Thursday, 25 February 2010

Interesting articles..

Knowledge can be found every where.. and we should never stop looking for it..

Is it an excuse I am using to stop writing my own articles and start translating others' to post in this blog?

Absolutely NOT!

The truth is.. I come across interesting blog posts written by other writers every day.. and some of those articles are discussing interesting (and important) topics that never come across my mind..

Therefore, I believe that I should share it with all of you.

Whenever I post a translated article, I will always properly cite the relevant sources for the articles that I translate, so that all readers can benefit from the articles. However, I will be honest from this point, that I will not translate the original article per word.. instead, I will take parts of the article which are relevant to the situations in Indonesia.

As always, I look forward your comments and suggestions to improve this blog..

Thank you and have a nice day :-)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Credit Card Tips (2)

I was planning on continuing my post about insurance, but I decided I should not bore you with the same topic in the same week ;-)

So, I will talk about credit card in this post, and continue the insurance discussion next week.

Last week I talked about how to manage credit card payments when you have a sudden need to make a large amount transaction.

This time, I will try to discuss some points that should have been put forward BEFORE the previous post..

The things that should be considered by individuals or families before deciding whether they need a credit card in their financial life

Why should I have a credit card? My life is complicated enough without one!

This is a comment that I often hear and personally, I can't blame the people who are saying it! Credit card came into our world without the right 'first impression' and it ended up being used without the correct 'manual'..

The main ideas that people have about credit cards are:
1. you can buy the things you need/want now and worry about paying for it later,
2. the more you use it, the more 'bonus points' you will receive.. which you can exchange with various gifts when you have certain number of points, and,
3. you can have discounts at various places (supermarkets, restaurants, outlets, etc.)

Point number 1 is definitely the wrong idea, while points number 2 and 3, even though they are not wrong, still, these advertised purposes of credit cards ARE NOT the main purpose of credit cards! These are just the additional benefits of having a credit card..

The actual main purpose of credit card is TO BETTER MANAGE YOUR CASH FLOW because credit card:
1. has the ability to 'bridge' the timing difference between your salary pattern and spending pattern.
2. provides services that can assist your payment schedules
3. has the ability to provide a quick solution on emergency situations

So, why the banks (or other credit card issuers) never really advertised credit cards with their main purposes?

Well, isn't it obvious? It won't sell! People who have sufficient financial knowledge background probably have about half-a-dozen other alternatives that serve the same purposes with credit cards (financial managers, diversified financial portfolio, or even the simplest self-scheduled payment patterns, etc.) .. ;-)

However, for majority of people, credit card can still provide the personal 'cash flow management service' at a reasonable fee (the annual fee).

So, how does this work?

OK, let's take a look at this example..

Here is what a common family cash flow looks like

Date Details
5 Electricity Bill
10 Grocery Shopping
15 Phone Bill
20 Insurance (annual)
25 Salary

So, the person must go to the Electricity Company by the 5th to pay the electricity bill,
then, take money from ATM to prepare for shopping on the 10th,
then, go to the Phone Company on the 15th, and,
organise the insurance payment on the 20th.

Some people are okay with this monthly routines (either having an assistant or having the time to do these themselves), but.. some others might not have the advantages of having an assistant or time (especially living in Jakarta, lining up to pay the electricity and phone bills can take half-a-day each).

Some other people choose to have a direct-debit bill payment, which is the bills will be paid directly from the person's bank account. This method works well for people who have a same/similar amount of routine expenses to pay every month and high discipline to set the money aside, untouched for billing at the planned time.

Now, for people who are struggling with schedules, paying some of these bills late will mean DISCONNECTION of services (I'm talking about electricity and phone), while other necessities that come in-between salaries might cause a slight 'shake' of cash flow during the month.

For these situations, credit card is a good option to choose. Once you have listed your monthly bills that you want to be paid through credit card, your credit card will always pay them on time and you will never be late in paying your important bills.

Nowadays, some banks offer the billing date options too for your credit card. You can choose whether you want to be billed on the 10th, 20th or 30th. You can ask your bank about this service and decide which date is better for you (depending on your salary date).

Now, you only need to take ONE trip to the ATM to pay the credit card bill and that's it!

The advantage of centralised billing is that you can easily track your spending trends and make future plans. You know how much you spend on your routine expenses (based on your credit card bill and statement) and you can make plans with the rest of your salary -for savings or holidays, etc.-..

Alright, that was about the 1st and 2nd main purposes of credit card. Now, we move to the 3rd main purpose.

