Good morning ladies and gentleman.
Imagine this. You have a child who should be going to school. She wants to go to school and wants to learn. But, your family is poor. You cannot afford to pay the school fees. Therefore, she has to stay at home. This is a reality for many families in Indonesia. It is a fact that for some children education is a luxury their families cannot afford.
What is the solution to this problem? I believe that education should be free. Children’s leraning should not be based on the wealth of their families. I wish to discuss why free education is important and show some of the benefits that free education would bring to Indonesia.
To begin with, a just society treats all its members fairly and equally. This should include aqual access to education. If we have a system where people must pay to go to school, it means that the wealthy, the rich, will receive a better education whilst the poor receive a poor education or do not receive an education. This is unacceptable for a society that wants equally. It is essential that good education be available to all.
Secondly, let us consider an example of an intellegent child whose family is too poor to send him to school. This child could be genius but due to poverty and school fee, he is not able to learn. How many children from poor families are in this situation? New internationalist magazine reported in June 2003 that following the economic crisis in Indonesia milions were forced into proverty, affecting the number of children able to attend school. Free education would ensure that all children, rich or poor, and regardless of intellegence, have an opportunityto learn.
Finally education in Indonesia is compulsory. If the government makes something compulsory, they must be prepared to fund it properly, it comes down to priorities. We rugularly see rich leaders and politicians living in mansions and driving BMWs whilst classes do not have enough books and poor students are forced to drop out. This is an unacceptable situation. Instead of mansions and luxury cars, the government should be funding a free education system that allows ail children to go to a good school.
In conclusion, let me reiterate that the current system in which poor families cannot send children to schoolis unacceptable. It must change. To ensure equality and justice schools should be adequantely funded so that all students have the opportunity to attend. It is only when we have a fair and just education system that we can claim to be fair and just nation,
Thank you.