Govt to attract students to natural sciences

With fewer and fewer people taking university degrees in the natural sciences, the national Education Ministry is working on ways to attract more students.

“High school graduates today are not interested in studying agriculture, animal husbandry or fishery; these majors are not popular anymore,” a senior official at the Education Ministry, Hendarman, told a discussion recently.
Some universities, he added, had even had to close their agriculture courses because not a single student wanted to take them.
The phenomenon, he said, was ironic, considering Indonesia was an agricultural country.
Academic director at the directorate general of higher education, Illah Sailah, said Monday the declining trend in people applying to major in the natural sciences had actually started in 2004.
“It will be our country’s loss if no one studies these subjects. Who will manage our natural resources then?” she said.
To address the problem, the ministry is looking at ways to attract more students to study agriculture.
“Perhaps by changing the name of the subject into something more interesting,” Hendarman said, adding that “agribusiness classes” have more participants, although they are not that different from agriculture classes.
Soil Science, Agriculture, Cultivation, and Pest and Disease majors are merged into the category of agrotechnology while Agriculture, Social Economics, and Communication and Counselingclasses are combined into the agribusiness course.
“By doing this, we aim to achieve different learning outcomes; we want graduates with general skills that are comprehensive, and not the specific skills regular agriculture classes offer now,” Illah told The Jakarta Post.
“Besides, industry requires graduates to have the skills to manage everything, from upstream to downstream, so we are trying to respond to the market’s signals,” she said.
Hendarman said a lot of agriculture or fishery graduates do not work in their specific fields of knowledge.
“Rather, most of them are now working as employees in banks, or as journalists, or in other fields,” he said, adding that Indonesia still has a high unemployment rate.
The country is seeing an increase in the number of people who have university diplomas but are unemployed. In 2008 the number increased by 42 percent to 1 million compared with the figure for 2005. Illah said that the ministry was also revitalizing the agricultural courses. “We started giving grants to 29 universities this year so they can renew or add to their educational resources and equipment,” she said, adding that each university receives between Rp 400 million (US$40,400) to Rp 900 million. Rector of the University of Indonesia Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri said his university has also seen a decline in the number of applicants for natural science majors, however he had another way to attract students. “We try to entice them by offering scholarship opportunities,” he said, without going into detail as to the number of scholars the university had accepted(source: the Jakarta Post)

Govt to attract students to natural sciences

With fewer and fewer people taking university degrees in the natural sciences, the national Education Ministry is working on ways to attract more students.

“High school graduates today are not interested in studying agriculture, animal husbandry or fishery; these majors are not popular anymore,” a senior official at the Education Ministry, Hendarman, told a discussion recently.
Some universities, he added, had even had to close their agriculture courses because not a single student wanted to take them.
The phenomenon, he said, was ironic, considering Indonesia was an agricultural country.
Academic director at the directorate general of higher education, Illah Sailah, said Monday the declining trend in people applying to major in the natural sciences had actually started in 2004.
“It will be our country’s loss if no one studies these subjects. Who will manage our natural resources then?” she said.
To address the problem, the ministry is looking at ways to attract more students to study agriculture.
“Perhaps by changing the name of the subject into something more interesting,” Hendarman said, adding that “agribusiness classes” have more participants, although they are not that different from agriculture classes.
Soil Science, Agriculture, Cultivation, and Pest and Disease majors are merged into the category of agrotechnology while Agriculture, Social Economics, and Communication and Counselingclasses are combined into the agribusiness course.
“By doing this, we aim to achieve different learning outcomes; we want graduates with general skills that are comprehensive, and not the specific skills regular agriculture classes offer now,” Illah told The Jakarta Post.
“Besides, industry requires graduates to have the skills to manage everything, from upstream to downstream, so we are trying to respond to the market’s signals,” she said.
Hendarman said a lot of agriculture or fishery graduates do not work in their specific fields of knowledge.
“Rather, most of them are now working as employees in banks, or as journalists, or in other fields,” he said, adding that Indonesia still has a high unemployment rate.
The country is seeing an increase in the number of people who have university diplomas but are unemployed. In 2008 the number increased by 42 percent to 1 million compared with the figure for 2005. Illah said that the ministry was also revitalizing the agricultural courses. “We started giving grants to 29 universities this year so they can renew or add to their educational resources and equipment,” she said, adding that each university receives between Rp 400 million (US$40,400) to Rp 900 million. Rector of the University of Indonesia Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri said his university has also seen a decline in the number of applicants for natural science majors, however he had another way to attract students. “We try to entice them by offering scholarship opportunities,” he said, without going into detail as to the number of scholars the university had accepted(source: the Jakarta Post)

