opinion

Academic Journals: A Story from Indonesia

April 11, 2013

It is common that faculty members or lecturers are recommended to write their research and publish it in an academic journal. The journal publication tends to be increasing in numbers nowadays. Several academic journal publications through out the world have come up in the internets or websites. However, this creates crucial problems, especially in Indonesia. Recently in Indonesia, there has been a polemic concerning the faked journal publication published in other countries, the so- called international academic journal. This journal published an article sent by an author but this author didn’t use his own name. He used the two names of authors and put them under the title. These two names are the names of the famous and top singers in Indonesia. Even the designation is not the true name of university. The name of the university written in the article even cannot be found in Indonesia. He did this to test whether the journal really scrutinized the source of the article (the author) and the originality. The name of this university was written under the two names of the authors of the article. This article was reviewed and recommended for publication after the fee payment of publication was remitted. Later on, this article was published and then sent to the “author” (the sender). This published article has been sent to all the internets and emails through out Indonesia (universities’ faculty members). I also got this email and read the article. This PDf article has been widely spread and this is popularly known as the “jurnal abal-abal” (Indonesian term for the faked journal). From this tragedy, the government of Indonesia—through the national education department— bans the faculty members to send their articles to the academic journals which are suspected to be the “journal abal-abal .” From the story above, it is difficult for the faculty members to find the right academic journals. It is difficult for them to send an article for publication. This is due to being unable to see which academic journals are not categorized into the faked journals. Mostly, all academic journals have their websites and list of names being their editorial board members including their university base. In other side, it is compulsory for the faculty members to write a research article for journal publication, preferably in international journal publications. One of the requirements of getting the higher rank promotion is publishing an academic article in academic journal publication. Especially, those who want to get their professor degree are required to have their articles published in reputable academic journals. Most preferably, the intended journals are international academic journals and the national accredited academic journals. However, since the Indonesia government sent the list of faked journals to the faculty members through its websites, now it is difficult for the faculty members to find the right academic journals. This is due to the tragedy of the article which was published in “an academic journal” but in fact it is the faked journal, being unqualified in scrutinizing and reviewing the published articles. In Indonesia, there is a very hard regulation in relation to academic article publication. All academic journals must be accredited by the government accreditation board through hard scrutiny. The most dangerous thing is that, when the academic journal published a plagiarized article, its accreditation status will be cancelled. Then they cannot propose for further accreditation. In other words, this journal will be black listed. So far, there are some lists of journals which have been blacklisted by the Indonesia government. These lists of journals have been published in the national education department websites. So, all faculty members can browse those lists of faked academic journals. The warning is that all faculty members are not allowed to publish their research articles in these faked journals. However, we are lucky because we have IAMURE academic journals which are academically and legally published under the international consortium that is the International Association of Multidisciplinary Research or IAMURE for short. There are some academic journals in this IAMURE and these journals are recognized by international intellectuals. By holding the international conferences, IAMURE journal publications can be well-known and recognized worldwide. It has been crafted and designed by the president of IAMURE, Dr. Genaro V. Japos, from Philippines. All members know him. Even, the editorial members are recognizable. It is easy to check and find the people who are crafting this consortium. Due to the crucial problem in journal publication, the faculty members are recommended that they should find the right academic journals. IAMURE journal publications can be the solution to such a problem. Everything is clear and its editorial members can easily be contacted. The most important thing is that we have to check any article sent to our journals. By doing so, we will not publish the article without knowing the real source or author and university. Thus, IAMURE members are the best investigators from or in their own countries to check whether the article submitted is the real article from the real author or university. Dr. Djuwari is one of IAMURE members and also the editorial board member in some of its academic journal publications.

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International Secondary Schools

March 23, 2013

The existence of public international secondary schools has been protested by public in Indonesia. Since last year, this kind of school has been stipulated as the prohibited school program. Therefore, the minister of education has recommended that the school principals stop the operation in this country. There are some reasons why this kind of school has been considered controversial. The practice of the school management tends to charge the students with expensive fee. The fee is even more expensive than that of the private university fee. This invites public to protest because it is against the national constitution which guarantees the people with free-of- charge school on the secondary school level. Other reason why public protest such international school program is that this school cannot guarantee their alumni to be more qualified than other ordinary school alumni. So far, there has been no evidence showing that the alumni of international secondary school have greater performance in their further study. In universities, there is even no evidence showing that these students have higher performance compared to the other students who are not from international secondary schools. The most crucial thing inviting public protest is that the practice of this kind of school is done using international language that is English. Unfortunately, the teachers’ English in such schools are still considered poor. The English language teachers might be able to teach the subjects using English. Other subject teachers, such as Mathematics, Social sciences, natural sciences, have poor English. Therefore, the learning and teaching interaction cannot guarantee the students’ ability to learn the subjects. With the condition above, public have been protesting against this international secondary schools. It has been a long time for the government facing the public protest. Most newspapers and electronic media have covered the news on public protest against these schools. Finally, the minister of education has recommended that the school management should stop international secondary schools since last year. Unfortunately, the schools and their management are not yet ready to stop the international school practice. This is very crucial because the management with high cost was mostly financed by the students’ parents. High cost can be due to all facilities and salaries for the teachers. The cost can be related to the cost of facility maintenance and all the school operational finance. The problem above leads to the change of government budget allocation on national education. Yet, it is not easy to change the state budget in a very short time. The change of state budget needs the agreement from the house of representative. It is really time consuming. This, of course, makes the minister of education get confused. So far there is no clear solution to such problem. However, the regional government in each regency or province should help to cope with school finance. According to the national constitution, the 12 year school- fee-free program should be done. With the autonomy government program, such budget allocation can be shared. Some proportion should be from central state budget. Other proportion can be from the regional government budget. DR. Djuwari is the director of language laboratory at STIE Perbanas Surabaya, also a columnist in some newspapers in Indonesia.

