The following article was translated using both Microsoft Azure Open AI and Google Translation AI. The original article can be found in Jaga Indonesia Damai
Approaching the day of the elections, the national atmosphere is not good. The division within society is becoming sharper and more acute as they adjust to their respective choices. The chatter on social media is increasingly vulgar and tends to be rude, revealing frustration and dissatisfaction. It is as if we forget that we live in a country that upholds high ethical and courteous values.
The situation is worsened by the attitude of state officials who do not show themselves as statesmen. They do not set a good example as they should, which can be a role model for the community. Ethics and wisdom are no longer upheld, far from the core of leadership which is “Ing Ngarsa Sung Tuladha”.
We miss the muazzin of the nation. We miss the soother of the archipelago. We long for figures who spread peace selflessly, without desire or lust for power. Community figures who tirelessly promote national unity.
Recently, several respected figures in the Gerakan Nurani Bangsa (GNB) movement, represented by Sinta Nuriyah Abdurrahman Wahid, Quraish Shihab, Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, Pastor Gomar Gultom, and Makarim Wibisono, have called for peaceful and united national elections while retaining the integrity of the nation. The forbidden words do not appear in this article.
It feels very necessary for cultural experts, scholars, and intellectuals to join together in echoing the “Guard Indonesia” movement by watching over elections and firmly reminding those in power to act justly, honestly, and not resort to any means to gain power.
If dirty tactics persist, the division of the nation will become more evident. Let us all safeguard Indonesia with all the abilities we possess.
Kompas reported and reviewed the issue of students’ difficulties in paying tuition fees (Kompas, 1/30/2024). Kompas also explained various things related to this issue.
The issue of tuition fees has been around for as long as I can remember, at least since my own college days in the 1970s. In the early 1980s, there was a program called Indonesian Student Credit that ultimately did not continue.
For decades I have been teaching, accompanied by a dozen years in structural positions within study programs at a state university. I have had the opportunity to “see” and “feel” firsthand the issues faced by students that arise every semester. This problem seems to persist, and even appears to be spreading.
Thankfully, there are now various alternative loan schemes available, which of course need to be continuously improved. What’s currently hot is online loans that are partnered with financial institutions, which have been met with protests from students due to their burdensome nature.
Kompas‘s simulation concluded that online loans are quite burdensome, considering the interest and additional fees (Kompas, 1/30/2024).
It is encouraging to hear that the government is finalizing the provision of loans through the Education Fund Management Institution (LPDP) which will not burden students (Kompas, 31/1/2024).
Whatever alternatives are offered to students, the most important thing is that the loan should not burden or even lead students (and their families) into debt traps. Our children must be protected so that they can focus and concentrate on completing their studies, not being “disturbed” by financial problems.
West Pejaten, South Jakarta