opinion

My new minister of education

October 29, 2019

THIS article is just for sharing. It is sharing with the Philippines and other developing countries. First, I talk about my minister of education. Then, I relate it with my experience in Bataan, Manila, in 2015 and that in Singapore in 2016. Education is either for preparing jobs or creating scientists. Let me talk about my new minister of education. He is globally recognized. He is the boss of G-Jek— the online folk-transportation. Folk-transportation has a sense that it is the motorbike transport. It is managed virtually. And, I believe the readers in the Philippines know it too. Nadiem Makarim, the new minister of education and culture, is young enough. He is 35 years old. After finishing his Master degree in Harvard University, he went back to his home country: Indonesia. With his Go-Jek business, he is now the CEO with trillions of IDR asset. More amazingly, he is appointed the minister of education and culture. This ministry is the biggest management and leadership. With his master degree and experience in global business, he is expected to change this education affair. When we talk about education in Indonesia, we include now the basic level, secondary level, and even tertiary level.  In other words, it concerns all schools and universities in Indonesia. Why does President Jokowi appoint him? Here is just my educated guest. President might want him to change the horizon of education. It is not only educating the nations. It is not only making the people smart. More than that, President might want him to change the system. The system should make also the people creative, imaginative, and innovative. I remember when I was a keynote speaker in MAAP (Maritime Academy of Asia Pacific) in Bataan, near Manila, the Philippines in 2016. It was the international concference held by the AUSN (American University of Sovereign Nations). One of the Doctor—I remember her name Dr. April—from the Philippines also delivered her speech. She said that almost 60 percent of the university graduates were not employed. They were not absorbed by the industries. That condition is almost the same as in Indonesia though I have not yet done any research on it. Due to the phenomenon above, there is a dilemma for universities. This can be referred to the Asia Summit, I attended also as a keynote speaker in Singapore in 2015. Most of the speakers around the world at that time discussed the topic about university and collaboration with industries. Yet, we got bogged down: realizing that we were in a dilemma. The dilemma is whether we manage universities either for preparing the jobs or for developing the academicians for innovation. Innovation to develop science and knowledge! Innovation to develop theories and philosophies! The schools of knowledge and science as well as technology! In other words, it is to develop and create scientists. The second is whether universities are only to create jobs. If this alternation is taken, then we will get trapped into pragmatism. If so, there won’t be new scientists. We stop thinking. We stop innovating. We stop developing theories of the science and knowledge we have now. We cannot create new Albert Einstein anymore. So, that was the dilemma we discussed in 2016 in Singapore. Now, President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) appointed Nadiem Makarim—the best CEO, young and millennialism—the Minister of Education and Culture. I believe that my President wants Mr. Makarim to improve the system of education. The system is how to make the school or university graduates get employed. It is economically oriented. The nations have a huge burden when all the graduates are not yet absorbed by the industries. Now that we have eye witnessed the education system everywhere. It is both In the Philippines and especially in other developing countries. We are not yet successful in creating the jobs for the school and university graduates. It seems that this is the main reason why President Jokowi appointed Nadiem Makarim—the young CEO with his Mater degree—the minister of education and culture. He will lead all teachers throughout Indonesia. He will also lead all doctors, professors, and scientists throughout Indonesia. In other words he will deal with both vocational and academic orientation of education. One, he should create the jobs for the graduates and the other, he should also create scientists. Dr. Djuwari is an Associate Professor and the Director of Language Laboratory at STIE Perbanas Surabaya, the editor of some research journals in the Philippines and Indonesia. He is also a journalist in some newspapers in Indonesia; the President of International Association of Scholarly Publishers, Editors, and Reviewers (IASPER).

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Climate change only for the poor?

