By Irfan Nugroho
Too much desperate to read a report of titled “Alamaak…Lima Tahun Belajar Tanpa Meja dan Kursi!” (Oh my ghost… Five years of study with no chairs and tables).

Sixty elementary students at SDN II Karang Bahagia, Bekasi District, West Java, have been running teaching and learning activities with no chairs and tables on classrooms for five years. They learn the school’s lessons while sitting crossed-leg.

The above situation is on the contrary to the school’s name Karang Bahagia, loosely translated into the “Coral of Happiness.” It gets even worse when we take a look at the school’s locations in the heart of Bekasi District.

Education in Indonesia gets never be away from problems. Only at the beginning of Soeharto’s New Order regime did Indonesia’s education find its heyday. The history notes that in the 1970s, Indonesia sent a number of teachers to Malaysia, just to “teach” the Malaysia that was going to grab Independence from the British colonials.

However, the situation got worse from time by time, peaked in 1998 when Indonesia was suffering from terrible economic downturn. Since that time, Soeharto’s regime found its ruin.

The Reform Era sounded hope for better education in Indonesia. And it comes true when the government sets 20% of the State Budget and 20% of the Regional Budget for education sector.

In 2008, the national budget for education is estimated at IDR 154,2 billions while in 2009 at IDR 224 billions. The amount is twice from the last two year, when the State Budget for education was only IDR 78,5 billions.

Then, why does such an “unlucky fate” of Indonesia’s education still persist? Amidst the massive campaign on free education by the Indonesian government, such a terrible situation should be questioned.

Well, financial improvement is not enough to build strong Indonesian people based on the strong educational foundation. There should be another key, transparent governance system that can control the use of the huge budget.

With the big amount of money allotted for education sector, chances for corruption get higher and bigger. Even when the education budget was still in low, the corruption numbers at this sector were also high.

For that reason, there is a need to build a transparent governance system aimed at controlling the use of education budget. Indonesian government has Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

But, KPK has not touched this sector yet amidst its active movements to decrease the number of corruption in some sectors in Indonesia.

Corruption alone can actually be prevented if only Indonesia’s education system emphasizes on how to create the Indonesian people who are diligent, religious, social dedicative, and clean from corruption.

Unfortunately, Indonesia’s education system is not able yet to create such “utopist” people. Worse, KPK’s efforts to eradicate corruption are still far from perfect. Therefore, such an “unlucky fate” of the sixty students above, and Indonesia’s education generally, will keep high.