Referring back to my previous post on credit card, it was clear that health treatment in a case of emergency can be arranged more easily with the presence of a credit card.

Most hospitals (especially private ones), require either a health insurance membership card or a credit card to prove that patient CAN cover for the health treatment provided by the hospital. Without either of these cards, patient can be held untreated for a long time! Certainly we do not want this to happen to ourselves or our loved ones..

Some credit card actually have hospital plans for hospital treatments or hospitalisation, where the total bill can be paid in installments; 3, 6, 9 or 12 months (or even longer periods of time). You should ask about this when you apply for a credit card.

Are there other important benefits of credit card?

Nowadays, credit card issuers must compete against others in providing better services to the credit card holders.

Most credit cards now have formed partnerships with various shops and outlets in providing planned purchase service. With this service, credit card holders can purchase goods without paying in full at the time of purchase, instead they can pay in installments over certain period of time.

What you need to remember is that, while this is a great way to purchase things that you need without shaking your cash flow too much in a certain month, you still need to be careful about:
1. the real necessity of the the goods you are purchasing
2. the amount of money that you will have to commit to pay each month until you have paid the goods in full.

Moreover, these planned purchases are sometimes accompanied by a small interest (although a lot of credit card now offers 0% interest for planned purchase). If this is the case, then you need to think it over, whether you should purchase the goods you need with your credit card, or just save up for a few months and purchase it with cash (the money you have saved).

When the goods you are purchasing are for your small/home business (equipments, inventory, etc.), then the small interest might still be worth it. But when it is for something that you will only use for leisure (home entertainment, etc.), then you might want to look around for alternatives before you make you purchasing decision.

The main idea that you need to remember is that credit card is there to provide simple financial management assistance to individual or families who need it, NOT to make your life more complicated.. :-)

Have a nice day!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Insurance.. Precaution? Investment? or.. Unnecessary Expense? (2)

First, I would like to apologize for the late posting of this post... :-)

Second, I will get right down to business. As promised, I will talk about insurance from clients' perspective.

What do I mean by that?

Well.. everybody (or family) has specific needs in life, driven by each person's unique situations, opportunities, objectives and choices.

While insurance, as a financial buffer, is simply one of the many financial strategies that can be applied, or added, to a person's (or family's) financial management as a part of the whole financial planning.

When it is carefully and correctly chosen and applied, it can be a great protection and additional investment in the future. However, when it is badly chosen, it can definitely cause further problems.

Hmm.. am I making any sense?

Let's see..

As I mentioned in my previous post about insurance, these days, insurance industry is getting more and more competitive and insurance companies need to make good offers to gain the interests of prospective clients. The most visible part of the competition is, how much return these insurance companies are capable and willing to give back to clients after years of contract.

At the same time..

Prospective clients need to recognize their financial situation as a whole to be able to make the best financial decision on how to structure their financial investment and how they should diversify it.

First, prospective clients need to make a list of properties, they need insurance cover for and for how long.

Second, they need to decide how much of the properties' values they would like to be covered for.

Third, these data need to be cross-calculated against the whole income and other financial strategies applied by the prospective clients or families.

Hmm.. I guess I should give a clear example..

It is something like this..

When you feel the need for an insurance in your family arises (for house, vehicle education or life), start looking around for the type of insurance that fits your needs. Remember to look for:

1. Combined packages: education+health, life+health, house+contents, vehicle+accidents, etc.

2. Additional benefits: how much cash benefit that you can receive from the investment part of the insurance package and after how long.

Then, cross-check it with your current financial situation:

1. How much of your current salary you are prepared to set aside for the insurance (after allocating for daily needs, routine payments and savings).

2. Make a list of dates which you would like to receive the benefits from the investment part of your insurance (children's school entrance payment due dates, family holiday final booking due dates, your retirement expectation year, etc.)

ASK the insurance agent to provide you with TWO or THREE possible choices of premiums that are likely to be met by your calculation.


Insurance, even when it is combined with an investment plan, should NEVER be your only or main choice for investment.

Your personal or family investment should consist of a number of diversified choices, such as, savings, short-term and long-term time deposits and/or gold. If possible, properties or land and stock or share can also be considered.

The reason for this is..

Insurance is not savings, although it has an investment part of it. The premiums that you pay each year consist of two parts, insurance cover and investment benefit. Therefore, trying to achieve the full amount of your future needs from an insurance would cause you to pay a high premium, and there is almost no flexibility in regard to the timing of when you can withdraw your benefits.

