Reflection Essay

I have benefited a lot as a student in this class. Dr. […] has been very helpful in my learning process. Despite being an international student, I have faced minimal challenges throughout the semester. Combining this class and studio activities has gradually improved my writing skills in the English language. English is not my native language. Ms. […], my studio instructor, has been quite welcoming. She is always open to questions and encourages it. Also, we usually work on our essays then edit them. We also do peer reviewing.

The first thing we learned at the beginning of the semester was the meaning of the word “literacy”. It is the ability to read and write. We managed to write a narrative concerning literacy. My title for the narrative was “English Literacy in my Life”. It was my first narrative. We conduct peer reviewing in groups which has been of much assistance in revision. I also did a rhetorical analysis on Malcolm X “Learning to Read” essay. It discusses literacy.

Another knowledge acquired was learning to write in MLA format. It is also a foreign concept to me but pleasing. By learning how to use academic papers in writing research papers, I did a research paper titled, “ESL Learning Strategy for Adult Learners”. We learned the citation concepts used in MLA format. An example from my research paper is: “Language learning strategies is defined as the specific steps learners consciously take to accomplish certain language tasks” (Ma. Oxford 103).

To conclude, this class has been very helpful. It has enabled me to have an easy time learning from the other classes. I am now able to write decent academic research papers, about five pages in length compared to the past where I only managed two. I appreciated being a student in Dr. […] class. I would also like to take English 102 with her.

Problems of Education in Indonesia


Is Education Different From Schooling

Education means teaching someone how to do certain things by encouraging them to use the acquired skills and knowledge. The process of education aims at developing the powers of reasoning and preparing the student intellectually for mature life.

Many people confuse education with schooling due to the narrow mindset of education means schools, teachers. We do not blame them because of the way a lot of schools and colleges operate no way we can call education. The learning institutions have been pushed into schooling that is trying to drill in information into the students according to a plan developed by our forefathers. Treating the students like things that should be acted upon rather than people.  Paulo Freire referred to it as the banking system, making deposits of knowledge into the students.

Acting in Hope

In the past decade, Indonesia has made progress in improving access to education. In the early 1980s and 1970 when the country had huge profits due to the booming oil international prices, new public schools especially primary schools were built and more teachers trained. That was the New Order government which also established the growth of the private HIEs. The Post-New Order government continue to build more schools but at a slower rate.

The government efforts to provide free education has intersected with the demographic changes which have led to increased demand for education. The country’s student enrollment rate regardless of the age has risen to 85 percent. However, the expansion of the education facilities has not been matched by improved education quality. The learning outcome was low and has improved little if at all over the post-new order government. The students fail to meet the minimum standards for the test in reading, mathematics, and science. Indonesia scores poorly on the Programme for International Student Assessment PISA and Trends in International Mathematics and Science TIMSS compared to its neighboring countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

What are the causes of the poor quality education in Indonesia?

Proximate Causes of Poor Education in Indonesia

  1. 1. TheLevelof Government Spending

Although the government has invested heavily in expanding the school infrastructures, the budget allocated for the education ministry has drastically reduced over the years. The low level of government spending on education led to the amendment of the constitution to require the government to spend at least twenty percent of its budget on education. The move has improved government spending on education, but the level is still low compared to other middle-income countries.

Low expenditure on education undermines the quality in various ways:

  • It has encouraged the development of low-quality private schools in efforts to absorb the growing education demand not met by the public schools
  • The teachers are paid poorly, and this has demotivated intelligent high school graduates from pursuing teaching careers.
  • Lack of finances has led to inadequacy in educational materials such as textbooks, research materials, and teaching supplies.

  1. 2. LackofQualified Teachers

Most of the Indonesian teachers have low-level qualifications. Research shows that over 60 percent of the teachers do not hold a bachelor’s degree and do not have the knowledge and skills to be effective teachers. A while back the government introduced competency test for the tutors and over three million teachers scored below the designated target of an average of 55. The teachers are not paid well and therefore; graduates opt for other careers other than education. The situation is worse in private schools, and more pronounced in the top country universities.

  1. 3. Corruption

Teachers and academic scholars and heads are appointed from loyalty, family, and friendship rather than merit.  The trend has discouraged teachers from delivering high-quality education services or conducting proper research to improve their track record in offering their services. There is no termination of employment even for the staff performing poorly. The situation is worsened by the reduced salaries. The teachers are often absent from their classes as they take on extra jobs of non-academic nature to increase their income.

  1. 4. ASecularEducation System

Religion is a private matter and a tool to organize the education system. The Education Law read the national education aims to form faithful humans righteous to God and to hold specific characteristics like:

  • Noble mind
  • Competent
  • Knowledgeable
  • Respectful
  • And responsible democratic citizens.

However, the education system is a system of secularism: not using religion to regulate the student life. The students who share a common religion are cramped together unable to interact with other faiths. Their students thus have different beliefs leading to professionals that are morally depraved.

As I conclude, we have to address the education problems because knowledge is the key to achieving well-being. The government should offer scholarships for teachers, commit enough resources to the implementation of the curriculum and develop student skills in:

  • Attitude- honesty, discipline
  • Technical skills
  • Increase the student’s scientific knowledge.


My education life

1 – Tell us about an experience, in school or out, that taught you something about yourself and/or the world around you.

