Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Bungklang Bungkling: Ujian (Test)

Taken from ‘Bungklang Bungkling’, ‘Ujian’, a column by I Wayan Juniartha, as published in Bali Post, Sunday 2nd May 2010. Translated by Putu Semiada.

Ujian (Test)

I Made Algebra Tenggek Lengar (I Made Algebra Bald Head) has got a very bad headache because his daughter Ni Luh Putu Anthurium Gelombang Cinta (Ni Luh Putu Anthurium) didn’t passed the National Test. His headache might be worse than Gayus Tambunan (the tax corruptor) has.

“My daughter had been studying hard. Usually, once she arrived home, she soon prepared herself to join extra classes. She joined piano class, swimming class, and language classes (Balinese, English and even Mandarin). That’s why I was very sure that she was ready for the National Test.

The problem was that Cinta didn’t join Indonesian language class. Besides, she watched too much Indonesian cinetron in which the dialogues used are bad Bahasa Indonesia. Her accent is like the Jakartans. One of the test says: “Apa kata ganti untuk orang pertama tunggal?” (What is the pronoun for the first person?). Her answer is “Gua” (me (Jakarta slang)).

“When many of the students didn’t pass, many excuses come from the teacher — I’m sick of their excuses”

First, they say that the students are not very serious about the test, and consider that Bahasa Indonesia is not so important.”

“I don’t think there is any student who is not serious. You see, they all study hard, they even cheat using some pieces of paper with very tiny hand-writing. They also try to seek answers of the test from some sources. They pray to God all the time. They spend a lot of money to pay some administration fees to be able to join the test. “Don’t you think they are serious?”

Secondly, the test of this year is more difficult than the one last year.

“Don’t you think the test must be difficult…..otherwise why do the test if it’s too easy ……. just let all students pass.”

Thirdly, the students got answers for the tests from unreliable sources. The answers were not really accurate.

“My daughter got the answers of the Bahasa Indonesia test, but they were all wrong. She had lost her self-confidence and insisted on using them. That’s why her grade was so bad. The people who give and distribute answers are not really professional.”

The point is that the government is not professional in running the education programs: the teachers claim that they have tried very hard; but the fact is, the students always become the ‘victims.’

But no one is really interested in Made’s complaint. The others think that there are many more important issues than the national test, like the film on Gigolos, and also the coming local election.

“The local election has caused many students not to pass the national test,” says I Putu Partai Boleh Eceran Monggo (I Putu Cheap Retail Party).

He looks very serious ― now they all pay attention.

“I note that for months all the students hear is: “Vote Number One, Vote Number Two.” So what I think is that when the students did the tests, they just did number one and number two,” says Made jokingly.

“If we vote for the candidate with a moustache, what happens then when he shaves his moustache? Should he resign?”

“What if a gigolo becomes a mayor candidate? Which part of his picture we should mark?

Made can not say anything. He understands now that none of his friends are interested in listening to him about his daughter Cinta who didn’t pass the national test.

“Take it easy, . Your daughter still has a second chance. Besides, passing the national test doesn’t guarantee your daughter success. What if your daughter becomes a prostitute in future: Isn’t that a nightmare for you? Well, no matter how smart your daughter is, if she becomes a politician in future, won’t you be sad?