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Criticsm for Indian Educational System

iconimg November 4, 2006

Robbie Corey-Boulet , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, June 13, 2008


Source:

An increasing number of students, from Nepal to the United States, are expressing interest in Delhi University.However, bureaucratic hurdles and impenetrable language barriers are making an otherwise rewarding academic experience unpleasant.

DU opens roughly five percent of its total spots to foreigners, in accordance with a longstanding policy agreed to by university officials and various government offices, including the MEA.

But the total varies from year to year, and it jumped from below 1,500 in 2006-07 to roughly 2,000 in 2007-08, according to DU statistics and a tally conducted by the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU).

Despite the increase in numbers both Indian universities and government officials have yet to wake up to the bureaucratic hurdles faced by international students.

Pan Mohamad Faiz, a 25-year-old Indonesian student pursuing an LLM degree, bristles at the layers of bureaucracy one encounters when trying to file application forms and other papers. “They cannot speak English very well,” he said of the staffers who process such papers. “For a foreigner who cannot speak Hindi, it can be a big problem.”

Komilzoda Sangin, a 25-year-old from Tajikistan pursuing his MA in social work, echoed this criticism. “If you go to them (the staffers) they will tell you ‘Come tomorrow.’ Everything is ‘Come tomorrow.’ They are just sitting and not doing anything, and they will still tell you ‘Come tomorrow.’”

Dean Students Welfare S.K. Vij admitted that problems existed but the university was trying to bring in improvements.

“By and large, I think (foreign students) are fairly comfortable, but there’s always room for improvement,” said Vij.

He noted that the university does not yet have a system in place to track foreign students after they enroll, so it is impossible to determine how many drop out and for what reasons.

At present, DU has international students’ hostels and a dean of foreign students assigned to handle issues specific to foreigners. The university might soon approve a proposal to make foreign students eligible to receive basic DU-
provided health care free of charge.

Mohamad Faiz described living in one of DU’s international students’ hostels as a mixed blessing. Many foreign students, he said, hope to improve their English while in India, and the hostel helps in this respect because English is a common language for residents. But life in a hostel also limits the extent to which foreigners can interact with their Indian peers.

Existing support networks for foreign students have at times been inadequate, said DUSU President Amrita Bahri. “For instance, all foreign students can’t go to one foreign students’ adviser,” she said. In February, DUSU inaugurated a foreign students’ association as part of the effort to serve DU’s international population.

Chatunnop Attachakara, 25, a native of Bangkok, Thailand, has experienced life at both DU and Jawaharlal Nehru University in South Delhi. He completed a BCom(H) at Sri Venkateswara College in 2006 and then began a bachelor’s program in Japanese at JNU.

He said international students at DU are subjected to teasing and taunting on a regular basis and tend to be isolated from the broader campus community. “Being a foreign student [at JNU] is better. At DU, we are separated,” Attachakara said.

With a student population of only 5,000, JNU has a smaller number of international students to accommodate — a little under 200 in January 2007. In addition, foreign students at JNU benefit from well-established institutions such as a foreign students’ association that was founded in 1985.

Despite their complaints, both Faiz and Sangin said their experiences at DU have largely been positive. Ravi Agarwal, 24, an MBA aspirant from Nepal, said the competitive nature of Indian students facilitates a rigorous but rewarding academic environment replete with high-achievers. “The education level back in my country is not this good,” he said.

(With inputs from Kartikay Wadwha)

Mahasiswa Indonesia asal India Raih Gelar Terbaik di Belanda

KONSEP PEMBANGUNAN BERKELANJUTAN DI INDONESIA LEMAH

Senin, 26 Mei 2008 08.00 WIB
Oleh: Zeynita Gibbons
(Reportase ANTARA Inggris & Eropa)

Konsep sustainable development atau pembangunan berkelanjutan yang dijalankan di Indonesia sangat lemah. Terbukti dari rendahnya peringkat Human Development Index (HDI)Indonesia yang dikeluarkan Badan Program Pembangunan PBB (UNDP).

Berdasarkan laporan “Human Development Report”, HDI Indonesia berada pada peringkat ke-107 dari 177 negara di dunia, dan peringkat ke-7 di antara negara-negara Asia.

Prof Dr Ir Saul Lemkowwitz yang menjadi pembicara kunci dalam pertemuan ilmiah Pelajar Indonesia “Students Scientific Meeting (ISSM) 2008” yang digelar Institute of Science and Technology (ISTEC) Indonesia, menyatakan banyak negara berkembang –seperti Indonesia– mengira keberlanjutan pembangunan suatu bangsa dapat dicapai hanya dengan pengembangan teknologi.