NUMBERS

There’re two types of numbers in Korean; i.e. the Chinese derivative and the Korean origin.
These Chinese derivative numbers are used to express months, years, etc.
  1. 일 (il)
  2. 이 (i)
  3. 삼 (sam)
  4. 사 (sa)
  5. 오 (o)
  6. 육 (yuk)
  7. 칠 (chil)
  8. 팔 (phal)
  9. 구 (gu)
  10. 십 (sip)
  11. 십일 (sibil)
  12. 십이 (sibi)
  13. 십삼 (sipsam)
  14. 십사 (sipsa)
  15. 십오 (sibo)
  16. 십육 (sibyuk)
  17. 십칠 (sibchil)
  18. 십팔 (sibphal)
  19. 십구 (sibgu)
  20. 이십 (isip)

Meanwhile, the Korean origin is used to express age, hour, sum, etc.
  1. 하나 (hana)
  2. 둘 (dul)
  3. 셋 (set)
  4. 넷 (net)
  5. 다섯 (daseot)
  6. 여섯 (yeoseot)
  7. 일곱 (ilgop)
  8. 여덟 (yeodeol)
  9. 아홉 (ahop)
  10. 열 (yeol)
  11. 열하나
  12. 열둘
  13. 열셋
  14. 열넷
  15. 열다섯
  16. 열여섯
  17. 열일곱
  18. 열여덟
  19. 열아홉
  20. 스물
30. 너른
40. 마흔
50. 쉰
60. 여순
70. 일흔
80. 여든
90. 아흔
99. 아흔아홉
100. 백 (baek)
1000. 천(cheon)
10000. 만 (man)
100000. 십만
1000000. 백만
10000000. 천만
100000000.억(eok)

LIPI Open Source Blog Competition 2009

To support “Indonesia, Go Open Source! (IGOS)” program and Open Source Software Seminar (OSS) III 2009, Pusat Penelitian Informatika (P2I) – Indonesian Science Institution or Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) holds Open Source Blog Competition. By writing an open source themed article or articles on your blog, you can grab the chance to win million rupiahs prize and it’s worth it, as this contest is free of charge.
Participants requirements:
  • Your blog may be free-hosted blog (e.g. wordpress, blogger ) or paid-hosted blog.
  • Newly published blogs or blogs that have been established long before the contest are welcomed.
  • The competing blog must be owned by Indonesian citizen (WNI).
  • The blog is accessible to any Indonesian.
  • Overal blog’s content doesn’t contain sensitive issues (tribe, faith, race related issues- SARA) or morally unacceptable norms, violating laws, and copyright.
  • The  article (min. 1 article) must be published using open source as its main theme/ topic.
  • The other open source related articles posted on the blog will be an advantage.
  • Any other non open source themed articles might be published on the competing blog. 

