08 May 2017

Choosing the Best Education Outfit for the Children

JAKARTA- The Central Committee of the National Admission Test of Public Universities (SNMPTN) 2016 announced the results of public college entrance selection on May 2016. Of the 645,202 students who apply, only 115,178 students admitted to 76 public universities in Indonesia.

This means that only about 17,58% of applicants who admitted to the public higher education or one seat competed by five to six students. The comparative figures would be even higher for top public university, for example the University of Indonesia (UI), Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Padjadjaran University (UNPAD), and the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS).

So, what makes thousands of other students fail? Is it because they are unintelligent or are there other factors?

Dr. Eng. Sumarsono ST., MT., OCP., familiarly called Kak Sono, founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Elite Tutors Indonesia, a tutoring company that serve high-end market segment in Indonesia for over 5 years through a private program for students with special condition who want to admit to public universities, denied the assumption that there are unintelligent students.

According to the 29-year-old graduate of Industrial Engineering, UI, unintelligent is not the solely factor of child's failure in academic performance but there are several contributing factors. In fact, he believes that child with special needs such as mild autism or mild dyslexia could win a seat in the public college if they get a proper education.

So far, we have not found an unintelligent child, except he/she is a child with special needs. That is why we have a tutoring program for children with special needs. Even children with special needs still have chances to admit to UI or UGM. It's not a problem," he told Bisnis.com optimistic, Wednesday (21/12/2016) at the office of Elite Tutors Indonesia in City Lofts, Sudirman, Jakarta.

The fundamental factors that influence academic achievement is the difference of every child, such as background or family circumstances and the child's ability to absorb information. There is also another factor such as the system applied in the school curriculum - especially for children who come from schools with international curriculum - and unawareness related to strategies to win public university seat itself.

According to the man graduated from Doctoral Program of Hiroshima University, Japan, like choosing clothes, the system of mass education that is currently applied in schools and tutoring is outfit with the same size used by each childs different height and weight so it is less accommodate the personal needs of every child.

Whereas, obviously, children with different height, weight and shoulder sizes are entitled to get clothes made in proportion to their bodies.

Just as clothing size, there is a defined system in mass education. You have to wear it whether it is too big or too small, whether you like it or not,” he analogized.

Kak Sono explained, in the span of his career as a tutor, he ever met a child with particular condition who have problems with learning until she failing grade but the child is not unintelligent. At that time, the brilliant student was having complicated family problems.

However, they graduated with good academic grades, admitted to top public universities, and even today has gained a good job after getting special treatment and program that suit their needs.

He also met a child with learning difficulties caused by video games addiction. According to Kak Sono, a child with this problem needs a special treatment to help him gradually recover from the addiction and shift his attention to academic achievement. He asserted that prohibit your child from playing video games is not solutions.

On a different occasion, he also found a child with learning difficulties to certain subjects such as physics or chemistry. However, the root of the real problem is not about the subjects.

Children often have difficulties with physics and chemistry while the real problem is with math. There should be a coordination among subjects. For example, if the children are about to learn physics about force and other fundamentals, then they need to learn math about vectors first,” he explained.

There is also learning difficulties caused by children's language proficiency. Their academic performance is poor but the real problem is their language skills for which he cannot absorb information well in other subjects.

The child has poor grades in chemistry and physics whereas the real problem was his/her Bahasa Indonesian proficiency. How did that happen? Poor Bahasa proficiency made him misunderstood school tasks. The result was garbage in, garbage out,” he said.

As a conclusion, according to Kak Sono, those children need private tutoring system called tailor-made program where its learning method is delivered based on the children background and their targeted public university.

Learner who want to take the tailor-made system will be evaluated to identify his/her real condition and target. Some of the points in the initial evaluation are student learning activities, non-academic potentials, as well as checking the academic documents such as schoolbooks used, notebooks, worksheets, and test sheets. A preliminary tests will also be given to the prospective learner before participate in this program.

The overall identification will explain the student real condition. Then we will design professional and personalized services suitable for all the students needs that support the top college preparation. The services are ranging from learning books and modules, private tutoring sessions, targeted public university admission test enrollment, the selection of majors, learning consulting, sports activities, entertainment, and so on,” said Kak Sono.

In addition to giving a description of the child condition, the evaluation is also useful to describe the child potentials and his/her target. Sometimes after evaluating the prospective learner, frequently Kak Sono must advise to make target adjustments.

Target adjustment can either be a downgrade or change the majors that are considered more appropriate with the child potentials and the preparation time. Instead, it can either be an upgrade or change majors with higher academic levels in order to exploit the child existing potentials and the longer preparation time. By far, one of the hardest achieved target for the natural sciences field is the Faculty of Medicine, while for the social sciences field is the Faculty of Economics and Business.

As a conclusion, there is no term such as unintelligent children. They just need to get the right solution to their problems. As if there are different backgrounds, each child has different potential and deserve the best things in the best way. (***)


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