Studying and sending kids to school (1)

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To deepen their English language ability almost for free is another reason why Indonesian students bring their kids to study in Australia. The  bonus is self-development for parents that also free of charge.

By: Achmad Supardi

‘’Imagine, if I place my child in an International school near where I live in Ciputat,  it’s so expensive. The registration fee is Rp 200 Million, and the tuition fee is Rp 20 million per month.’’

“The cost is too much for me”, said Radies Purbo, Employee at the Director General of Financial Balance, Department of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia.

The same matter is also revealed by Agus, who is studying PhD in QUT (Queensland University of Technology).

‘’In Indonesia, to gain the ability to learn  English, the parents must pay a huge fees. By bringing them to Australia, they can naturally learn English.’’ Agus stated.

‘’Childrens have an amazing comprehension ability. In a flash, they can speak English fluently,’’ Radies said. His daughter currently  inKindergarten (TK), Khayra, has already communicate in English fluently. ‘’She studies from YouTube with her older siblings.’’, It’s not only that their memory absorption power is high, but another factor is that there is a facility in school for children’s whose mother tongue’s is not English.

‘’In my children’s school, they are given an extra English class (English as Second Language, ESL). They are given a buddy at school to teach them to communicate in English,’’ Agus said, who is a lecturer at the University of Pesantren Darul Ulum (Unipdu), Jombang.

‘’And if any student faces any difficulties or problems such as bullying, schools have a special communication line.

The facts that revealed by Agus and Radies, relieving Rivan, especially after seeing what happened to his own children.  At first, he was afraid his son would have difficulty adapting and understanding the lessons delivered in English, as in Indonesia his children used to communicate in Bahasa Indonesian to family or friends. Now they must speak English not only in class, but also in many activities with their friends.

“Thankfully the school has a way to educate children who need help in English. “My child is given an additional class of English for non-native speakers,” Rivan said.

Additional classes labelled English Learning Development are fairly intensive, 3 hours a day except Friday. It can be imagined how much money Rivan has to spend for intensive English language course to his son in Bandung. “It’s free here,” he said.


Respecting others

Another thing that looks obvious is courageous and willingness to respect others. “Inferiority does not exist in here. They are dare and are used to dealing with other people, “Radies said.

Agus also saw his child learn a lot about character building such as independence, respect for others, cleanliness, rational, and discipline.

He realises that Indonesian type of etiquette has lack of place in here but he is not too worry. For him, respecting others is more important. “Children in here give more respect to others despite having slightly less manners according to Indonesian cultures,” said Agus.

This matter is also what relieves Renata. Currently her daughter, Aqila,   studies at the Ironside State School in Preparation class. There is a point-based system in here, unlike academic achievements, but to develop their soft skills such as when a child cares for his/her friends, listens to the teacher, helping in class, and other aspects that are basically focusing on character development.

“Courteous such as to say please and thank you being a priority.’’ Children also learn to be responsible and independent,” said Renata, whose husband is taking S3 at The University of Queensland from Australian Awards scholarship.

Renata is very happy to see her daughter to grow into a lenient person. She once bought 35 puddings to an event that had more that 50 kids. Renata then said to Aqila that there might be a chance that she might not get the pudding because there were more kids than puddings. “It’s ok Mummy. You get what you get and you don’t get upset,” Aqila replied.

“I am mesmerized enough with the answer that we won’t always get what are we want in life. And if we don’t get what we want, we shouldn’t be upset nor sad. When I ask from where she know that, Aqila says it from the teacher in school, “Renata said.

Not just concentrating in character building, school also cares about the students need, including things related to their religion. Halal food are provided for the student who asked for it. Radies’ children can return earlier on  Friday to be able to do the Friday prayer, same as in Agus’ children school. During Christianity religion class , children are allowed to move to the laboratory accompanied by another teacher.

‘’The school also gives Islamic studies once a week which is taught by a voluntary university Muslim student,’’ Agus stated.

Despite missing in few things, such as the sound of the Athan, there are other things to substitute it. “In here maybe we miss the sound of the Athan, however  every morning we are awakened by chirping birds from dawn to sunrise,” Renata said.

To make sure that his children don’t forget the memorization of the Quran, Rusanto also has to disciplined himself. After every Fajr prayer he makes sure to have the kids to present the memorise of the Quran. Even it doesn’t increase the amount of the Juz memorized, it’s expected that they are not forgotten. Before they came to Australia, the eldest daughter memorized 15 juzes, his son memorized 7 juzes while his youngest daughter memorized 1 juz.

“To awaken his children for Fajr prayer is not easy. As parents we must get up far earlier because waking them up can take up to 30 mins,” he said.


Hajj and Job Opportunity.

For Radies, bringing his family to Australia is not an additional burden, in fact it actually brings sustenance. He received his first work as a cleaner in Spotless in the same day that he pick up his family in the Brisbane Airport. “I’m more convinced that family sustenance has been covered by Allah SWT,’’ he said.

Recently Radies is also working at Sullivan, as cleaner in the laboratory complex.  From 2 am to 5 am is working at Sullivan, then until around at 10 am he is working at Spotless on the campus area of The University of Queensland. “I am not working at 2 places because of greediness or something. I want to go to Hajj and preferably ONH Plus because the queue for ONH is very long.  I’m afraid i won’t be able performing Hajj due to passed away. When I established my intention to go to Hajj in that morning, I got a phone call from a friend of mine in the afternoon to give news that there is a spot to work in this second place. Our intention is really heard by Allah SWT,” he added.

It’s not just working, there is also a bonus for being a university student including their family in Australia: there are many channels for self-developments. Students spouse in the University of Queensland (UQ) has a free facility to study English Even Renata is active in the ‘’Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) that is implemented by the Queensland State Government. Triple P is a parenting program that is set from research by UQ in the last 30 years. “Parents can attend a free online program, seminar, also group and personal counseling in parenting. Alhamdullilah currently through Indonesian Islamic Society of Brisbane (IISB) I can come along for free training for to be practising level 4 Triple P, so I can give one on one consultation for parents in Brisbane. Hopefully there is chance to attend for more training in other levels so I can give services more about parenting for the Indonesian community in Queensland, “Renata said. (*)

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