The hubbub of applying for a new school (for elementary school graduates to junior high school, and junior high school graduates to senior high school), especially to state schools (because the fee is cheaper than private schools) was over two days ago with the announcement of who was accepted.
I am interested in SMA 3 Semarang, Angie’s school.
Last year the policy of “rayonisasi” was applied to all state schools. (Can I translate it into ‘regionalization’?) LOL The statistics was like this:
A state school had to accept
60% for students who dwell in the same regions with the school
30% for students who dwell out of the regions but still inside the town
10% for students who come from out of town.
The impact of that “policy” was that last year SMA 3 Semarang “suffered” from being forced to accept students with low standard of NEM (the original score of examination) because they had to fulfill the quota of that 60%. Meanwhile, the competition was very high for students who dwell out of the regions and come from out of town. The result was the various capability of students accepted. SMA 3 Semarang got many very smart students (proven with their high score of examination), but at the same time, it also got many less intellectual students.
(FYI, SMA 3 Semarang is located in the middle of housing complexes. Due to the development of Semarang, nowadays more citizens live in the suburb area rather than in the downtown. Seemingly, students who live in the downtown are not that smart. LOL.)
This became a big problem and also a big issue for the government, besides for the school itself, because starting last year SMA 3 Semarang was chosen to be the pilot project of SNBI (national school but following international standard). SMA 3 Semarang was chosen to be the pilot project in Semarang because of the quality of students. How could the pilot project become successful if the input was not as good as expected?
During last year (July 2006-June 2007), I went to SMA 3 Semarang several times to attend school-parents meeting. The headmaster and also some teachers kept complaining about the input. The teachers complained a bit different though. They have been “spoilt” only getting smart students (due to the high competition to be accepted at SMA 3) and last year they had to teach less intellectual students. I got a bit bored anytime I heard this complaint. If related to the success of the government’s pilot project to have a national school but following international standard, the complaint still sounded okay to me. Smart students were one important element to succeed the program. However, when it came to the teachers’ complaint about having to deal with less intellectual students, it showed that they didn’t have deep empathy to their fellow teachers who happened to teach in some other less favorite state schools, located in the suburb.
Learning from this experience, the government approved the expectation of SMA 3 Semarang: SMA 3 is not included into the program of “rayonisasi”. All students can apply for SMA 3 Semarang to compete together without any “special treatment” to some students who live in the same region with it. The result? Of course the competition is very high. This year, just like many previous years (except last year), SMA 3 Semarang only accepted smart students (or well, lucky students who got high score for their examination. LOL. Some people say “lucky people can BEAT smart people.)
Looking at the news in the yesterday local newspaper, I talked to Angie, “If you graduated from junior high school this year, you wouldn’t be accepted at SMA 3 Semarang suppose you got the same score: Math 8.2, English 9, Bahasa Indonesia 9.” She just smiled bitterly. She doesn’t belong to the hardworking student category although her I.Q is quite high, 122.
I remember the time when I was at school (elementary, junior, and senior), score 8 was already good, score 9, very good, 10 excellent. It was almost impossible for a student to get 10 in his/her report. I suppose I worked harder than Angie does now. I am wondering if the students now are much smarter than the students of my era? Because they belong to the globalization era generations?
I remember one question that I considered absurd from my student a week ago. He asked me whether there was student who didn’t graduate when he/she reached the third grade. The background of the question was his mother’s statement, “It was easy to graduate in my era. We didn’t need to study hard. The most important thing was to behave well at school.” Again, the background of this question was the protests of students nowadays with the minimum standard of a score to graduate. This policy has made many smart students become victims. For example: for the three main subjects, Mathematics, English, and Bahasa Indonesia, a student must at least get score 4 to graduate, and the average is 5. A student failed when he/she got score less than 3 in one of those three subjects.
I don’t remember if there was such policy when I was at school. However, when saying that it was easy for a student to graduate as long as he/she behaved well at school, I don’t agree with that. I saw some students not graduate from the third grade in my time (both in junior and senior high school). It did not always happen to some “naughty” or problematic students. No.
Going back to the main topic. Next week Angie will go back to school. She will be in the eleventh grade. It means that she will enjoy looking at her junior who usually are still shy coming to a new school. I asked her to prepare her mental: probably her batch will always be considered as “thorn” by the teachers because it seems that most of her juniors belong to smart or hardworking category. Her teachers probably will always compare her batch with the younger batch. :) And keep complaining. LOL.
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