“Govt to attract students to natural sciences” is the huge headline on The Jakarta Post a couple of days ago, which dragged me to my past memory. I preferred English Literature to exact,or natural science.
First of all, all my family members and relatives are not farmers, fishermen,or people related to any jobs requiring them to study or learn how to fish well, plant well, breed cattle well. So i don’t really have any background or even wild imagination of earning my living as one of those. Therefore, I suppose it’s a kind of cultural and mindset hindrance. How can Indonesia be a modern maritime,agricultural country while the parents don’t really endorse the proud of being a maritime, agricultural country to their kids? Indeed, Indonesian still think that such jobs aren’t quite prestigious. Most of them (and my dad isn’t an exception) have a stance that having a job or getting a job as a govt civil servant is the best, as it is the safest, most financially guaranteed job. You get paid monthly, at a regular interval, without even having to think what to do something innovative, to create something new, to think creatively, which these people only consider as ‘difficulty’. You just obey the rules, do what your superior tells to you to do, and that’s it. But for some others, the difficulty may be viewed as ‘challenge’, ‘opportunity’.
The universities try to tackle this by offering scholarships (like what the University of Indonesia’s rector stated), changing the name of the subject into something more interesting (which sounds quite shallow and silly to me!), incorporating the natural sciences with other sciences to respond to the job market’s demand, and giving grants to the existing natural science departments to develop or improve the infrastructure and overall quality.