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Bishops want ASEAN education focus

Development of people and the region 'depends on formulating an effective bloc-wide policy'

Bishops want ASEAN education focus
ASEAN secretariat in Jakarta
Konradus Epa, Jakarta

May 6, 2011

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Church people are hoping leaders at this weekend’s ASEAN summit in Jakarta will look at ways of boosting the quality of education for all people in the 10-country bloc “We hope the summit will not only be a mere ceremonial meeting, but one in which leaders can formulate measures to increase the quality of education in ASEAN countries,” said Father Antonius Benny Susetyo of the Indonesian Bishop’s Conference. Providing quality education will enable ASEAN countries to compete with other countries in many ways, he said. “The summit is also important because ideas on education are not clear,” Fr. Susetyo added. “Cooperation in education is important for the development of ASEAN people and their communities,” said Mulyawan Margadana, head of Indonesian Catholic Intellectuals Association. “Standardization and accredited certification are needed,” he asserted. “Education must at the very least be able to prepare students to become part of the global community, in particular building their character to help them become future leaders,” he added. Meanwhile, Stefanus Gusma from the Union of Catholic University Students said education in Indonesia is the state’s responsibility and that it must “be populist and humanist, not capitalist.” He also urged the government to increase funding for education and stop the commercialization of schools. IJ14124
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