Who do you call an educated person?
Is that someone who earns high academic title?
someone who obtained cum laude distinction?
someone who excels every subject in class?
In Indonesia, being educated is often associated with having bachelor/master/PHD degree (or higher) or graduated with GPA higher than 3.5. This mindset impacts people to do anything in order to get the degree. Whether it is peeking other’s answer sheet during examination or transferring cash to the teachers. You name it.
Some of them may choose more righteous approach such as taking bimbel after school. Bimbel or Bimbingan Belajar is an external studying institute where students are given some exercises to improve GPA. Most often, they give student exercises from past examinations. They forecast the possible questions for the upcoming examination and generate it into an exam simulation.
Whether you are cheating or choosing honest way, I am still hoping reader wants to evaluate how do you want to educate yourself because having best GPA is not enough to be called educated. You may remember all the physics formula or Latin name for human bones. But if you are sharing false information such as “Vaccine causing autism” and condemn vaccination, there are already two proofs confirming your uneducated nature.
By projecting myself as a ministry of education, these are 3 things that I wish my students are capable of
- Evaluating what you read (or listen)
Informations spreading vastly since the birth of internet and social media. Everybody can read, write and share news anywhere and anytime. People have been taught that reading book improves intelligences. What they rarely tell is how do you digest the information you read. If there is an unusual information, always make sure:
- Where is the information is coming from?
I normally collect news from different sources which are trusty and credible: Wikipedia, Kompas, and BBC news. Even so, I usually consult the facts with people who are expert on the topics. I compare the information and that is how I conclude the information as a fact or false.
- Be critical by learn how there is an opposite opinion
For example, there is an article X wrote that eating candy can reduce fat density. Before you spread the news, figure it out if there is article wrote that eating candy can increase fat density. You need to learn both articles and understand (in this case, about candy and fat itself) why there are two conflicting informations.
2. Debating like a lady/gentleman
You are debating not to object others opinion or to promote one idea. A proper debate is made to present conflicting ideas where audiences are given liberty to adopt their principle based on the strengths and weaknesses from each side. People are coming from different cultures, they shall choose their opinion that is more convenient to their background. On making argument, you have to support the idea in every aspects: health, safety, environment, economics, education and more. Unfortunately, debating skill is overlooked in Indonesia. No wonder people prefer to end the argument with fist.
3. Manner Maketh Man/Woman
You know what I mean?
Should you fix your make up on public transportation?
Some people said no, because it means you are showing off your wealth in a public.
If you borrow someone else’s phone, should you open their message or even their album photo without asking their permission?
Apparently not many people know what is right to do such a simple thing above. Understanding manner is not necessarily speaking nicely or agreeing every thing your boss command. Simply by knowing how you should act to respect the ethics and norms that society have formed. When you learn manner, from eating to fixing make up, you will earn respect and trust from your boss, your colleagues or even strangers. In case you are confused what to act in daily life, just consult your action! Read ‘Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything’ by Randy Cohen might help you.
Of course, there are more educative aspects that should be taught at school. But until now, I think those aspects I mentioned above is the highest priority to improve future education in Indonesia.
So, Who do you call an educated person?