FF Share: Lesson from The Past, for The Future Generations
Some of us at the studio have been watching manga, and as it turns out, there’s more than meets the eye to these Japanese animations. Some titles actually include political contents, while others actually borrow a slice of history. This may be a common knowledge for the manga enthusiasts, but for the rest of us, this fact shines the light as to why manga is an integral part of the Japanese culture and everyday life.
Speaking of history, this week’s topic revolves around how history is being told at school in Indonesia, and Ratri raised a concern for the future generation on how we can all comprehend our heritage and history properly if things were to stay unchanged.
It started with Ratri’s trip to Prambanan earlier this year. Prambanan is a significant UNESCO heritage site situated only 17 kilometers outside of Jogjakarta in Central Java. Upon arrival, visitors were handed out a very simple pamphlet that contains minimal information of the site itself, its significance and history, and a large portion of it was used to display other unrelated attractions that they offer in the area (such as deer park).
Having gone through secondary and tertiary education abroad, Ratri had a very different experience when it comes to history lessons. For some of us who studied in Indonesia, we agreed that history was one of the boring lessons at school, where all that we had to do was memorize endless names, places and important dates for the tests and exams
This model of teaching is flawed in a way that students don’t grasp of the importance of the events, its cause and effects, and most importantly how it can be applied in the real world of today. The students will focus only on passing the exam and forget everything after that – at least all of us gathered that day couldn’t remember a single thing that we learned during history lessons back at school.
Education can be a sensitive subject to discuss, as it will bring up a number of things such as government policy, the cost of education, quality of teaching staff, and availability of learning materials that vary widely from one school to the other depending largely on how much you can afford to pay. Ideally, good quality education shouldn’t be reserved to a specific group of people.
Our discussion turns into a question of how we can make the students be more interested in the learning process. Indonesia is country that is rich beyond comprehension, starting from its natural resources, people, culture and heritage. Everyone needs to realize this and grow an affinity towards it from the early years.
Because we are in the branding industry, these are the things of improvement that we can think through our perspective:
Create a more interesting teaching material
We can turn our books into illustrated storybooks that appeal to the younger students, putting emphasis on the cause and effect of events rather than remembering places, names and dates
Revise the curriculum
From our discussion, one of the reasons why history was so boring is because we were just spoon-fed these facts from the past with no relation to the present. While history is all about the past, the essence of learning it is so that we can see how it affects our life today, and how we should act in the future. Therefore a great storytelling about the past should always start at the present.
However, our points above may or may not be obsolete today, because they are based on our education experience (ranging between 1985 and 2012). If you have a better idea of what it’s like today, please drop us a line, we’d like to hear from you. If you are somewhat on your way to make the points above happen (especially by creating a more interesting storybook for the history lessons), maybe we can work on a project together to make it happen. You can contact us from the “Connect” page of this website.