Bilik Belajar Murni Ramli

Pendidikan adalah hal yang sejak kecil hingga kini kudapatkan baik di sekolah, keluarga maupun lingkunganku. Tapi belum pernah kutekuni apa sebenarnya `Pendidikan` itu. Bilik ini adalah ruang belajarku memahami apa makna pendidikan yang berhasil ditangkap oleh mata dan batinku. Sebagian adalah figure pendidikan di Jepang, tempatku sekarang belajar menyelami makna kata `pendidikan`

Sunday, May 14, 2006

EDUCATION for SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT vs SUSTAINING for EDUCATION

At the end of June 2005, an international workshop for education for sustainable development (ESD) was convened in Nagoya University, organized by two institutions, United Nation University (UNU) and UNESCO. The interesting theme promoting globalization and ESD was interpreted by familiar names that have been recorded internationally as the motivators of sustainable development (SD), such as Emil Salim, who has persistently and seriously strived in nurturing environmental issues in Indonesia either when he was be incumbent Minister of Environment in Suharto era or as a Professor in University of Indonesia. The second name was Charles Hopkins who is currently the UNESCO Chair at York University in Toronto, where coordinating international network of reorientation of elementary and secondary school teachers from 35 countries to address SD. Another was Carl Lindberg, an advisor of UNESCO for ESD in 2004 and currently as a former Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Science, Sweden.

In December 2002, resolution 57/254 on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO was designated as lead agency for the promotion of the Decade. Education for sustainable development has been defined narrowly as an environmental education only. In fact, Education for sustainable development is a life-wide and lifelong endeavour which challenges individuals, institutions and societies to view tomorrow as a day that belongs to all of us, or it will not belong to anyone.It is education to sustain the culture, society, heritage and others as well as sustain the environment, in order to promote opportunity and better life for the next generation. Mamoru Mohri, an astronaut and Executive Director of National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, Japan at the first day of the workshop gave a different point of view to see our earth in which all creatures: human, plant, animal, micro organism live and share the water, land, and air. Mohri had brought our imagination beyond to see our earth from the moon that emerged our consciousness of the fact that our earth being old and need serious, persistent, continuous, not only willingness but also endeavor and effort.

At the second day of the workshop, 29 June, the committee provided three working groups to discuss in detail the theme; E-learning for SD; Local and Regional Initiative on ESD; and Higher Education and ESD. I was interested at the second topic, because at that time I was thinking that it closely related to my job as a teacher in pesantren located in the rural area of Indonesia and recently have many problems in environmental issues. I had expected before what can I got from the forum were the practical examples, guidance, and experiences share by participants who have been successfully established ESD in their countries. Since most of the presenters came from university, the atmosphere of higher education was in the ascendancy the discussion forum. Rietje van Dam Mieras and K.C. Koshy who are respectively from Open University of the Netherlands, UNU, and University of the South Pacific tend to explore the regional cooperation called the Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) in the European region and the local activities in South Pacific countries where put the university on a center development of ESD. In different perspective the marvelous, fantastic plan of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in address of ESD was introduced interestingly by Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, the Vice Counselor of USM. His explanation also perfectly figured the progressive and serious steps of Malaysia reforming their educational system towards the globalization era. USM seems to concentrate consistently building auto-reform of the system and circumstance of internal campus. The project was elaborated compulsively as what they called the Onion model that figured the sequence steps, interpreted as a layer of onion, of USM toward the core aim, core of onion, of the USM`s point of view of ESD issue. They also have a transdisciplinary cluster approach consisted of the idea to build 6 kinds of Garden: Garden of knowledge, nature, heritage, vista, people, and garden of tomorrow. Gaining the core successfully, they go to open their house allowing the society, government, other institutions to know, study, transform, evaluate and also provide some help and offer good cooperation for the spreading of the idea of ESD. This project had brought USM as one of the participants who got an award from UNU/UNESCO as an appreciation of their tremendous job.

Another awesome job also presented by Japanese NGO, Ehime Global Network, Japanese Commission on the decade of ESD, represented by one the board member, Yoshiko Takeuchi Murphy who explained further the activities of Japanese introducing the idea of ESD locally and abroad related to peace building issue, environmental protection, and cross cultural understanding. One of their international cooperation works was shipping Mozambique people abandoned bicycles in order to barter for the weapons that they still have because of the civil war.

Political issue also emerged from the forum asking the intentional attention and seriousness of politician/government to stimulate and trigger the ESD issues. Proving this, UNU/UNESCO also invited the Mayor of Okayama City to get an award for his successful work to encourage his citizens and NGO taking a part in his project which aims to increase awareness and participation in environmental conservation efforts. About 830 groups comprising about 30,000 people joined this project and did a good networking to campaign their idea to over 660,000 people in Okayama. At The World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, 2002, Okayama city had an opportunity to showcase the framework of Environmental Partnership Project. Recently the organizations work in ESD there has been promoting the Okayama ESD Project, which the final goal is to establish a Regional Center of Expertise on ESD along the lines proposed by UNU since 2004.

The concept of ESD is not a new issue in Indonesia. There were some projects sponsored by UNESCO, UNU and other NGOs such as Hanns Seidel Foundation with its Environmental program in Prigen, East Java, 2005; Toyota Environmental Activities Grant Program, 2001-2003. But we still need the seriousness of government to motivate and activate the whole elements of society to involve in this program. Since Indonesia is a very huge, heterogenic country, it is not an easy work to formulate the concept of ESD as a model for whole provinces. As UNESCO said that the concept of ESD cannot be applied in a simple, universal model. There will be nuanced differences according to local contexts, priorities and approaches. Each country has to define its own priorities and actions. The goals, emphases and processes must, therefore, be locally defined to meet the local environmental, social and economic conditions in culturally appropriate ways. Education for sustainable development is equally relevant and critical for both developed and developing countries.
Not only paying attention to ESD but the most crucial problem in Indonesia especially in a rural area is how to sustain for education. Government through the Minister of National Education has promoted 9 years compulsory education for children age 7-15 years old. In fact, the large area and a plenty of pluralism impact to the difficulties and the challenges that have been faced in practicing and promoting that concept. Most of children at that age must help their parents to earn money, to do housework substituting mother responsibility. Therefore, government should provide a free education, an ease and conducive circumstance for parents to get a satisfying job and salary, subsidy for basic needs such as food, oil, housing and transportation fare. On the other hand education in urban area also face the same problem with different reasons. The enrollment of upper secondary education and higher education in Indonesia is very low (51% &11%). Many reasons have come out, one of them is the high expenditure for higher education, and other is insufficient and unsatisfied workplace for who graduated from higher education. Most of the young people nowadays think to get money and popularity easily, quickly, and without hard working. That is why most of them have a dream to be an entertainment figures that everybody can do without special education, rather than think to fulfill what society needs or get more prestigious status in society. Therefore, the challenge should be met by government is to encourage students to attend the schools, persuade them to continue their study into higher level.

ESD concept and Sustaining for education can be done together in the same time. Socializing the concept of ESD is not only the duty of NGO that plays a main role in Indonesia recently, but the government should come up with a definite policy of ESD for the whole elements of society. ESD concept has a relation with economists, politicians, technicians, educators, farmers, housewives, etc. ESD is not only introduced to children but adult people, parents also need to learn it. Students can put into practice the ESD concept in school but cannot sustain to enact it when they go back and find the fact that their parents do not understand and practice what they got in the school. They also notice adult people surrounding them do the wrong and bad thing. So, how can be sustained in this situation?

Rewrite from the article in my homepage : http://www.geocities.com/moernier/ESD.html

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