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IAMURE for the world

January 10, 2013

International Association for Multidisciplinary Research, or IAMURE for short, has been globally acknowledged since it was born in 2011. It was two years ago, not so old enough for the birth of an organization. It is really a baby; therefore, it is really amazing. This intellectual organization was created by the international consortium headed by Dr. Genaro V. Japos, the man behind the great influential IAMURE. Though, it was born in Philippines, exactly in Cagayan de Oro city, this researchers’ community has been owned by the world community. This means that, it has been globally making the world united. Different researchers, from various countries with different backgrounds of education and experiences are blended together in the same organization with the same vision and mission. IAMURE can be said the place for making the world not only united but also enlightened. With hundreds of its members from about 40 countries so far, IAMURE is really gaining its ground. The different fields of science and various experiences from different perspectives are poured into the same “bowel”. The mixtures of ingredients are blended into one, making the world flat and borderless. Every thing is discussed, every idea is digested, and every experience is learned by anyone at the same time for formulating the generalization for all. Nobody feels strange among the members in this IAMURE organization. Once a new member gets involved, he or she gets easily at home. The blended psychological atmosphere is always created by doing the presence of each member to stand up on the stage. That’s the pictorial session, which is always done in the interval of panel discussions. The new members or comers are introduced to one another, making them feels as if they were in their own countries. That’s the very natural identity of psychological characteristics. IAMURE is really for the world. It is not anymore the entity owned by the nation from where this organization was firstly born. This intellectual community has traveled lots throughout the globe. That is the positive symptom that makes IAMURE gaining its ground. It is increasingly getting its existence with different participants and bringing its collected ideas for making the members’ knowledge updated every second. The most prestigious identity is that IAMURE has been certified by ISO, for doing all the things related to academic endeavors. All papers submitted for presentation are reviewed blindly and made accountably academic works. As such, the creativity the members have pursued yields precious outcome with the best quality for all. Beside, such an effort is also intended to make the intellectuals accountable to their professions. The academic journals are published with high grade levels for they are also managed through process. The process is conducted through hard efforts by the management of the journal publication. All articles have been presented in the conference sessions. Yet, these academic works are still scrutinized through academic measurements. Blind reviews and plagiarism detection are also done for assurance of the articles’ quality. All in all, IAMURE is the place for intellectual similar to a coin with two sides. In one side, it is for oral presentation of the papers concerning the authors’ ideas. In other side, it is for paper or article publication that is the dissemination of the members’ academic works. By joining or participating in IAMURE activities, all members from different countries become united, blended themselves pursuing the best quality of their intellectuality. Dr. Djuwari is the director of Language laboratory at STIE Perbanas Surabaya, Indonesia. He is one of IAMURE members.

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Foreign Language for Children

December 28, 2012

It has been along time ago, exactly in September 1993, the international conference in language teaching held in Padang, West Sumatara, Indonesia. The topic was about foreign language, especially English for elementary schools. It was creating controversies. It also made the discussion split into two groups. One is the cons and the other is the pros. For the cons, they had their own arguments which appear up to now relevant. They argued that a foreign language was dangerous for children’s’ life. They said that foreign language could damage the children’s first language. They explained that in the early age of acquiring the first language, children should not be disturbed by any foreign language. Again, the cons group stated that while acquiring the first language (regional language) the children are still learning the national language. That is the fact that has happened so far. In Indonesia, children can speak their first language in their own region, such as Javanese, Madurese, Balinese and many other regional languages. The national language in Indonesia is Indonesian language which is in fact a lungua-franca, connecting one region to another. Without this national language, Indonesia with its more than 17,000 islands, the nation will not be able to interact or communicate one another. That is all the facts used for arguments by the cons group who were against foreign language learning program for elementary school students. What about the pros group? They also had the arguments based on linguistics references. Based on the human brain process of splitting (lateralization) as found by the neurologist, it must be started at the age of 13 years. That is the school age for elementary schools or the first year of secondary schools. According to this theory, human beings who learn any foreign language after the process of lateralization will find it more difficult. Therefore, children should also learn other foreign language before the process of the brain splitting. The process of which the brain has been divided into two divisions: left hemisphere and right hemisphere. When this process has been started, learning foreign language will not be quickly effective or efficient. So, the pros at that time warned the cons group by reminding them of such theory. The more critical one is that, in fact, there is another finding of the research, stating about the time of lateralization process. Even, according to the latest research finding, the process of lateralization is started at the age of five. If this is used as the reference, then learning foreign language should be started even before the age of five. During 1993 to 1998 the cons and the pros were still upholding their own principles. After the political reform in Indonesia which occurred in 1998, with the overthrown of the Indonesia second president, people have been so independent. Everyone, everywhere is always open to each other. From then on, the nation is free and ideas have come up. Foreign languages, especially English can be taught in primary schools. Even it has been taught in kindergartens. Realizing that the process of lateralization started at the age of five, more parents even send their children to English courses. In that situation, it can be inferred that the policy of language teaching for the nation is a matter of political domain. When the political domain is not possible for the nation to create ideas, anything cannot come true. The fact is that the people in a country are living in the political capsule. They have been so much encapsulated in the political domain that they are not creative. Based on such a condition, the most important thing is the great effort by the intellectuals shouting for democracy and human rights. Without such an effort, people will be encapsulated by the red tape bureaucracy. Dr. Djuwari is a linguist, the director of language laboratory, STIE Perbanas Surabaya, Indonesia.

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