Recently, The Jakarta Post ran a report about the Education International (EI) consortium, whose five members (Australia, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the US) have pledged their commitment to strengthen the Indonesian’ Association (PGRI) nationwide and to make it an independent association through financial contributions.
The financial support from these countries ostensibly augurs well for the enhancement and independence of the association, because the aid is badly needed by developing countries like ours where poverty severely impedes the endeavor to provide quality education.
However, the fact that the aid stems from the initiatives of developed nations rather than from the Indonesian government invites suspicions.
Evidently, these nations’ scheme to boost the PGRI by providing the latter with financial aid dovetails with the Education Ministry’s move to establish more international-standard schools and to bolster the already operating international-standard schools, which most educational practitioners argue, will create social stratification and stigmatization.
As the commitment to providing educational aid never materializes and operates in a socio-political vacuum, it is therefore imperative to question and then unravel the hidden motives behind the support.
Many developing countries worldwide are likely to recognize that Indonesia is, paradoxically (despite its abundance in natural resources), one of the underdeveloped countries that sorely needs foreign aid to enhance its human resources through quality education.
This situation is seen by other countries especially in the West as an opportune moment to further their hegemonic interests and push through the distribution of educational aid and to perpetuate the dependence of underdeveloped countries on their resources both material (textbooks, curriculum, technological devices) and nonmaterial (teacher trainers, teaching skills, and know-how through training).
Recently, this newspaper ran a report about the Education International (EI) consortium, whose five members (Australia, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the US) have pledged their commitment to strengthen the Indonesian Teachers’ Association (PGRI) nationwide and to make it an independent association through financial contributions.