October 26, 2019

I THINK, this question has been answered already many times. Fact is: climate change exacerbates inequalities, not only in poor, developing countries, but also in industrialized, wealthy ones. But, the poor should be given special importance when planning, experts and German National Television's author Irene Banos Ruiz say. Since the topic "Climate Change" arrived already the last global spot, climate hysteria grows. As drought, flooding and fires lay claim to headlines and landscapes across the world, and as countries and cities grapple with the cost of it all, the highest price is already being paid — by those who are poor or marginalized, Ruiz voiced out. And yes, she is so very right. Such are the findings of a recent study by  researchers Noah S. Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke. It reveals that the economic gap between rich and poor countries would have been smaller without the climate crisis. Eight of the ten countries most affected by extreme weather events — such as hurricanes and monsoon rains — between 1998 and 2017, were developing nations with low or lower-middle income, the Global Climate Risk Index of the NGO Germanwatch shows. "Regions like Southeast Asia are very vulnerable, not only because they are often hit, but because they lack resources to deal with the impact," David Eckstein, co-author of the Index, told DW. Of course, living in the Philippines and experiencing the climate change here since decades, I wasn't surprised any more reading the answer to the question: Where is the most extreme weather? 1.Puerto Rico, 2. Honduras, 3. Myanmar, 4. Haiti, 5. Philippines, 6. Nicaragua, 7. Bangladesh, 8. Pakistan, 9. Vietnam, 10. Dominca. Although natural disasters are not new, climate change increases their frequency and intensity, making it harder for those affected to cope with the impacts. "Often, these countries are in the process of rebuilding when they're struck again by an event," Eckstein said. Oxfam International says the two cyclones that hit Mozambique in rapid succession earlier this year left 2.6 million people in need of food, shelter and clean water. Thousands have had to look for a new place to live. According to the Switzerland-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre they were among seven million — out of a total 10.8 million people internally displaced between January and June this year — forced to leave their homes because of weather-related disasters and earthquakes. But even people who do not currently live in extreme poverty are at risk of becoming poor. I listened Harjeet Singh, climate policy lead with the NGO ActionAid International, during a television interview.. He recently visited the Sundarbans, where land has been swallowed by rising sea levels. "People there had resources, but their lives have been completely devastated by climate change impacts," he said. "They've fallen into the poverty trap." He witnessed a similar situation in Senegal's Saloum Delta, where sea level rise is making it hard for communities to farm or fish. That's how people "become ultra poor and migrate without any resources, and become unskilled labor in urban areas," he explained. Economic disparities due to climate change aren't unique to poorer countries.  A 2017 study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Science, says higher temperatures in US states such as Arizona will lead to a more intense use of cooling systems, which in turn implies greater energy use and higher costs for consumers.   Some northern states, however, could benefit through reduced heating use, among other factors. In Maine, for instance, the most northeasterly US state, the gross county product could increase by up to to 10%, while in Arizona it could fall by as much as 20%, the study shows. In the Spanish capital, Madrid, over 20% of households are at risk of energy poverty — the lack of capacity to keep homes warm in winter and cool in summer, a study requested by regional authorities shows. Allow me to quote Eckstein from Germanwatch again, who says that initiatives to help countries recover are important, "but what is also necessary is for these countries to prepare in advance." I.e. Bangladesh, he says, has improved its position in the Climate Risk Index because it deals with climate change impacts better than other countries. Among other measures, it has built seawalls to prevent flooding and introduced early warning systems to evacuate people on time. Social protection mechanisms to help people relocate and learn new skills also matter. "If relocation needs to happen, it has to happen in a much more planned manner," Singh said. But since the affected countries often lack the economic and technical capacity to go this far, international support plays a decisive role, he added. Singh agrees that preventive planning is the key to reducing the inequality gap intensified by climate change. "Current players are leading us to a 3 degrees [Celsius] warmer world," he said. "We really hope that we don't reach that point, but our planning has to be with that thinking." I can only agree with that my dear readers. +++ Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter or visit my www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com.

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Corruption: still a nightmare for DU30

October 23, 2019

AFTER three years, the  goal to rid the country of corruption remains a nightmare for President Duterte. The President had openly  admitted this dilemma of getting the government rid of corruption before the country’s Big Business, saying this can only be achieved with the help of the business sector. That said, corruption  is still widespread, and unknown to the President, people in the bureaucracy - from  national down to the local levels - continuously defy his call even as he reiterates to punish government workers who participate in corrupt practices. To put more teeth to his campaign, the President urges business people who experience corruption in government to confront these vultures by slapping them a dozen times in full view of the public. Seemingly exhausted though,he encourages people to Inform him right away when they encounter corruption during transactions with government offices. Government  agencies must give businesses a "shopping" list of requirements, which should include how long the processing would take, as well as what time an investor could expect them completed. Indeed, ending corruption in government remains  a nightmare for  President Duterte. Since assuming the presidency, he has fired several government officials and employees for their alleged involvement in corrupt transactions. The latest to step down from his post was a PNOC official after the President lost the trust and confidence in him. (ruffy44_ph2000@yahoo.com)

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Padayon’s poisonous political mindset