Article requirements:
  • The content is free as long as it’s relevant with the theme.
  • Any language style (formal, slang, frozen, or humorous style) may be applied here.
  • Authenticity of the article is a must, meaning article generated by plagiarizing is not considered.
  • Add this sentence to any part of article you’d like : “Tulisan ini dibuat untuk menyukseskan Lomba Blog Open Source P2I-LIPI dan Seminar Open Source P2I-LIPI 2009.“, including the links : http://www.informatika.lipi.go.id/seminar/lombablog/ and http://www.informatika.lipi.go.id/seminar/.
  • The time of publication is August, Spetember, or October 2009.
  • It’s NOT allowed to delete the article until the day when Seminar Open Source 2009 P2I LIPI  (7 november 2009).
  • After publishing the article, make sure it is registered by sending its URL to semnas[at]informatika.lipi.go.id (cc/carbon copy to seminarlipi[at]gmail.com), with your biodata (Name, date/place of birth, address, job), and brief description onblog’s content, not later than November 1st, 2009.
  • Date of results announcement is November 7th, 2009 on website seminar P2I LIPI.

PRIZES:
The winning bloggers are going to get free entrance tickets to take part in “Seminar Open Source P2I LIPI” and officially receive these prizes:
Best Blog Award for Public Category : IDR 2m
Best Blog Award for Student category: IDR 2m
Creative Blog Award: IDR 1m
Info : click here to read the details

WHY I (dis)LIKE GRAMMAR

Years ago, when this blogger was going to English department, (almost) nobody seemed to like a subject named Structure, a.k.a. Grammar. It was far easier to find students with strong antipathy of the subject than ones with burning passion to learn it. Yes, you can smile as wide as you can as you think you may recognize yourself as the first mentioned type of students.
Time passes by but the bitter fact retains. I graduated and taught some English students English grammar. Apparently, the same thing happened once again. The seemingly recurring impression of grammar class are intimidating, uncool, frustrating, and so forth ( you may add more negative adjectives if you want to). 
Unfortunately the students’ prejudgement towards grammar influenced my way of teaching. I tended to be tenser while explaining materials. I can smile, but how natural can my smile be in front of people whose faces look oppressed? It’s so easy to blame on the “serious”, theoretical materials that keep making us frown as we try to understand. But I wouldn’t do that as it doesn’t solve our problem. No matter how friendly a grammar teacher/ lecturer is trying to be, it’s futile. The scary image of grammar spoils my hardwork to win the students’ heart. I was at the end of my wits, to be honest. The students were complaining about how overwhelming it was to do the homework I gave. I intended to make them study even though I knew they hated it like they did nothing else before. I felt like I failed to encourage them to study and enjoy grammar better as I knew from their recent composition quality.
Therefore, what I want you to know here is that teaching grammar is even more distressing than taking grammar class. Some even sneered at my attempt to be objectively assessing students’ grammatical proficiency.
But, ok…let me tell you why I think grammar can be important (so you must love it!) and not important (so you’re allowed to hate or ignore it).
First of all, grammar can be as important as the oxygen in the air we’re breathing in. Why? Because it’s the one and only tool we possess to organize systematically the ideas we’re about to convey to readers or/and listeners. Without grammar, your composition is hard to understand. Without proper grammar knowledge, your poorly-written article content is more likely to confuse readers than enlighten their mind, and at its worst, may lead to a misundertsanding and misconception. So you have no choice but to opt for learning grammar continually. In formal situations, moreover, you ought to pay more attention to grammar.
Secondly, as I said, grammar sometimes brings burden on our shoulders so there’re situations under which we may overlook grammar rules. To most of us, juggling to write or speak and figure out the grammatical rules hinders our steps forward. Haven’t you ever felt stuck when you’re speaking or writing? I guess it happens to everyone. Sometimes it’s good to loosen up a little, setting aside the grammar dos and donts. Though it doesn’t mean you can completely free from grammar. Informal situations may entail less grammatical perfection so you can lay back for a while 🙂

