The national exam for high school finally ends today!!! Yippie!!
Wait, why am I the one who’s happy here? I’m even not a high school girl anymore. No more…haha.
Yet, I still remember those days, when I faced the national exam, the controversial exam that we used to call it “UN” (Ujian Nasional, not United Nation). A week before D-day, all students majoring in science (IPA) at my school had a gathering which I thought that we would have a prayer or something to do with motivate each other. Wew, what a positive thought I had *smirk*. I was late that time, so I didn’t know the beginning part. Then, a friend beside me was whispering at me as I entered the class, “Hey Tata, where’d you go? We’ve got to collect our money soon to have UN’s answer key. How much will you willing to give? Look, XXX even pays 500,000 Rupiahs!”. I was taken aback & I told her off, “What?! Absolutely, I won’t give away my money a single cent for that! I don’t wanna get involved and support you guys to cheat. Then what for am I studying all these years?!”. She replied, “but at least for solidarity, that’s a way you can help us.” I took a deep breathe, giving up my 25,000 Rupiahs to them. Gosh, you wouldn’t know how much regret that I’ve been holding until now. I even didn’t use the answer key! But that’s not what I’m regretting for, of course 😉
Then…one beautiful day finally came, the day when I found out that I got the highest mark on UN at school. And the story goes on until on the graduation day I became a valedictorian – the best student who delivers graduation speech on behalf of all students – and was given an award.
And the story goes on and on as I walk along..until there was a striking moment that had me realized that the grade that I achieved on UN was nothing than a piece of paper. It didn’t help me at all to get me to study in well-known faculty in best university I’d ever dream of, and…didn’t help me at all to have a job in famous companies as well. As I reflect to myself, seeking what skills and knowledge I learned at school that should meet real life’s need, it turns out I don’t master any required skills to face globalization and changing world. Yes, you can see…I’m a victim of our education system and “traditional” education method that we trust all these years since independence day. As if in thriller movie, I seem to be a “lead actress” at the beginning, but in the end the scheme is twisted so I become “the victim”. Hahaaa..
But I’m extremely happy now! I will come back at the sequel as a hero! After reincarnation, I will (contribute to) fix the things that made me victim at the first movie. So, to pay sins and mistakes of what my schools – teachers – Indonesia’s education system did to me, I’m becoming a teacher in my “expected”school. I’m so grateful being at school with a right direction, perspective, and believe in human development paradigm (human development = education, red.). Yeah, it’s quite funny though to see me back again to school after just graduated from 12 + 4.5 years of school!!!
Until now, the phenomena and the controversy of UN haven’t been solved yet. I watched news on TV this morning interviewed a girl student whose UN score is the highest in Jakarta. Wow, it must be great to come up in a TV show. But how about the failed students? Apart from whether they deserve it or not, I believe that UN can not assess their academic or their potential accurately since UN is mostly questioning about factual knowledge and none of either complex thinking or creativity are needed to answer those questions. In other words, I’m doubting the reliability of UN score/grade. Yeah, the grades are just numbers and can’t tell you the ‘value’ of a student as a person.