What you should do..

Secure one-third to half of your future needs with an insurance+investment package, while at the same time, open a new savings account in your bank to achieve the remaining amount of that you aim for.

Whenever you have the enough amount in your saving account to open a time deposit, open one. Time deposit offers higher return than a savings account, so you will benefit more from your money.

Another alternative..

Banks also have programs called 'planned savings', which are aimed to reach a certain goal that you set for a time in the future; school entrance fee, holiday, etc. With this type of saving, the bank will withdraw a planned amount of money from your main account each month for the length of the saving plan.

Savings account, time deposits and planned savings account are good choices to diversify your financial investment (and its risks) and to complement your insurance+investment package.

A good combination of financial strategies applied to your investment can help you secure and grow your wealth for a long time. Not only you can plan your future well, you can also enjoy your life after retirement comfortably.

If you have any additional thought to add to this post, please fill in the comment form below.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day!

Insurance.. Precaution? Investment? or.. Unnecessary Expense? (1)

Yes, I know.. repetitive calls from insurance agents can be very annoying, especially when the calls are blind calls, and you are not considering taking insurance.. ;-)

However, what if you are thinking about having an insurance policy, but you feel that you don't know enough about it, and you are not sure how to decide about which type of insurance you should choose?

What we need to understand, to begin with, is that insurance is 'transferring part of our future risks to a third party (insurance company)'..

Why do I say 'part'? Because, we still have to pay a regular fee to the third party as a bind. This regular fee is known as a premium.

There are different types of risks that can be covered by insurance, some common examples are:
home/building against theft or fire,
vehicle (car/motorcycle) against theft, break down or accident,
health for hospitalisation or accident,
education for future plans, and
life in cases of accident or death.

There are also other types of insurance, but in this post, I will only discuss the common ones.

There are certain aspects that will be taken into consideration to decide the amount of premium we have to pay for the insurance we take, for instance:
total value of building and contents, in the case of building/home insurance,
age and make of vehicles, in the case of vehicle insurance
age and health condition, in the case of health and life insurance
age of child(ren) to be insured and how much to be collected at due date, in the case of education insurance.

All these aspects are explicitly stated in the insurance application form, and your insurance agent is able to explain in more detail if you need more information.

Once all your details are collected by the insurance agent, the agent can then tell you (based on the insurance company rule) how much premium you need to pay for each insurance period. Most insurance policies require annual (yearly) premium payments, while others, might present their calculation in an annual amount but allow clients (you) to pay in monthly or quarterly installments.

Referring back to the point where I mentioned that having insurance is 'transferring' part of risks to a third party is the only way to save you the shock of learning about the amount of premiums you have to pay for the insurance you need.

Insurance cannot cover any risks suffered by their clients, unless they accept enough money from clients to re-invest in other businesses to grow their profits. Insurance companies are businesses, and more than that, insurance companies are running a high-risk type of business.

Therefore, if the insurance company who approaches you offers a very low premium for a high coverage that you ask, BEWARE! You really need to check further any relevant details about the insurance company background!

However, in this era, with the strong competition in the insurance industry, insurance companies need to 'manage' their clients' expectation very well and make offers that can benefit their clients more.

This condition, resulted in various packages of insurance that do not only require premium payments by clients for insurance cover as a benefit, but also offer additional benefits, such as, retirement savings or investments.

How is it possible?

Here is how..Insurance companies, as a business entity, must ensure their ability to keep running and paying their clients' insurance covers whenever their clients claim it. At the same time, to stay competitive against other insurance companies, they have to keep the premium they offer as low as possible. Therefore, insurance companies must re-invest some of the money collected from their clients in other businesses after allocating the necessary amount to be placed in another insurance company, to insure their business.

The amount that insurance companies invest in other businesses is aimed to generate ongoing profits to support their main business, which is covering people's assets and lives (clients' insurance policy). From this operation, when successful, insurance companies can do a lot more than simply pay clients' claims. They can also offer some return to clients, at least to give back some (or all) premiums that have been paid by clients after a few years.

These types of packages give better offers when clients choose the long-term insurance policy (10 years or above). Some of the common packages are:

health insurance + retirement package, where you have to pay a premium for the health insurance until the age limit (usually around 55-60 years old), and you can collect the retirement benefits a few years after (usually between 75-90 years old). With this type of packages, you might still be covered for sickness or hospitalization up to the benefit collection age, although not all insurance has the same rules.

health insurance + education savings package,where you have to pay a premium for the health insurance until the age limit (usually around 55-60 years old), and you are entitled for some part of the total benefit payout when your children are entering new stage of education (entering elementary school, junior high school, senior high school and university).

