YOGYAKARTA – Character education of the nation is getting farther away from the spirit of values of religion, Pancasila, and nationality. This is the impact of education as part of commodity of world trade market. Those are several topics emerging in a discussion of educational, cultural, and religious experts that took place at Center for Pancasila Studies UGM, Friday (8/7). Attending the discussion were member of the Presidential Advisory Council (Wantimpres), Education and Culture Affairs, Prof. Dr. Meutia Hatta Swasono, and UGM Rector, Prof. Ir. Sudjarwadi, M. Eng., Ph.D., along with some educational experts and religious figures.
Chairman of Experts Team from Center for Pancasila Studies, Prof. Dr. Sutaryo, said that the current condition of character education is quite critical due to the abandonment of education and teaching of religion, Pancasila, and citizenship. To re-instill national character education needs revamping of grand design of education, from early childhood education, kindergarten, elementary to higher education. "One of them is updating the grand design of philosophy, politics and educational policy," he said.
Further, Sutaryo explained that the current education is not different from that in the Dutch colonial era, namely to educate learners to become government official or coolie/ Dutch employees. The difference is today, graduates of an educational institution are prepared to meet the needs of the market. "The first enemy of this country is market fundamentalist. Indonesia has consciously put higher education into commodity trade in the WTO," he said. Sutaryo also suggested that the fields of education, culture, and teaching are put back together to be applied to the learners.
To reporters, Meutia Hatta said that all aspirations of religious and educational figures will become input to be submitted to the President in taking policy in education and culture. "Inputs related to national character education will be submitted to the President," she said.
Meutia admitted that character education for learner is degrading along with the abandonment of education and teaching of Pancasila. She also agreed that character education will be re-applied in all areas and levels of education, both formal and informal. "There have been many people who want it, we will encourage that," she concluded.