Indonesia has 62 million youngsters between 15 to 30 years old out of 237 million citizens, plus superb amount of natural resources all over the soil. But, our true future capitals are those 62 million youngsters not gas, coal, petrol nor gold inside our soil.
What would we do if we have those natural resources without great human resources to manage and make it sustainable resources? And what would we do when all those natural resources ran out, and we don’t have enough scientists on technology that creates innovations? The whole nation will run dry on consumptions. And that’s it, end of story.
Higher education (especially on science and technology) plays an important role in building and shaping the future of a country, everybody knew that already. But, not everyone feels that it’s important to fight for it, by means of, an equal opportunity of education for each children and citizens. On Friday September 14th 2012, Mr. Anies Baswedan gave a lecture on role of higher education to build global competitiveness.
It’s not enough for our country to have scholars who’s managing natural resources, we have to move forward. We have to go and take a good look at science and technology fields. Look at China and its human resources. Almost every factory related to Science and Technology today from iPhone to Blackberry, from Netbook to Ultrabook, they were all labeled “made in China” even some of our Batik printed in China. They truly are the Dragon in the 21st century. Why? Because the government and majority of its citizen believe that to have that Great Leap Forward thay have to invest in human resources. You might want to check the list of Ph.D.’s in best universities all over the world full with Chinese investing their time on higher education. Yes, the future is in their hands.
On Indonesian cases, we haven’t conquered science and technology fields as powerful as China. Because even if we have it, we haven’t started the industry, maybe because foreign investment aren’t as good as in China or maybe investors level of trust to our government weren’t that good. I myself (saying this without regret), if I could turn back time, I’d rather to have mathematics or physics or engineering as my first degree.
Anyhow, here are list of success recipes for a country according to MR. Anies:
- Education: Education is key to success. Without education, we have nothing today. Today, education is key for Western countries to rule the world.
- Science and Technology: The mastery of science and technology enabled the West to go forth, conquer, and colonize the world. Portugal, a small country of 4 million inhabitants, colonized South America, Africa, and even parts of India and China.
- Meritocracy: Meritocracy is about realizing that good brains exist at all levels of society. People at the bottom of the pyramid now have opportunity to rise, either from rich family or poor family.
- Rule of Law: What determines the success or failure of a country is not its political system. Rather progress hinges on whether it has a reasonable degree of rule of law, creating a fair, level playing field that allows economic enterprises to thrive and provide an environment within which one can exchange goods and services.
- Culture of Peace: Today, guns are silent. Their silence has endured, proof of the well-considered decision of policy makers that energy should not be spent on war but on development.
- Pragmatism: It does not matter if a cat is black or white as long as it catches mice (Deng Xiaoping). Deng Xiaoping advised to forget ideology and focus on what works. And today, we can see raise of China.
- Free and Fair Market Economies: Asia (read: China, Singapore, South-Korea, Taiwan, Japan) is doing well because they understand the value of free market economics. In China, communist party remains in power because successful to implement free market economics in China.
Now, if we have some time to think about this, which pointers above that we already have? None? Hahaha..
ps: Thanks a lot Pak Anies for giving a rather straight-forward and depressing data on Indonesia. Sorry, I couldn’t attached the statistical data inside this posting.