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Looking For A Better Education For Future Leaders For Indonesia

65 years, I think  it is not young anymore for a nation. However, Education Problem in my Country have not found its clue. I am thinking of  “Character and Mental Education For Future Leader of Indonesia”. Is It the answer?

As lecturer in University, I can not stop taking a part at least to think about the future of education in Indonesia. Why Education? Because, I believe “a better eduction” is the only thing can make “a better future” of this nations. Only a better education can make this nation moving from stupidity, from drop behind condition. Only a better education can cut the poverty chain.

Surely, I am not the only one thinking about education. We have ministry of education, governmental department in charge regarding this education matter. However, I think education needs everyone participation and everyone awareness. Unfortunately, many education policy in this nation is strictly determined by Government. In which, I am rarely happy with Government policy such as National Examination as the only one measurement to judge whether a student pass from school or not. I never think it is a tool to make a better education, only the one who can not see the fact, who said like that.

The fact showed national examination make a scary. The scary make everyone including students and teachers to do everything, even the worst thing, to cope with. It is public secret thoroughly in this nation, the scary of national examination trigger massive fraud, even the worst academic  fraud, in the schools. Student is cheating, Student is helping another student, even the teacher is helping the student during national examination is common fraud happens in each national examination held.

If, that’s the matter, we can conclude that Education in Indonesia only teach Dishonesty to the students. It is very bad mentality, isn’t it? Can you imagine what will this nation to be in the future? If everyone taught Dishonesty in his school.

So, what is a better education for this nation?

In my humble opinion, the education in Indonesia so far is not good news for me. Concisely, I can say that the education only make student to be mark oriented, and student is prepared to be worker. The same thing, for education system, frequently educator and government only adopted from another developed country such as Student Centered Learning, Competency-Based Learning, and whatever.  However, it still does not answer the problem, because it is lazily taken from country that is strongly different in culture, characteristic, and mentality from Indonesians.

I am dreaming a better education system that can built good mentality of student such as integrity, honesty, critical and analitical thingking, hard working, problem solving and decision making, confident, self awareness, proactive attitude, etc.  NOT ONLY student with CGPA 4.0 but apatis and opportunist. I am hoping a better education system that can make student to be future leader, future agent of change NOT future worker and follower.

It is not easy thing, but it doesn’t mean impossible. As a lecturer, I dare my self to think out the box. Dare to try something new, that is unusual things. Just for sharing, two weeks ago, I tried something new in my class. I tried a simulation what I called “Executive Meeting Role Play” instead of ordinary lecture. In this role play my students  in a group pretended  to be CEO,  CIO, CKO, HR Manager, Finance Manager, SCM Manager, CRM Manager, PR and CSR manager, Manufacturing manager held a meeting to discuss the given business problems of their imaginated Business Organization. In my humble opinion, it is very good to stimulate them to have  a good leadership skill, poblem solving, decision making, analitical and critical thingking.  At least, it is interesting method to cope with saturation giving oral presentation and lecture in front of class 😀 (What a Lazy Lecturere I was :p )

Keep Fight ! The Education In Indonesia ! It is very challenging for me, deal with education developement In this beloved country. I do hope I can take a part ( I don’t care how little it is) in it .

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Art Performer VS IT Professional

At my campus, in the main campus building garden, stand up a colorful stage. At this stage, nearly in each single afternoon, in each single business day, there will be held students’ performance. On the stage some of students were performing something like Ballet (Sendra tari, Bahasa Indonesia), theater, dance, yell or something else like that. equipping loud speaker, and loud music, make the stage glorious and crowded. The audiences were laughing and clapping when the performers were funny or doing fooling actions. Finally, in the end of their performance, some of lecturers as jury panel judge and comment their performance. If the students were lucky,  “all out” in their performance, and the most important thing is able to make lecturers happy, they will get Full Mark (100) for their performance means mark for the course they taken. Else, lecturer will give “spicy” comment, and absolutely they will get lower mark.