“Padahal sustainability yang kuat harus dicapai dengan pengembangan lintas disiplin,” katanya dalam pidatoa berjudul “How Sustainable is Modern Civilization”.

Pertemuan ilmiah yang diikuti sekitar 100 pelajar Indonesia di luar negeri, seperti dari Belanda, Jerman, dan Inggris, dilaksanakan guna menemukan solusi sekaligus memperkuat konsep pembangunan berkelanjutan di Indonesia secara integral.

Pan Mohamad Faiz dari Fakultas Hukum “University of Delhi” menyatakan pembangunan berkelanjutan hanya dapat tercapai jika sebuah negara memunyai perspektif yang baik tentang perlindungan terhadap Hak Asasi Manusia (HAM) kepada warga negara.

Ketua Umum Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia di India (PPI-India) yang di akhir Konferensi dianugerahi sebagai “The Best Oralist Presenter (Lecture)” menilai pembangunan berkelanjutan harus ditopang tiga pilar yaitu lingkungan, ekonomi, dan sosial.

“Ketiganya mempunyai sifat saling keterkaitan dan tidak dapat dipisahkan satu sama lain dengan Hak Asasi Manusia,” katanya.

Sebagai ilustrasi, kata Faiz, kemampuan masyarakat untuk berpartisipasi dalam pembangunan akan tertutup apabila kebutuhan atau hak-hak dasar masyarakat –seperti pangan, kesehatan, pendidikan, tempat tinggal– terlanggar ataupun tidak terpenuhi.

Pembangunan berkelanjutan juga menuntut kebebasan berpendapat dan hak berpartisipasi dalam kehidupan sosial-politik.

Menurut Faiz, pembangunan tidak akan bisa berlanjut (“unsustainable”) apabila penegakan hukum tidak berjalan sesuai fungsinya. Demikian pula jika terjadi diskriminasi etnik, agama, jenis kelamin, pembatasan berlebihan terhadap kebebasan beropini, berkumpul, dan aktivitas pers.

“Pembangunan juga tak ada artinya jika masih terdapat sejumlah besar masyarakat yang hidup di bawah bayang-bayang kemiskinan,” ujarnya.

Mestinya, kata Faiz, pembangunan berkelanjutan juga harus mengacu sistem hukum, yang berlaku. “Indonesia menganut supremasi konstitusi, yang menjadikan UUD 1945 sebagai sumber dari segala sumber hukum dan perilaku kenegaraan. Mestinya itu harus benar-benar ditegakkan.”

140 makalah

Dalam ISSM 2008, panitia menerima lebih dari 140 makalah yang berhubungan dengan pembangunan berkelanjutan dan sekitar 64 makalah yang dipublikasikan.

Prof Ahmad Munawar yang menyampaikan makalahnya berjudul “Sustainable Urban Public Transport Planning in Indonesia, Case studies in Jogjakarta and Jakarta”, mengatakan kebutuhan akan angkutan umum masal berupa kereta api ringan sangat dibutuhkan untuk angkutan kota selain dapat mengangkut banyak penumpang.

Untuk itu Ahmad Munawar mendukung kerjasama Indonesia dengan perusahaan trem listrik Belanda. “Proposal kerjasama antara Universitas Gajah mada dengan Universitas Delf Jerman juga tengah dibahas,” ujarnya.

Penyelenggara pertemuan ilmiah pelajar Indonesia (Indonesian Student`s Scientific Meeting- ISSM) 2008 itu, sempat mengalami gangguan dengan terjadinya kebakaran di gedung arsitektur Delf University of Technology.

Menurut Amaltia Gunawan, salah satu panitia, ISSM 2008 bertujuan untuk membangun, mengembangkan dan memupuk kerjasama ilmiah dan teknis antara peneliti, akademisi Indonesia dengan partner mereka di luar negeri khususnya peneliti dari negara negara di Eropa.

Amaltia yang tengah mengambil Master di Zuid Holland, Netherlands menyebutkan ISSM 2008 juga bertujuan mengintensifkan peran penaliti dan akademisi khususnya dalam bidang agribisnis, bioteknologi, sosial dan politik, teknik, teknologi, informasi, energi, lingkungan dan ilmu alam. (*)