October 23, 2019

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina--It’s been five months since this year’s elections and yet parochial politics still stink the air in my hometown of Tagoloan based on what I learned from retired Air Force General Gregorio “Gerry “ Paduganan in his post on the Facebook page that he created and administered. Paduganan’s observations are contained in a first person account of the first State of the Municipal Address of Mayor Gomer Enan Sabio.  The mayor’s report of his first 100 days in office also contained some details of his proposed budget to the municipal council. I thought I would not be writing about Tagoloan anymore as right now it is in good hands after Mayor Enan assumed office. Though at that time he is still not in good relations with the council headed by his first cousin Robinson Sabio. General Gerry’s post which I would use as basis of discussion is the absence of the council’s majority bloc during the address. I used the term “absence” while Gerry described it as a “boycott.”  Yes the council was invited but most did not show up for reasons only they know. There were many observations made by the retired general, who really loves Tagoloan and has nothing on his heart except the welfare of its people based on our talks years ago.  Anyway I would pick only one observation out of the many. The chairs reserved for the opposition councilors were unoccupied and only two councilors attended, lawyer Audie Paduganan and Pomar.  I don’t know if these majority councilors were invited but I assumed they were invited or else why would the mayor not invite them? If they were invited to the mayor’s first State of the Municipal Address, the best thing to do is to appear as a courtesy to a co-equal  branch of the local government. The majority should have attended and listened to the mayor’s report for the first 100 days in office and his vision for the next three years in office because in theory it should be the case.  It is for public interest and the welfare of Tagoloanons. Tagoloan needs both the executive and legislative branches working together in unison while balancing each other out for checks and balances. They should set aside their entrenched political loyalties and self-interest and for once work together. It is public knowledge that Mayor Enan Sabio is supported by Team Unity (Rep. Juliet Uy of Misamis Oriental’s 2nd district and husband former Vice Governor Atty, Julio Uy) while the majority of the municipal council under Vice Mayor Robinson is under the protection of Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny ‘Bambi’ Emano. Even then they belong to different political parties there is nothing wrong with it. That is politics, that is democracy. But not appearing in a public event is demeaning and cheapens the office of the person who made the invitation or to a large degree disrespectful to the Tagoloanons. With this incident, there  is no doubt in my mind that there is too much politics in Tagoloan and these ‘trapos’ only succeeded in cheapening themselves further. That is precisely the kind of backward, poisonous and regressive mindset that they seek to perpetuate in Tagoloan which they wish to keep unprogressive in order to ensure their foothold in power. What is this I heard that Kagawad Angelo Pomar returned to the Padayon Pilipino—also called by its critics as Padayon Panonto—camp?.  Quo Vadis, Atty. Dodo?

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His dream of federalism has died with him

October 23, 2019

HE is a legal luminary, no doubt. But more than that ,  former Senate President Nene Pimentel was a renowned vanguard of the federalism movement. Sadly, his  dream of seeing the country becoming a federal state has not come in his lifetime. His dream of federalism has died with him. In fact, he has written a book on federalism, citing among others, the shift would  result to a better life for all Filipinos enjoying peace and security, responsive labor, quality education and much improved social services. Pimentel’s last act as a public servant was signing the ConCom draft Bayani­han Federalism Constitution on July 3, 2018. Sans his fragile state of health, Nene Pimentel trailblazed the proposal nom-stop  for a federal system to develop the  countryside. Knwon  as the "Father of the Local Government Code" , Pimentel had been  pushing  for federalism as a form of government.in various  fora — championing the autonomy of local governments and the power of the people. His dream of federalism has died with him, yet he left a lasting legacy for  all of us to carry on — onward to federalism! (ruffy44_ph2000@yahoo.com)

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His legacy lives on!

October 23, 2019

He is a legal luminary, no doubt.       But more than that,  former Senate President Nene Pimentel was a renowned vanguard of the federalism movement.      Sadly, his  dream of seeing the country becoming a federal state has not come in his lifetime.      His dream of federalism has died with him. But his legacy lives on.      In fact, he has written a book on federalism, citing among others, the shift would result to a better life for all Filipinos enjoying peace and security, responsive labor, quality education and much improved social services.      Pimentel’s last act as a public servant was signing the ConCom draft Bayanihan Federalism Constitution on July 3, 2018. Sans his fragile state of health, Nene Pimentel trailblazed the proposal nom-stop  for a federal system to develop the  countryside.       Known  as the Father of the Local Government Code, Pimentel had been  pushing  for federalism as a form of government in  various  fora elsewhere and everywhere — championing the autonomy of local governments and the power of the people.      His effort was a big step towards attaining  decentralization and autonomy of the country.      His dream of federalism has died with him, yet he left a lasting legacy for  all of us to carry on — onward to federalism! (ruffy44_ph2000@yahoo.com)

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