FYI, this glorious and crowded stages was happening, while other classes nearby the stage were ongoing. To tell you the truth, I always accidentally stop my office job when the stage is on going. I can not concentrate on my work disturbed by loud speaker and loud music, and I am not the only one, my other office mates as well. I can not imagine, how the students and lecturers in the class. I guarantee they can not focus on their class. My experience shows that it is very-very hard to handle class, when the stage is on going.

Can you guest what department my campus is?

Did you think it is Art and Theater department campus? if so, you are in a big mistake. It is truly happen in Information System Department, in Faculty of Information Technology Campus in which the students will graduate with Bachelor Degree in Computer Science (Sarjana Komputer, Bahasa Indonesia). Stage is intensively used as medium of learning in the odd semester for Interpersonal Skill  course ( 4 credit hours). In the even semester as well, stage is also intensively used for Information Technology Project Management course (6 credit hours) and Information Technology based Entrepreneurship course ( 3 credit hours ). Three absolutely different courses, but with the same approach i.e. on the stage.  Three absoultely different courses, but with the same lecturer. Coincidently, the lecturer is HOD.  Imagine ! there are at least 13 credit hours lecture on the theater stage, and there only 7 credit hours (algorithm and programming 1, and algorithm and programming 2) lecture on programming stage. I am sure, it is also not impossible there will be more credit hours lecture on the stage with the same ‘you know who’ lecturer.

In this note, I do not manage to blame anyone. I do not managed to blame any course or anything, I just want to write what in my head.  However, I think it is not wise, to judge something without knowing the reasons. Because, nothing happens without a reason, isn’t it? Let us see:

(1) Interpersonal Skill (4 credit hours)

The objective of this course is upon completion of this course  students have excellent ability in  team work, communicating, leadership, intra/inter personal, learning, writing, presentation and critical thinking skill.  To attain those objectives, most of  learning method is outdoor class and on the stage performance.

(2) Information Technology Project Management (6 credit hours)

The objective is upon completion of this course students have ability in managing IT Project including understanding project concept and framework, project planning, executing and handling IT Project.To attain some of these objectives  students are required to perform ballet. It is considered to be the most effective way to teach students how to develop solid team.

(3) Information Technology based Entrepreneurship ( 3 credit hours)

The objective  is upon completion of this course students dare and have ability to initiate, execute, spread, communicate, promote their IT based business. Since, entrepreneur must be passionate and has strong spirit and vitality, students are required to yell up and perform on the stage.

The question is:

Despite of whether this on the stage class disturbed other classes or not, is it (on the stage class method) the most effective and smartest method for above mentioned courses?

Regarding, this matter I am in line with what our Vice Dean 1 said.  Vice Dean 1 of Information Technology Faculty, one day, tell us:

“I am afraid, someday, exactly, the real competency alumni of Information System department is as art performer, or outbound trainer, neither business analyst, nor IT manager, nor IT Developer”.

He added this course, Interpersonal Skill, should not be a course, even  a course that cover 4 credits hours such as in Information System Department. A course with outbound model in each single week like this in his opinion is not effective, it will make students bored and finally can not grasped the essence of this course.

Lately, my campus concern in how to enhance student’s soft skill, and my HOD articulate it by forcing Interpersonal Skill course. Is it effective way to nurture student soft skill? In advance, I am one of those  strongly agree with this course. But, finally I don’t think so. I think it is not effective way to force students’ soft skill in 4 credit hours in one semester. The result is most of students are only mark oriented and did not get the soft skills expected. In my humble opinion soft skill can only be attained by long processes. This long process can be attain by students by joining extracurricular student activities, and student organization in which they are free to set their own way not disturbed by their damned lecturer. Sometime, a good education is education that free students. Actually, it has been responded by campus. Students can graduate from this campus, if only they can accumulate 1000 credit hours from extracurricular activities.

Distinctive  and unique methods/approaches  are good okay, but how to make sure that those new methods/approaches are running well? Can it be measured by measurement that set up by ourselves. I don’t think so. However, we can not judge some one in the process, right? We don’t know whether on the stage approaches that are boasted by our HOD will result a better graduate. Only God knows the future, even we do not know what will happen tomorrow. Let the time show the fact!

