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Education in reverse: Indonesian edition

Indonesia is planning to gut science and social studies in schools. What are they going to focus on instead?

You guessed it.

Millions of children in Indonesian elementary schools may no longer have separate science classes starting in June, the beginning of their next school year, if the government approves a curriculum overhaul that would merge science and social studies with other classes so more time can be devoted to religious education.

Why? What benefit could this provide?

Officials who back the changes say that more religious instruction is needed because a lack of moral development has led to an increase in violence and vandalism among youths, and that could fuel social unrest and corruption in the future.

“Right now many students don’t have character, tolerance for others, empathy for others,” Musliar Kasim, the deputy minister of education, said in an interview in November. He proposed the changes in September.

If the youth lack morality or tolerance, they won’t learn it from any holy books, be they Bibles or Korans. To build character, the kids should be learning from the very classes they’re cutting. Science encourages openness to real-world evidence, critical thinking, and honesty. Social studies gets kids to think about what it takes to live in a society with others. Religion just encourages dependence on imaginary beings.

If Indonesia wants to raise a generation of dummies, they’ve found the way to do it. Religion poisons everything.

1 Comment

  1. This makes me sad for the children. Children rely so heavily on adults to make these very important decisions for them. This could well serve to make anyone who went to school in Indonesia unemployable in any other country in the world. Can an atheist Indonesian person claim refugee status in Australia based on religious reasons? Maybe we should bring the children here to educate them? (our system is not fantastic, but it's a lot better!) Maybe I need to get my kids to teach me Indonesian, Mark?

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