LIPI Open Source Blog Competition 2009

To support “Indonesia, Go Open Source! (IGOS)” program and Open Source Software Seminar (OSS) III 2009, Pusat Penelitian Informatika (P2I) – Indonesian Science Institution or Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia (LIPI) holds Open Source Blog Competition. By writing an open source themed article or articles on your blog, you can grab the chance to win million rupiahs prize and it’s worth it, as this contest is free of charge.
Participants requirements:
  • Your blog may be free-hosted blog (e.g. wordpress, blogger ) or paid-hosted blog.
  • Newly published blogs or blogs that have been established long before the contest are welcomed.
  • The competing blog must be owned by Indonesian citizen (WNI).
  • The blog is accessible to any Indonesian.
  • Overal blog’s content doesn’t contain sensitive issues (tribe, faith, race related issues- SARA) or morally unacceptable norms, violating laws, and copyright.
  • The  article (min. 1 article) must be published using open source as its main theme/ topic.
  • The other open source related articles posted on the blog will be an advantage.
  • Any other non open source themed articles might be published on the competing blog. 

Article requirements:
  • The content is free as long as it’s relevant with the theme.
  • Any language style (formal, slang, frozen, or humorous style) may be applied here.
  • Authenticity of the article is a must, meaning article generated by plagiarizing is not considered.
  • Add this sentence to any part of article you’d like : “Tulisan ini dibuat untuk menyukseskan Lomba Blog Open Source P2I-LIPI dan Seminar Open Source P2I-LIPI 2009.“, including the links : http://www.informatika.lipi.go.id/seminar/lombablog/ and http://www.informatika.lipi.go.id/seminar/.
  • The time of publication is August, Spetember, or October 2009.
  • It’s NOT allowed to delete the article until the day when Seminar Open Source 2009 P2I LIPI  (7 november 2009).
  • After publishing the article, make sure it is registered by sending its URL to semnas[at]informatika.lipi.go.id (cc/carbon copy to seminarlipi[at]gmail.com), with your biodata (Name, date/place of birth, address, job), and brief description onblog’s content, not later than November 1st, 2009.
  • Date of results announcement is November 7th, 2009 on website seminar P2I LIPI.

PRIZES:
The winning bloggers are going to get free entrance tickets to take part in “Seminar Open Source P2I LIPI” and officially receive these prizes:
Best Blog Award for Public Category : IDR 2m
Best Blog Award for Student category: IDR 2m
Creative Blog Award: IDR 1m
Info : click here to read the details

“Pecunia, si uti scis, ancilla est; si nescis, domina”

“If you can use money, money is your slave; if you can’t, money is your master”, that’s what the Latin line above means..

Don’t know why I suddenly think of that. Money is definitely something on my top search list nowadays. It’s crisis now, I’m jobless. Although some economists stated the worst was already over,but I still can’t see any considerable progress. So I came to a conclusion that I just have to start my own business, but how?? No capital,my bank account is almost zeroed. Ok, stop complaining, onto business!

I was wondering how unfair this world is to humankinds. Some jetset are spending their seemingly bottomless accounts extravagantly, while some others are starving to death. Some executives are overwhelmed by job offers, whereas the others are completely discarded by employers and companies, even if they wanted to work without getting paid.
And all of a sudden, Bernard Madoff crossed on my mind. I’m not really familiar with financial world,but still I know who Bernard Madoff is. Thanks to his notorious international reputation, almost everybody knows him now.

According to Former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt, the actual net fraud to be between $10 and $17 billion, as this calculation does not include the fictional returns Madoff credited to his customer accounts. Prosecutors identified $13.2 billion in losses in accounts opened since 1996. On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years imprisonment as inmate number #61727-054 at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. As parole has been abolished in the federal prison system since 1984, it was equivalent to a life sentence. Despite its length, at least three other white collar defendants have received longer sentences. At sentencing, Madoff apologized to his victims, saying, “I have left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren. This is something I will live in for the rest of my life. I’m sorry.” He added, “I know that doesn’t help you,” after his victims recommended to the judge that he rot in jail. Chin had not received any mitigating letters from friends or family testifying to Madoff’s good deeds. “The absence of such support is telling,” he said (see here for details).
How could he have had heart to commit such horrible crime??! Fraud with the total sum of billions dollars is beyond my ken. Madoff is really mad, and folks are deeply maddened by him! He’s become a slave for his money.