Now, I am talking the fact. This semester, I deliver a course in class whose  students just taken interpersonal skill course last semester with grade A (most of them). Ideally, they have skill above mentioned competencies for this course. For instance communication,  learning, presentation, writing, and critical thinking skill.  In my pinion, in my classes there is no one shows this competencies. When I ask them to deliver presentation in front of class, they are not confidently reading in front of class, not presenting.  When I ask them to pretend (role play)  as marketing team attracting the audience to by their product in front of class  they are talking to their own team, it looks they have no good communication skill. When I ask them to write scientific manuscript e.g. Practical Work report, most of them just “copy paste” not caring about citation ethics, and the most important thing is when I deliver lecture material in class, most of them are passive and ignorant  listeners, no one ask me showing their curiosity or even  criticizes what I deliver in front of class.  The worst case is when my teaching assistant deliver practical work material in Lab., the student is absolutely passive students. There is no feed back at all, even silly question from the  student.

So, can we conclude that Interpersonal Skill course is successful ? this question strengthen my opinion that soft skill is not effective deliver in one 4 credit hours course in one semester, but it should thorough long process and implicitly embedded in each course.

I am telling another fact here. I am a coordinator for Final Year Students who have interest in Decision Support System and Business Intelligence (DSS&BI) Lab. At the beginning of semester, many final year students come to office, discussing about their proposed final year project. Bellows are most-common discussion happen:

—-

Student :

Hello, Sir. I manage to enroll Final Year Project this semester and I am interested to Join DSS&BI lab. Do you have any idea that you think I can do it .

Me :

Okay, thank your for interesting join us at DSS &BI Lab. No,  have a look at our Lab. Research Road Map here !. Actually, There are many topics as shown here that may you interest in. It includes ……….

Student:

Oh, Sir. I am confuse.

Me :

It is Okay. But, now, please tell me what do you like most (may be subject do you like most), and dislike most !

Student:

Hmm, I am sorry Sir. I dont know What I like most is. But, I don’t Like Programming and I don’t like mathematical modelling.

Me :

Oh, what? May you are  misled joining DSS and BI Lab. Since you dont like programming and mathematical modelling, I  think it is better if you join Information System Planning  and Development Lab.

Student:

In advance, I think so, Sir. But, To tell you the truth, actually I don’t like dealing with “Him”. So, please, please help me Sir! I want to graduate this semester.

Me:

Okay, let me discuss with other lecturers and  contact you later.

I am deeply thinking, what happen with my students right now. I am new lecturer here, and the students are quietly different with us when we are students in the same place. I am worried, when Programming Course in this department  is shrinking, the number of above mentioned type  student is increasing.

Should they take “Doraemon Theather” as their Final Year Project?

I do hope it will not happen. Hopefully, It is only all about me that do not understand how the process of good education. Hopefully, It is only all about me that too stupid to understand the process of excellent education. Hopefully, It is only all about me that use too narrow and view in dealing with something that they called creative and smart breakthrough in education. Hopefully, it is only controversy at the beginning, and finally proven acceptable by everyone. Just like Moses and Nabi Khidir.

There are only one i.e.  the audacity of hope make me keep standing here. Since i know, educator is one of the most risky job. God, please give us the best for us.

*) it is just my very humble opinion. I believe there is no real truth in this world, but there is only real belief in this world.

when the students are : Less Motivated and Mark Oriented

I am dreaming someday education in Indonesia is like education in developed country. A campus is fully occupied by highly motivated and hard studying students,  In each single place of campus is fully by student discussing their learning. Campus library is fulled by student learning until late in the night.

I am very sure the future of Indonesia as a nation is strongly depended on how the education in this country. Knowing the education in Indonesia nowadays,  I am afraid and worried about the future of this nation. Regardless how the facilities of  education in Indonesia,  while knowing how the condition of the student really make me sad. As a lecturer in one of leading University in Indonesia, I know well how the condition of student in Indonesia. Frankly speaking, I can say that the student in Indonesia is less motivated and mark oriented.