The types of packages offered by each insurance company are different, so you should have a look at more than one company to find the one that suits you the best.

A new development of an insurance package is health insurance + unit link. This type of insurance is directly linked to a set of investment units (shares/stock) that are chosen by the insurance company's investment managers.

This type of insurance is riskier than the saving packages, although whenever the share market is going well, the unit link investment is going well too and clients can reap high profits from their investment linked to the insurance.

Why is it riskier?

Here is why.. by offering a unit link insurance policy, insurance companies are transferring back to clients, some of the risks they are facing when they are re-investing their funds to support their business. So, rather than offering a set amount of money, they will pay clients in later years, insurance companies offer clients the choice of having limited control over their wealth invested in the insurance companies. By doing this, insurance companies are limiting their loss, if the businesses they re-invest in suffer losses or even go bankrupt.

Clients having unit link insurance usually are not allowed to change the units (shares/stock) placements. However, they can choose how much (in percentage) of their premium to be allocated in the share market and/or money market. This gives clients some (limited) control over their money invested in the insurance company.

The fact that clients have some control, means that they need to be in a position to take decisions to protect their own wealth. Therefore,clients must have sufficient knowledge about financial markets and keep themselves up-to-date with any development in the financial market, in order to ensure the safety of their investment linked to their insurance policy.

Having discussed about various types of common investment policies, I hope this post can provide some useful information for any of you wondering about insurance.

I will discuss more about insurance from clients' perspective in my next post.

Have a nice day :-)

Monday, 8 February 2010

A quick observation..

In this post, I would like to put forward some thoughts to continue my previous post about specialisation in high school education.

At the end of 1st year senior high school, I was selected to be in a student exchange program. Ten students from my senior high school were sent to a private school in Australia to study there for one month. Upon our return, selected students from the Australian high school would come to our school also for one month.

During the exchange program, I learned about the different things about the 'school-life' of Australian and Indonesian students.

The most obvious difference was of course the moving-class system.. which we found tiring.. :-P

There was also a time when the student who was paired with me was not well for a couple of days, and for those days, I successfully got lost in-between classes..

The positive thing was, we realised that having a moving-class system, students can have more freedom and independence in deciding the subjects they want to specialise on.

At that time, we only thought that it was the main advantage of the moving-class system, but as I started university, I understood the bigger picture..

I had to face reality when I graduated from high school of not being able to enter national university. The differing opinions between my parents' and my own about which university I should choose led me to an 'unusual' path taken by a child in my extended family.

The national universities my parents asked me to take entrance exam to rarely accepted students from social-science stream into their Accounting faculty. As expected, I didn't pass the Math exam for one reason only.. I did not do 'Science Math' in high school.. which of course I didn't, since I chose social-science stream and I did 'Economic Math' instead (as prescribed by the curriculum)!

At the same time, I couldn't accept the offer from another national university, which accepted students from social-science stream into its Accounting faculty, because my parents considered the university was too far from Jakarta (with my final grades, I was entitled for school's endorsement for a place in a national university out of Jakarta -about 12 hours travel time- without entrance exam).

Having denied the chance to enter three national universities (with two being the closest ones to home), I had to consider private universities, which I managed to enter without difficulties.

However, the better option was still waiting for me..

When I was asked by my high school to deliver a talk about experience in studying in university, a few representatives from an Australian college were also there at my high school. They were introducing a new program for overseas students who wanted to study in Australian universities.

My English teacher quickly introduced us, and after a quick interview, the representatives decided that I was fit as a candidate and they would like to meet my parents to follow up the enrollment process.

Despite the distance between Indonesia and Australia, when I told my parents that I was accepted as a student in an Australian university, they quickly agreed! I was really glad about that.. :-)

Anyway.. this led to another observation about a different education system, compared to the one I was used to in my own country.

Once I started studying in Australia as a university student, I saw something interesting.. very interesting..

Some students were not only doing one degree at one time, but two.. Some of them were doing 'Commerce/Law', 'Law/Medicine', 'Agriculture Science/Economics', 'Accounting/Computing'.. etc. ..

Combinations that could not happen, with the way high school curriculum was structured in Indonesia at that time..

