Indonesia is celebrating a new era of democracy marked by the inauguration of its 7th President, Mr. Joko Widodo (Jokowi). But, what makes him the new hope for Indonesia?
Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo (Photo: ABC Australia)
Jokowi is a leader who inspires and listens to the voice of his citizens and is well renowned for his “blusukan style”, characterised by his visits to local people and talking directly to the citizens to solve their problems. He is making a real difference by closing the communication gaps between government and its people.
One of the main characteristics of Jokowi’s emerging vision for Indonesia is his mental revolution policy. The mental revolution policy focuses on changing the mindset of Indonesian people to have great manners and strong principles based on the value of Pancasila (Indonesia’s Ideology) towards great capacity of nation building. Pancasila is the philosophical basis of Indonesia’s life and society that consists of “Five Moral Principles”: democracy, the unity of Indonesia, social justice, civilised humanity and the belief in the one and only God. Pancasila embraces humanitarian principles that have become the true and core identity of Indonesia.
Jokowi’s mental revolution policy is an answer to Indonesia’s need for a breakthrough in its human and social development, especially to remove the habits of corruption since the Orde Baru (New Order) era. The New Order was the period under the second Indonesian President Suharto (1965- 1998), thas was characterized by extravagant nepotism and government corruption.
The implementation of the mental revolution policy is highlighted in the education sector. Jokowi believes that the effectiveness of the mental revolution should be developed from the start of primary education. In Jokowi’s opinion, Indonesia’s primary schools students should be educated about the importance of character development, manners, and etiquettes. These subjects should comprise 80% of the curriculum and students should spend the remainder of their studies focusing on scientific discovery.
As students reach junior high school, there will be a greater emphasis on scientific learning, but the essence of character development, manners, and etiquettes must remain strong according to Jokowi and his new government. Jokowi states a 60%: 40 % proportion in favour of character development.
Jokowi emphasises the science education on the high schools education stage as 80% and 20% for the manners education, character development, and etiquettes. He also wants to build more vocational schools for Indonesian students. Jokowi contends that developed countries such as Japan, Germany, and Republic of Korea are growing because of the enrichment of practical skills, which are acquired in vocational schools.
He has confidence that the implementation of his mental revolution policy will foster a new Indonesian generation. The new Indonesian generation with a great mental outlook and work culture with integrity and strong competitive advantages. A new generation that in the long run will increase productivity for the nation and the country. As Mr. Joko Widodo states, “It’s good to be an important person, but it’s more important to be a good person, and what’s most important is to be a good important person.”