#786 Mind Barf: The Dutch Education System (a.k.a. Why Can’t It Be Like That Here)

I had a conversation (via twitter) with someone I know who’s Dutch. The plan was that I wanted to ask her a few questions so I can get an idea of what to write. She gave me a few bases on what to work on, but one really stuck out to me.

My mother took her master’s on education. I was always told, whether she meant to or not, of what is wrong with the education system in our country and how it should be done. In fact, aside from taking care of her children, this is her job, being an advisor of sorts in a private school. So it goes without saying that I know quite a bit about, at the very least, Indonesian’s education system.

Straight out I just gave her the theme written out by the organizers of kompetiblog2012, which is as following:

“Dutch Creativity” – Holland is a creative nation. Dutch people enjoy innovating and constantly ask themselves and others questions to come up with new ideas.

Being the curious person that I am, I asked her why she thought that was so. Her answer gave me an insight on how Dutch education works. (Though it’s still confusing overall. Very different from here in Indonesia.)

She said that kids are encouraged to be creative since they were small. She said that it’s because at school they are encouraged to be innovative and always curious, always asking questions and finding out the answers by themselves. Being bombarded with so many cultures, because of their big naval history, they’re constantly trying to understand the world around them. Their small country, with their limited resources, often had to be innovative when it comes to solving problem, hence the creativity, to survive. (Which in turn make me wonder about other small-island country and their success, such as Japan, England, and so on. But that’s something to think of later.)

Of course, my next thought was comparing our education with theirs. I know that here, most kids are pushed to become a doctor, a scientist, an engineer, a businessman, or something that is very exact and profitable. Jobs in the art field are often discouraged because you’re not sure where exactly you’re going to end up. Not everyone can get good pay out of the creative fields. I asked her how it was in NL. She answered that, no, kids are encouraged to be what they want. In fact, a lot of young girls aspire to be a fashion designer. There are many schools focusing on fashion, music, design, and so forth.

Do you see how successful the Dutch are? How well known they are for their innovations? Of their products? Of their brainchild? Now if only they’d implement these kinds of thinking here in Indonesia, encouraging the creative fields, letting children be what they want to be, then we’d be able to at the very least come close to the success of our former colonizer.

– ditulis oleh Dea R. Komala


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