“Pecunia, si uti scis, ancilla est; si nescis, domina”

“If you can use money, money is your slave; if you can’t, money is your master”, that’s what the Latin line above means..

Don’t know why I suddenly think of that. Money is definitely something on my top search list nowadays. It’s crisis now, I’m jobless. Although some economists stated the worst was already over,but I still can’t see any considerable progress. So I came to a conclusion that I just have to start my own business, but how?? No capital,my bank account is almost zeroed. Ok, stop complaining, onto business!

I was wondering how unfair this world is to humankinds. Some jetset are spending their seemingly bottomless accounts extravagantly, while some others are starving to death. Some executives are overwhelmed by job offers, whereas the others are completely discarded by employers and companies, even if they wanted to work without getting paid.
And all of a sudden, Bernard Madoff crossed on my mind. I’m not really familiar with financial world,but still I know who Bernard Madoff is. Thanks to his notorious international reputation, almost everybody knows him now.

According to Former SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt, the actual net fraud to be between $10 and $17 billion, as this calculation does not include the fictional returns Madoff credited to his customer accounts. Prosecutors identified $13.2 billion in losses in accounts opened since 1996. On June 29, 2009, Madoff was sentenced to 150 years imprisonment as inmate number #61727-054 at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. As parole has been abolished in the federal prison system since 1984, it was equivalent to a life sentence. Despite its length, at least three other white collar defendants have received longer sentences. At sentencing, Madoff apologized to his victims, saying, “I have left a legacy of shame, as some of my victims have pointed out, to my family and my grandchildren. This is something I will live in for the rest of my life. I’m sorry.” He added, “I know that doesn’t help you,” after his victims recommended to the judge that he rot in jail. Chin had not received any mitigating letters from friends or family testifying to Madoff’s good deeds. “The absence of such support is telling,” he said (see here for details).
How could he have had heart to commit such horrible crime??! Fraud with the total sum of billions dollars is beyond my ken. Madoff is really mad, and folks are deeply maddened by him! He’s become a slave for his money.

NOORDIN VS AUSTRALIAN FIREFIGHTER

I know how weird it sounds to compare ‘Noordin’ and ‘Australian firefighter’, but that’s exactly what snapped on my mind.

Watching Indonesian TV stations news has been kind of boring these last two weeks. The resounding word “terrorism” seems to terrorize the viewers perpetually. Get sick of it sometimes.
Around 6 a.m., I woke up this morning, startled gradually as the fluent-speaking TV anchor started to read the news, which is always related to terrorism. Day and night, the press is continuously reporting how police are trying to track the most celebrated terrorist fugitive ever, Noordin Moh Top,

who evades the Indonesian well trained cops named Densus 88 as easily as an eel. Even Sirius the witch prisoner of Azkaban can be rearrested, why can’t Noordin? He’s not a witch who could merely swing his magic wand and vanish, being teleported to somewhere else.

Getting bored with the monotonous TV news, I turned to the Internet where I can find any news I want,other than the terrorism-related news of course. I spotted some lines of news reporting a koala whose nickname is Sam was eventually euthanized owing to “her” (it’s female!) terminal disease which was specifically described as cysts. The cysts apparently murdered her slowly but surely. The vet taking care of her resolved to kill the 4-year-old koala.

And what strikes me is the photo in which the koala looked terribly thirsty and a firefighter David Tree shared his water with an injured koala, at Mirboo North amidst a wildfire. As fires raged, Sam was gingerly making her way on scorched paws past a fire patrol north of Melbourne when one of the firefighters spotted her. The firefighter was photographed holding a bottle of water to her lips, an image that resonated around the world. To Kevin Rudd, Sam is definitely a representation of hope.

