Sat, 13 May 2000

New education budget

Watching a news broadcast on ANteve on May 2, 2000, about the government's new education budget, I wish to comment on the importance of education today.

First, education should be a priority as there are 880 million illiterate adults in the world or 20 percent of the world's population, according to UNESCO figures (The Jakarta Post, April 24, 2000). Second, lack of education today is the new slavery. Anyone without an education today, in the new millennium, is like a slave, perhaps even worse off than one. It is unforgivable (Thioro Pall, the Post, April 28, 2000). Third, an expert on education states that the greatest wealth today lies between two ears and that is the brain. As a matter of fact, according to the experts, the most important thing is not brute power but brainpower. Or it is no longer manpower that counts but mindpower.

To support the idea, I also want to relate what my class professor once said: a man without education is a man without a future. Hence, I fully support the decision made by the government to reallocate the education budget despite the existing limited economic conditions. This is crucial considering that we are entering the 21st century, in which the four pillars of education will inevitably become social requirements. These are learning to live together, to know, to do and to be. (The World of Education Today and Tomorrow (UNESCO) 1972).

Further, it is also stated that two skills: fast learning and clear thinking are the key to 21st century personal skills.

So, how can we achieve these goals if our education budget remains as low as 1.4 percent of the entire state budget?


Cimahi, Bandung