Looking back at some recent cases, I still wonder why Indonesia’s government still do not care about its science achievers. A lot of science medalists face a complicated and bureaucratic system to enter the national university. As a matter of fact, this mid-year, about 10-15 students from Indonesian Computing Olympiad Team (TOKI) took Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) entrance test for informatics faculty (where they have specialty), but guess how many of them pass the test? Only 3 of them. It’s really strange, one more time I say it’s really strange. What is ITB looking for? Without any doubt, I can say that they are the best students in computing field for this year. I think somehow it is better to give a special track to enter the university for the best students, like them. This case occurs not only in computing field, students in physics, mathematics, or other field of science also face some difficulties to enter the national university. If the national universities can say “if they are really smart students they can easily pass the test”, I can answer “it is not that easy”; because mostly science achievers who compete for the olympiad do not have enough time to fully concentrate on their academic studies, so I think it is relevant if they don’t achieve an outstanding academic result.
Moreover, next term, one of four students who have represented Indonesia in International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) 2007 will take a university degree, but until today he still can’t find a better way to enter the national university, especially ITB and University of Indonesia (UI), whereas to enter Nanyang Technological University (NTU) who ranked far higher than both ITB and UI, he is exempted from the entrance test and will most probably get the scholarship. What does it tell you?
There is also a funny conversation when someone who got International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) 2005 medal asked about this problem to someone whom I believe has some authority in Indonesia and received a reply like this “Well, we can’t always care about this case, still there are a lot of urgent problems in Indonesia educational system, you’re still lucky cause there were a lot of poor children who can’t get education”. What’s so funny? I think the reply didn’t answer his question at all, did it? It’s a totally different problem and also, is it so hard to just give a letter of recommendation to all national universities for tak care science achievers? So far I don’t know how to solve it. I think there is no other way than to give it back to the government itself. But I know something for sure, if the government keeps on ignoring it, Indonesia will always lose their best resources as it has always been.
(thanks for Mr. Chriswan Sungkono’s corrections)