When I asked local students, how did they structure their high school subjects to be able to do that? They answered me that they discussed their interests and strength with their academic counselor to decide which subjects to take in high school, to enable them to pursue more than one major in university, so that they would have comparative advantage once they graduated from university.


So, it was not only about moving-class system, but also an education system where students are treated individually, depending on their strengths and interests, so that they could achieve their highest potential in the future.

In Australian high schools, when students want to major in science, they can still take an elective subjects from social science area, such as, Economics, History, Anthropology, etc. Therefore, their observation and people skills are developing throughout high school years along with their scientific analysis skills.

Similar situation with the students who want to major in social-science, they can still take an elective from science area, such as, Science Math, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, etc. Therefore, their scientific analysis skills are also developing throughout high school years along with their observation and people skills.

This way, either side loses less than if the curriculum is strictly prescribed.. :-)

Moreover, students can have more options in their life later, long after they graduated from high school.

I am not saying that the Australian system in the perfect one, because each system would only best applied in respective country, after considering skills and knowledge in demand in each country. I am only saying that each country should really consider treating students as separate-entity from others, special in characteristics, interests and strengths. Because these students want different things in life.

These days, I have seen many positive developments in Indonesian education system. For one, specialisation is now only introduced in final year of high school. Therefore, students up to 2nd year (year 11) are doing the full set of high school subjects. I have to admit that on one hand, this might be a burden for some students, but on the other hand, it gives students wider options, as they would be studying both sides of streams for the whole 2nd year (in Indonesia, 2nd year of high school is where the study load is the heaviest , because half of 3rd year is focused for preparation for university).

The only consideration for both high school and university is to make their expectation gap narrower. High schools need to prepare their students to be up to the university's expectation, while universities need to make some adjustment programs available for high school students to catch up with subjects they did not have the chance to study in high school.

The example I learned from university system in Australia was that they have TAFE (Diploma programs) and Foundation program, where students can have one to two years preparation to enter university, if they lack a background subject. For example, a student whose major was in social science in high school, but he/she wants to study 'Computer Science'. The student can enter a TAFE or foundation program that offers science subjects, then, once he/she has the certificate of the program, the student can enter the university program he/she wants.

Indonesia also have diploma programs, but the structure is a little different from Australian TAFE. However, this is not the purpose of my post.. ;-)

Two, there have been many more technical school and colleges for students who are confident of what they want to pursue in life and want to focus from a young age. These schools and colleges are, in a way, a much better alternative to the 'science' and 'social-science' streams in high school.

The consideration for industries is to open as many options as possible for the technical schools and colleges graduates to pursue their career from the path they have chosen.

While the consideration for universities is that they should have a system where students from these technical schools and colleges can continue their education in university much later than high school graduates, if they choose to, considering that they already have the necessary background skills and experience needed for the degree pursued.

Three, students are now more proactive in searching for the skills and knowledge they need. It is evident by the existence of many out-of-school courses, such as, foreign languages, computer programs, arts, business and management, science clubs, etc., and the quantity of students enrolling in various programs offered by those course places.

In the future, if these course places can certify and guarantee the level of competency acquired by their students, then universities can also develop a system to take their certifications into consideration for students enrolling in their degree programs.

Learning is really a never-ending process in our life, including improving the education system itself..

I was just an average student in university, but throughout my study time in Australia, I saw so many Indonesian students excelled in their studies (in Indonesia and in Australia). It opened my eyes that with each step of improvement in Indonesian education system, the younger generations who are more critical in thinking and learning, will have far better chances in gaining a better future.. :-)

Go Indonesian Education!!

Monday, 1 February 2010

Specialisation of skills or limiting knowledge transfers..

People often say that education system every where in the world needs improvement.. lots of improvement.. Well, I can say that education system in Indonesia really needs lots of improvement.. It is currently going through a lot of changing as a process of trying to improve, and I hope each change will lead to a significant improvement.. :-)

One of the things I've noticed since I graduated from high school is the knowledge and skills gap between the students graduated from science stream and social-science stream in high school. This gap, in my personal opinion, is completely unnecessary and avoidable (at least to some degree).

This gap I'm talking about is probably felt by a lot of Indonesian high school graduates, but unknown to high school graduates in other countries.. This is because of the structure of senior high school curriculum in Indonesia.

In Indonesia, in 2nd year of senior high school -equivalent to year 11- (now from 3rd year of senior high school -equivalent to year 12-), students must choose whether they would like to take science stream or social-science stream. At a glance, this was a good thing, to help students focus on the areas they want to pursue in further education. However, their are downsides of this structure..