So what’s the point of comparing these two, Noordin and David Tree?? On one hand, as an excelled, skillful bomber, Noordin – who claimed himself to be a moslem- has victimized numerous number people. For his own belief, this self-righteous culprit doesn’t really care about his moslem brothers and sisters’ lives. He doesn’t give their safety damn, what Noordin has in his mind is only a wrongly interpreted belief of Jihad. Jihad isn’t like that, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not like a massive, blind massacre and mercilessly done bloodspill. Our prophet Mohammad never teaches such type of Jihad. My religious knowledge on Islam isn’t quite profound but I still recall that even Mohammed prohibited the Islamic troops he led to cut trees without any sound reason, or killing the elderly, kids,and women who were assumed to be unarmed, less powerful, and less likely to attack. Deep inside his heart, he knows that bombing doesn’t solve, but in fact creates more and more problems, aggravates the complicated conflicts which has been previously enigmatic and seemingly impossible to .

On the other hand, the firefighter -whom I assumed to be a non-moslem- mirrors some of the Islamic teachings Mohammed has taught us, i.e. being very compassionate to our environment, including other people, animals, or even plants. And alas..Noordin fails to follow Mohammed’s teachings……

I don’t want to be judging here,but I guess people need to know how hazardous and misleading the “Islamic” teachings those radically-thinking men have are. So subtle, undetected.

That firefighter helped Sam the powerless koala, and I think it’s more likely for him to treat other people’s lives better than he did Sam. And I simply can’t imagine seeing with my own eye balls Noordin does the same thing to Sam…I suppose Noordin doesn’t even care about environment, animals, or the like.

As my memory serves, the blessed prophet Mohammed never teaches us to take revenge blindly. Moslems are ordered to treat someone who treats them badly in a better way. It’s in accordance with Qishash Law, when somebody is proven to murder someone else, the family of the victim may want the murderer beheaded. However, if the family wants to forgive the murderer’s bad deed by giving diat (=fine, perhaps a sum of money to compensate the loss of income the victim may get if s/he is still alive), then the case is closed.

So, whoever we are, Christians,Moslems, Jews, Buddhists or even Atheists, we should be pacifist Christians, peace-making Moslems, and so on. In a nutshell, let’s live together and respect each other regardless of faith we have. That’s what the whole humanity needs…..XOXO PEACE!

LIFE’S TOUGH,BUT GREAT

 Why should we thank Pandora for opening the box?
It was a coincidence that I stumbled upon a Greek story about Pandora on a site about Greek myths. After I thought a moment after that, I realized how inspiring this story/myth can be for us and can be a theme story for this blog. Human beings were destined to live in sufferings, pain, difficulties, and lots of others untold predicaments.

After Pandora stole and opened the lid of the box Zeus gave to her husband, it is told that:
“Out flew every kind of disease and sickness, hate and envy, and all the bad things that people had never experienced before. Pandora slammed the lid closed, but it was too late. All the bad things were already out of the box. They flew away, out into the world.
Pandora cried and cried. Epimetheus woke up at the sound of her sobbing. I opened the box and all these ugly things flew out,?she cried. I tried to catch them, but they all got out.?Pandora opened the box to show him how empty it was. But the box was not quite empty. One tiny bug flew quickly out before Pandora could slam the lid shut again.
Hello, Pandora,?said the bug, hovering just out of reach. My name is Hope. With a nod of thanks for being set free, Hope flew out into the world, a world that now held Envy, Crime, Hate, and Disease, and also Hope.”
So many people out there are struggling to figure out the mystery of life and each of us is having problems with our lives. Frustrating but true, we need those ugly things named Envy, Crime, Hate, and Disease to make our extremely gloomy world turn bright. Those ugly things seem to be blessings in disguise, for those who know how to live this life.
As for me now, I need to open another ’Pandora’s box’ not to make myself suffer from all the misery it may cause, but to give myself the hope I need to continue this life in a more meaningful way. Starting something new is like opening a box we don’t know the content at all. And what it all takes is the courage to simply open, start, begin, and dispel the haunting fear at the very same time. Pandora had risked herself by opening the box and finally gotten the merits of Hope. So? Let’s focus on releasing Hope in our own box,as Hope is worth releasing.
Thanks Pandora for releasing hope for us…