to fight the number one enemy: poor education that frequently leads to poverty, ignorance and even disintegration.
To the fellow teachers of math and science I cordially suggest that they shift their teaching paradigm, from using the transmission model to using the transaction and transformation models. The latter are more humanistic and may uplift students to a higher level. We should treat students as a subject rather than as an object in the teaching-learning process. Please note that as long as learning does not take place in a stress free atmosphere, only small learning achievements can be achieved.
Furthermore, master strategies of learning require both teaching the subjects, and the way to learn them, being emphasized in schools. Remember that the empires of the future will be the empires of the wind (Sir Winston Churchill).