“Learning without thinking is useless, but thinking without learning is very dangerous!” Soekarno, Indonesia’s former president.
Education is an essential part of our lives. That is why every country has their own way, their own style to make their education work. My experience of living in both Indonesia and the UK and studying in these two different parts of the world opens up my eyes to see that the education systems are quite the opposite. There are aspects that are starkly different between the two.
The first thing is the system of reading. Students in the UK are taught to read from a very young age. They don’t need to read much, only a few pages a day, but it must be constant. They read everything, such as novels, articles, scientific books, and others. Not only that, but they also need to make summaries from what they have read because they must understand what they are reading. On the other hand, reading isn’t considered as important in the Indonesian education system. The system does not require the students to read and understand. Instead, they are taught to memorize a lot of things from textbooks, which they sometimes do not understand. As a result, these students will eventually forget the things that they have read.
The hands up approach is another difference I see between the Indonesian and British education systems. It is when a teacher asks a question and the students raise their hands to answer. Students in Indonesia are not used to this approach, even in colleges. When a teacher asks a question, they tend to stay quiet, scared of answering or maybe getting a wrong answer. Whereas in the UK, students, starting from the nursery, are taught to raise their hands and deliver their opinions even if they are wrong. Teachers are very appreciative of each and every point given by the students.
The last thing is the levelling system. The education levelling system in Indonesia uses rank. Each student is ranked based on their scores compared to other students. ‘Competing with your friend’ is what is put in every student’s mindset. The goal is to get the perfect score to ensure that you get the highest rank in the class. In comparison, the education in the UK uses a levelling system called ‘key stage’. Each key stage is determined by the age of the students. Therefore, students are not demanded by teachers or anyone to have to be able to master a specific material or get the best score, but to make sure they understand and adjust to their abilities. The only person they need to compete with is themselves.
Taking everything into account, there are differences that we can see between the Indonesian and UK education system. They include the system of reading to understand and to memorize, the hands up approach, and the levelling system. Some might be better than others, but one thing for sure, both are important to each country as they help youths to prepare for their future.