Both science stream and social-science stream are conducted as fixed-packages, where all subjects have been strictly prescribed by the Department of Education and there is no elective (either from the chosen stream or cross-stream).. Moreover, in national-standard schools, students stay in one particular classroom, where the teacher of the subjects will come to when the subjects take place. Therefore, it is impractical to have elective subjects.

This strict specialisation, at the end of the day, presents several problems.

The first problem, it forces students to have strict limitations in choosing the area they want to pursue in university.

In most cases, graduates of science stream are considered 'fit' to choose any area in university, including economics, accounting and finance, and social studies, having the strong mathematical-analytical skills.

At the same time, graduates of social-science stream are considered only 'fit' to choose areas related to humanities, social studies and languages.

Some universities do accept social-science stream graduates with good grades into their economics or accounting/finance faculties, but some others only accept science graduates, even though for a fact, economics and accounting are only taught in social-science stream (not in science stream).

The first problem leads to the second, where the structure misleads students in guiding them in choosing the right path in high school. A lot of students felt that it was safer for them to choose science stream if they are considering to do economics or accounting in university.

At the same time, students who decide to choose social-science stream (or are forced by the schools to take it) have to bear almost 'a life time' consequence, of being considered a '2nd class graduates' for not having the necessary scientific skills and knowledge. Of course in reality of life this mindset is questionable, but in academic world, this is causing a big problem!

The real situation is, which I see as the third problem, the gap between expectation and real competency level of university students and graduates.

Often, students are not satisfied with their own skills, ability and knowledge because of the lack of complete set of knowledge they need to have in pursuing their life.

On one hand, science stream graduates often feel that they are struggling in the 'management side' of working life. The struggle is hard in university for the ones end up choosing economics, accounting/finance or business/management at university level, and for the ones who choose the scientific areas in university, the struggle is felt once they enter working life.

On the other hand, social-science stream graduates often feel the frustration of not understanding the 'too-focused scientists/technical people' whom they have to work with in their every day life..

University is a learning place for people who have already gone past their crucial 'development' stage. Lecturers and tutors do not transfer mindset and psychological encouragement as much as school teachers because the learning stage of the students they teach are obviously different.

What we lack in learning at school level, CAN NEVER be replaced at university level or after!

It is a good thing that nowadays there are postgraduate business/management programs for employees from non-business background who are pursuing further career in management areas. However, the change of mindset is harder when we are already an adult and are used to a certain style of thinking structure for a long time, but at least there are ways to catch up with the lack of skills.

The final problem now is, for the social-science stream graduates, there are no postgraduate programs that offer science programs!

When I decided to choose social-science stream, not only I had to face opposition from the school and family -because I had the sufficient grades to enter science stream-, I also had to give up my favourite science subject, Chemistry.. and this meant for life..

Business degree graduates might excel in writing essays, conducting surveys, doing presentations and leading a discussion/meeting, but, whenever I read a research paper done by a science graduate, I can clearly see a difference!

Science stream graduates possess a highly structured thinking process that it is almost 'written on their faces'.. while social-science stream graduates are very open to 'open-ended' discussions..

There should be a balance in there somewhere to make sure that high school graduates are 'all round' people who are ready to take the challenge of the real world!

I believe that one subject.. just one subject.. from cross-stream can change this problem, -maybe not entirely, but at least to some extent-, to create a better life in Indonesia.

I try to imagine, if in science stream, students are given a chance to have a feel of the 'open-ended' mindset -conducting surveys, having open project discussion, calculating business budgets and marketing products- .. it might help them to understand the 'other side' of the their world.. Subjects like macro economics would definitely show science students how things in life often happen outside expectations and people need to be ready for those things..

Then, I try to imagine too, if social-science students are given a chance to take up one science subject by choice, -physiscs, biology or chemistry-.. it might help them (including me) in understanding the thinking process of scientists/technical people.. A careful, thorough and detailed observation is needed to complement the 'risk-taking' approach in business world..

I know that there are some students who are mature enough to understand their upcoming needs in future life and try to equip themselves with skills and knowledge they are not given by school, but in most cases, high school students -being children at final stage, if I may say-, still need assistance in preparing them to face their future and it is the adults' responsibility to provide them such skills and knowledge (by adults I mean, parents, teachers and Department of Education).

Providing a more balanced education is what education system in Indonesia needs to do -among other things-, and I would really love to see this come true in the future.. :-)

Have a nice day, everyone!