A case example, when I deliver lecture material in front of class, I frequently wonder to my students: is there any question? It is rarely there will be question. But, when I change the rule by promising them to give extra mark, many student will raise their hand up and ask me “silly” question. They will not study if there is no quiz, no assignment, or test. They will do something, only if they are given reward that is Grade. They are not interested with what their lecturer given, but Grade.  They will hardly complaint if their mark is not like their expectation, many student will come to their lecturer office to try their very best to get better mark. But, they do not care whether they understand or do not what their lecturer delivered in Class. So far, every day I always get student come to my office, but there is no student come to discuss about lecture material in Class. They come to say sorry because of late submission of assignment or test.

“Sir, please do not deduct my mark, please please give me Full Mark Sir”.

No one come to my office and says:

“I am sorry Sir, I do not really understand with this thing, would you like to explain me again?” or

“I am sorry Sir, I do not agree with your opinion that…., in my opinion……”

Lecturer that is generous in giving mark, will be the most favorite lecturer, although he/she is not expert in his/her area. Lecturer that is very strict in giving mark will be “Monster” that is the most unwanted lecturer, although he/she is professor that is very very expert in his/her area.

Sometime, I wonder what are they looking for in this University? Just a piece of bachelor degree certificate with CGPA = 4? what is it for, if they know and can do nothing ! It is even getting worse, when it is known that there is barely student that like Programming, in Information System department. I think it is embarrassing, they will graduate with Sarjana Komputer (Bachelor of Computer Science), but they do not like Programming and can not develop program. It  sounds  weird, but it is truly happen. They graduated from Information System Department, but do not know much about Information System.

In my opinion, university students nowadays are highly affected by “POP Culture”. They only want to be happy, happy in all days. Hang out with their friends just to make happy. They are less hard working, less motivated students. It is rarely view, you can see student in Campus bringing thick text book, read and  discus it with their friend. But, in each single of campus you can easily see student facing their laptop updating their facebook, plurk, or twitter. They use Internet for accessing social network website.  What about library? the backbound of campus Life. I think you know the answer, no student come in this damned place. Library is the most silent place from student.

Knowing this matter, How is the future of this nation?  God knows the answer. As a lecturer, I just have an audacity of hope someday everything will be getting better and better. It is big homework for me, how to make a campus to be real campus. I just want Campus is  not just like a market in which money and bachelor degree certificate is exchanged. I just do hope a campus will be an agent of change, changing for better Indonesia, better life and better humanity.

Bismilah, how to start being a professional writer, ya?

nullReading and Writing are supposed to be complement for each other. A good reader is supposed to be a good writer then. I am happy, I am good reader [at least based in my own mind :p ] . But, I am still unhappy to know that I am not a good writer , and a part away to be named a professional writer. Someday, in my future time Insya Allah.

One of my ambitions in this life is to be a professional writer. but, this ambition is yet to be realized until now. I do not know how to start it. Many things I think resist me to realize this ambitions. Many times, my desire come with willingness to write article in newspaper and to write book as well. But, as the time gone the desire is faded out away.

I think many negative thinking  insist in my mind that resist me to realize this ambition.  Sometime I feel I should to be a very expert first, getting a Ph. D degree first, even to be professor first, before being a professional writer. But, finally I realize what the fact reveal that not all professors are good writers and its vice versa not all professional or good writers are Master degree, Ph.D,  or Professor holder.  It means to be good and professional writer no need to wait till I get those degree.

So, what should to do right now?

I have read many books regarding writing tips and tricks, some of the books give detail tips and tricks but some of them give a simple tips. I more agree on the later book. I think the effective way to be writer is to be a good reader first. No one in this world can generate a new knowledge genuinely from his/her self.  Someone get the knowledge from others first, then conclude and improve those knowledge. One effective way to elicit knowledge is by reading. Not only reading book, newspaper, blog, or any information from  internet but also reading situation and condition of the environment surround us.  If you have been a good reader. It is not too difficult to be good writer. That’s what some tips and tricks said. The next step is Just write it up now. Never aware how is the quality of what you have written is. The final steps are revision, revision, revision,………………. till you feel happy with what you have written.

It sounds easy to be a writer. But, I am sure it is not so easy to do. As an academic staff, I am urged to write scientific books. Although, I feel more joyful to write a fiction book such as a Novel. In a Novel I am not only can express and write what in my brain is, but I also can express and write what in my soul, my heart are .  What I heard and I saw too in my own way, breaking any rules such as what in scientific book should obey.

