Thursday, 17 December 2015

Rights To Learn


This image tells us about these kids way of fighting against inequity. They show their stance bravely against the forced demolition of their inclusive, tuition-free school. The kid’s rally cry really did rally us to them. They are very firm at that and they knew that they’re not alone, and they are right: we stand ready behind them.

 The picture above is very inspiring for me because not only that they are very brave, but it shows that there is, after all, an alternative. Education is first and foremost a basic right. It is – in its very nature – an emancipation. It is our strongest weapon against all kinds of injustice. It should be accessible for everyone; it should be free of exploitation.

MASTER school for me is like a slap in the face. It has opened my eyes to reality. There are a whole lot of kids that didn’t get an education. Some people even lived their entire lives deprived of their educational rights. What’s more, some of them made success out of their own. But unfortunately, people don’t see this as a problem. They only celebrate the triumph over one another - social darwinism, a product of market economy - while at the same time ignored some very concerning matters. They always talk about how competition and “profit motive” are helping to make education more accessible. Well, they are not. Instead, a study shows that countries that give a free universal education, such as Finland, do better on a same test than those that charge their student population highly such as the USA. I think it indicates at the very least, two problems: how our educational system is inefficient and the fact that so many people are marginalized from this very inefficient system itself.

In the end, problems like MASTER school actually aren’t specific, it happens across the whole country – if not the entire world. My very own university has been undergoing similar problem – namely the rising trend of student’s fee. While our counterpart in other parts of the earth, such as in Denmark, Germany, and France enjoys a free universal education, we Indonesian students did not. Instead, we anxiously keep facing the threat of rising tuition every new semester.

 What I learn most from them is to never stop to hope, to keep my imagination running wildly. Their message is clear: there is an alternative!