Education strategy and the philosophy of bicycle riding

Education strategy and the philosophy of bicycle riding

Budiono Kusumohamidjojo, Jakarta | Opinion | Tue, May 14 2013, 11:04 AM

Paper Edition | Page: 7

Indonesia is a vast country that should not tolerate dilettantish national policy formulations, let alone in the field of education, which should always be perceived as the most important undertaking of human investment.
With its population of 240 million people and abundant natural resources, it is a land that is badly in need of a state of the art education strategy.
Indonesia’s education strategy should be capable to withstand geopolitical shifts, yet, flexible enough for policy adjustments that may be called for by changes in the course of national development. We cannot undermine serious thoughts on such a strategy, as Indonesia, like all other countries, faces a future of mankind that will be marked as a risk society (Ulrich Beck) with tendencies really hard to predict.
The quintessence of education is to guarantee the inter-generational cultural relay race that consists of the transfer of previous “weather proven” knowledge and experiences, the critical communication over the here and now (Jürgen Habermas) and a dialogue about the future.
In that regard education firstly has a conservative-conventional function: to prepare the next generations with integer basic capabilities (Ki Hajar Dewantara) in order to survive against nature and survive in relations with fellow humans (Sigmund Freud).
Therefore, it is our obligation to equip the next generations with an education in liberal arts that is historically proven; a correct mother tongue which in our case would be our national language, mathematics and natural sciences, history and geography and, not the least, ethics and discipline in order for individuals at large to be civilized in an increasingly pluralistic society.
The second function is rather progressive-nonconventional: to open opportunities for the development of autonomous poietic capabilities (Engkoe Mohammad Sjafei) in order to cope with a future that no one knows how it would look like. Somehow generations of each era shall have to find their own problem solving if they want to survive (Han Feizi, Machiavelli).
Older generations have the obligation to pass on their best knowledge and capabilities to the coming generations and also enlighten them with skills and training to discover, on their own, sophisticated methods and prudence that they would think adequate to cope with a risk society of the future, the trend of which is hard to predict.
The coming generations will become the more like an arrow that we shoot in a battle of civilizations whereby we cannot dictate where it should stuck.
Most important, the coming generations will certainly define on their own what they are or will be, while we cannot convince them to retain what we now deem as our precious identity.
We should not wonder if the future generations would find out on their own to love values what we hate, or the other way around — to hate norms what we love.
We should also open a broad poietic sphere for youngsters to be creative by means of providing them with opportunities for artistic works (painting, singing, writing and crafts), sports and, increasingly recommendable, martial arts.
Those capabilities are required for the next generations to train themselves to be skilled in independent analysis, self-evaluation and to deal autonomously out of the box, let alone out of our box.
As the human future will be tight with technology which does not promise anything enduring nor certainty, the coming generations should be prepared to think and to act beyond the conventional frontiers and rely more on their own autonomous analytical capabilities to decide what they would deem fit to bringing them to a better life and to prevent setbacks (Flügel-Martinsen, Jenseits von Glauben und Wissen, 2011).
Wading across life in the future would be much like riding a bicycle in a terrain bumpy with all kinds of challenges and obstacles, some of them could be even devastating.
In such a terrain one should not rely too much on others, as others would also have increasing problems of their own.
If one rides a bicycle, there is little use to rely on anybody; one relies on one’s own bicycle and one’s own élan to accomplish track by track of history. Change that metaphor into real life then we get our most valuable reason in place of a bicycle, and get the real tough life to deal with instead of history.
Still, once you ride the bicycle of history, keep paddling, because if you ever stop, you will get trapped in failure and the tragedy of life that will prevent you to stand up again, because history is only a one way path.
To avoid the tragedies of history Indonesia really needs an able and solid government, and not one whose high ranking officials only offer apologies for fiascoes caused by their sheer incompetence or
The next general election in April 2014 should produce such a government, or else we would be bound for a deeper history of ignorance, which no reasonable nation would be willing to go into.

The writer is professor of philosophy of law. This article is a rewritten version of a paper presented at a panel discussion on technology and education of the board of professors of the Bandung Institute of Technology, on May 8.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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