So, the problem is how start it? or in other words, how to make it getting started.  Sometime, it is much more difficult to manage ourselves than manage others. To push ourselves is not an easy thing. I remember how I can write 6 papers during my Master studies. It is great for me, when my paper is accepted in some  international conferences or journals. How I can do it? The answer is,  it is just because I was pushed by my supervisor.

When there is no one push us? Who should we expect to push Us? Oh God, guide my hand and brain to write up.  Give me a great willingness and energize me to write book in order to give more contributions for others.  I manage to write scientific book for nurturing science and knowledge in Indonesia academic atmosphere. Amin…

Trade off Between Narcissism Vs Personal Branding via personal Web Blog

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Perhaps, some people thinks and assumes that One created a web blog tendency is no more than excessive narcissism effect. One trying to “show off”  via his/her blog. Is it true? May be Yes, May be No. Narcissism? actually,  What is Narcissism. Even, some feel proud to be Narcissist.  Narcissism describes the trait of excessive self-love, based on self-image or ego [en,wikipedia].

Then, is it wrong to be Narcissist? He he… It is fine to self-love, [because who will love you, even you do not self-love? ] . But, to be excessive self-love based on self-image is unhealthy. It is severe personality dysfunction or disorder personality. In my Religion, Islam, it is known as Riya’ [Arabic], and it is strictly prohibited  for each Muslim having this trait. On the contrary, it is suggested to each Muslim to be humble and not arrogant to others.

Does having a personal web blog always identically represent a Narcissism. It is too Hypocrite to claim that I am not Narcissist in my web blog.  Truly, I am proud when my web blog is visited, moreover it is commented. But, to be honest it is not my concern.

First, I just want to share  some sides of my life.  If I was in Good, may people could be inspired to be better than me. If  I was in bad, may people could learn from my stupidity. So, hopefully no one will fell in the same gorge like me and no one “reinventing the wheel” what I have done well. Second, I just want to sharpen my writing skill. Being an Inspiring Writer is dream of many people. But, to be real Inspiring Writer is a choice. It is just not for granted. But through a long journey of not trivial thorough processes.

Third, the most important thing, I want to make my web blog as personal knowledge management system. In this era of what people called knowledge based economy, every modern organization should aware and realize knowledge as the most important assets and resources better than other resources such as product and service. Knowledge awareness is the key successful factor for organization’s advantages and competitiveness in this highly competitive business world. Thus, I am as a smallest modern organization entity, supposed to be knowledge aware too, Isn’t it ? at least with my web blog, I can manage all my knowledge well, and I can retrieve it back easily, when I am forgotten.

This web blog also encourage me to share and transfer my knowledge, especially to transfer my tacit knowledge scattered in my brain and past experiences to be explicit knowledge. Then, others can grab and learn from it.  Nevertheless, I also can acquire and elicit knowledge from others too, especially the one commented in this blog.

At worst, I just want to make a personal branding from my web blog. Why personal branding? for inspiring and infecting others, [in my very humble opinion] I think  it is necessarily to have a good personal branding first. How’s One will believe on you, if you do not have good personal brand, even bad personal brand. Without good personal brand, one will despise you.

Needing a long time, years to have a good personal brand, but just needing a minutes to corrode it. And it is not easy to recreate a good personal brand. It is important and fine to have a good personal branding as long as address to betterment and driven by sincere desire of your nice heart. Never make a personal branding, but you are so hypocrite.  Only tell the white side of your Life and deny the black side is not good. One will damn you.  No body is perfect ! Every Body is accompanied with its strength  and weakness, but too focus in your weakness and forget your strength is also not good. Focus much in your strength to inspire others, but honestly realize and tell to your self that you are not so perfect.

Be an Inspiring Successful Guy  in a Humble Personality ! Down to earth ! Just like a star on the Water at night, it looks so contemptible, but actually it is so high in the sky. There should be failures and croppers prior to success. Life is not merely about Win and Lost. You are not Lost when you fail to win, but you are definitely lost when you are stop trying !

cakshon [@ UTP : March 21 9:50 AM]