My education life has taught me something important about myself. Before I found it out, I used to leave things incomplete. For instance, I would leave the homework half way, eat part of my meals and leave the rest.  I was not doing badly in my education, but I was not doing enough to utilize my full potential. In 2007, at the Alkhaleej Alarabi Independent School for boys, I decided to pursue excellence in my education. That year, I got three awards for my exemplary performance in my school work. From that moment, I realized that I had not been giving the right amount of energy to whatever I was doing, hence the previous substandard performance. Ever since I Iearnt to give the maximum energy I can in everything I do, I have performed beyond expectations. I have excelled in almost all the activities I undertake. My most notable achievement from the experience is doing my best to become the best student in Grade 10 at the Musab bin Omair Independent secondary school for boys in 2015. Now, I believe I can achieve everything I set out to do, provided I put in the required effort.


2 – Be it inside or outside of the classroom, what have you done to challenge yourself intellectually? Describe an issue, topic or area of study that you have investigated or pursued.

I was not initially a good performer in Math. Therefore, I had to investigate how other students managed to perform better in Mathematics than me. While I performed fairly in all the other subjects, I realized that math was dragging me behind and I have to do something about it. This was back in the year 2007 when I discovered that I was capable of doing anything I set to do. To determine how other students interpreted the math problems, I had to hang around some of the top performers in the subject during class exercises. This way, I got to learn that it does not take a genius to solve mathematical problems. All you need to have is an open mind that can critically examine the problem without leaving out any requirement. During my investigation, I also found out that a math problem could be divided into parts that can be solved independently to avoid confusion. As I emulated my findings, I became the best student in all subjects in the school.


3 – Explain how you responded to a problem and/or an unfamiliar situation. What did you do, what was the outcome, and what did you learn from the experience?

Between 2009 and 2013, I enrolled in a Thai-Boxing class. I had grown accustomed to challenges, and, therefore took up the task as such. However, the situation was tricky for me since I had not engaged in an activity that required so much defense in my life. I had to be careful whenever I stepped into the ring irrespective of whether it was on a training session or a tournament. I realized that to evade the painful and frustrating jabs and kicks from my opponents, I had to work on my reflexes. I inquired on the right tactics to improve my speed from my instructor and started training. The results of the training were unbelievable. I was not only able to become the fastest in the club, but the coach also used me to train senior players that were due to participate in serious tournaments. I would gauge their reflexes by attacking them in quick successive jabs. Their responses would determine their readiness. From this unfamiliar situation, I learned that as we better ourselves, we also get the chance to make those around us better.

4 – Describe up to five activities that you have pursued in one or more of the following areas… Please outline the activity and describe how it affected you or others.

  • Leadership/group contributions (e.g., student government, community activity, family responsibility; involvement in Aboriginal culture or community)
  • Academic achievements (e.g., research project; success in a contest; prize for high standing)
  • Sports (e.g., team membership; participation in competitions)
  • Creative and performing arts
  • Work
  • Service to others

We’re Planning the Workshop for Parents. Would You Come To?


We are planning a workshop that will involve the parents of students in Freebrook Academy, and this is an avenue for parents to learn more about our school, new developments, ongoing projects, and new projects that are in the works. As a democratic institution of learning, we profoundly believe that there is room for progress and projects that will be of benefit to the students and the local community as well. In this regard, therefore, we have organized this workshop to discuss modalities that are in line with our academic plans and other operations as well.


We believe that collaboration is crucial if we are to meet our set goals and objectives, and we are channeling our efforts towards our objectives by collaborating with the students, the parents, and the community.


The workshop requires the attendance of parents of Freebrook Academy explicitly, and while it is not mandatory for parents to show up, it will be great if parents attend the workshop.


Student Affairs

During this workshop, our teachers are going to be present. The democratic nature of our school refers to them as facilitators, since they help students to learn, and they are exclusively individuals who assist in the learning process.


This workshop is also a forum where you can interact with these teachers. They will help you to know the progress of your child, and you can use that opportunity to learn more about your child’s behavior and company, and the areas that require parental attention.


Plans and Strategies

Since we are a part of the local community, which some parents are also part and parcel of, it is essential that parents show up, so that we can have discussions on how to chip in community development plans at an informal and a formal level as well.


Most of our programs touch on developing and advancing the community, and it is why we are requesting parents to come to this workshop. Their input and views will help us to tailor our programs in a manner that they will support the community in areas that deserve collaboration and combined effort.


Future of Freebrook Academy

This workshop will also help us to discuss with parents and students as well as the future of the school. Planning for tomorrow in advance will help us to evaluate our current state and avail the resources that will be needed. Moreover, as days while away, the chances are high that we might mull expansion strategies. Since we do not want to be unprepared when that time comes, we want to prepare in advance by gathering views, suggestions, recommendations, and proposals on how to proceed on this front.


Your Attendance Counts

We are banking on you to attend the workshop for it to be successful. There are a lot of issues that we have to cover, and this will only be possible if you attend the workshop. With regards to Freebrook Academy and the future of your child, attending the workshop will be a crucial step in the appropriate direction, since it will be an avenue for further deliberation and discussion on critical issues.


Our democratic culture works well when everyone’s views are put into an account, and this explains why it is essential that you attend this workshop.