Government indifference hindering literacy in local languages

A. Chaedar Alwasilah, Bandung | Opinion | Sat, July 07 2012, 7:48 AM

Paper Edition | Page: 6

Every year the Rancage cultural foundation awards a short-list of people who have published the best literary works in Sundanese, Javanese, Balinese and Lampungese. The award is also conferred on those who have demonstrated loyalty and commitment to the development of those local languages. The latest award conferral took place at UNNES (Semarang State University) in May.

A year-long and meticulous evaluation of literary publications in the local languages as well as of services and dedication by individuals or institutions to local language development has acknowledged the best masterpieces and the most prominent figures in vernacular literacy development.

Thus far the Rancage foundation has selected 59 award-winning pieces of fiction and poems in those languages, 12 children’s story books in Sundanese and 57 people and institutions who have demonstrated a life-long contribution to the development and cultivation of local languages in particular and traditional cultures in general.

The foundation has consistently granted the award for 24 years. It has made extraordinary efforts to develop vernacular literacy in Indonesia.

Ajip Rosidi, the founder of the Rancage Foundation, is concerned about the fading pride in local languages especially among the youth. It is commonly believed that local languages lack rigor and prestige for daily communication, let alone for developing science and technology.

Evidently that assumption reflects the negative attitude toward local languages, usually including their cultures.

The foundation has persistently attempted to prove that local languages have the potential to be a medium of education and cultural revitalization. It is admitted, though, that it will take years to change that attitude.

At home, especially in big cities, parents and children prefer to exchange in Indonesian rather than local languages. It is feared that this phenomenon will lead to the extinction of local languages.

Normally our politicians and government officials are proud when distinguishing Indonesia as a multilingual and multicultural country, as well as the third largest democratic country in the world.

Their pride however seems to be lip service and unsubstantiated as evidence shows that the linguistic rights of vernacular languages have been violated.

For almost a quarter of a century the Rancage Foundation has voluntarily and independently promoted literacy in vernacular languages. Despite the media coverage of the award conferral ceremony there has been barely any significant contribution from the local and central governments.

I would go so far as to say that with regard to local language preservation, the government tends to leave it to the speakers’ communities.

There are more than 700 languages scattered over about 17,000 islands in Indonesia, yet only four languages are well maintained. Unless strategic policy is made, all the other languages will slowly but surely vanish.

While the Indonesian language plays a unifying role in the country as one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, local languages are a remarkable index of its culture. Education is a process where students consciously learn about their own culture and then other cultures.

The Indonesian language is a nationalist symbol while local languages are cultural symbols. Both languages should be used proportionally for cultural and national development.

Given that local languages as cultural heritage should be preserved and developed it is no wonder that UNESCO has declared Feb. 21 the world mother tongue day.

Rancage is the Sundanese adjective for creative. The foundation has been hammering on the importance of developing creativity through creative writing in local languages. Many are reluctant to publish in a local language as it is not lucrative. However, it is a noble undertaking for cultural self-appreciation and development.

The award conferral is meant to encourage publications in local languages. The award winners are expected to be more productive and that publications in other local languages will follow through.

To date only in Sundanese, Javanese, and Balinese has literary publication been encouraging, with Sundanese publications topping the list, followed by Javanese and Balinese.

Creativity is individual and culture-sensitive. Students are most sensitive to their own culture when compared with other cultures. Reading fiction in a local language will develop linguistic as well as cultural sensitivity.

Such linguistic sensitivity is a good start for appreciating fiction in a second or third language. On the same line of argument, such cultural sensitivity is a head start for appreciating national culture and global cultures.

The Rancage award-winning books are exemplary masterpieces that have to be made available to the public, especially to school students. Fiction reading takes students on an imaginary journey, where imagination is practically unlimited.

Einstein once stated that imagination was more important than knowledge. Teachers therefore should use local language fiction to boost student imagination.

Blinded by the power of first language literature, most teachers take it easy and regard local languages as unessential. Literacy in Indonesian is developed without empowering cultural foundations embedded in students.

The current elementary curriculum can incorporate local content subjects.

By virtue of KTSP or school-based curriculum, teachers have freedom to develop learning materials. Many elementary schools, however, have used the local content slot for teaching English, which completely defeats the purpose. It would be wiser to use the slot for i culcating local wisdom in students, namely throrugh literature in their local language.

Next to publication is book provision for public use. The books — no matter how good they are — will be useless unless they are read. What the Rancage foundation has done is only half the battle. Those books have to be made available in schools and public libraries.

Specifically, the provincial governments of West Java, Central Java, East Java, Bali and Lampung have cultural obligations to promote their own cultural heritage to students as part of promoting nationalism and character building.

Quality books are to be shared by the whole nation. Those books should also be translated into Indonesian, so that all school students across Indonesia will get the benefit of reading them. That could be a manifestation of how the national culture is built on the foundation of regional cultures.

The writer is a professor at the Indonesian Education University (UPI) and member of board of higher education.

Cara Selamat dari Kiamat Internet

TEMPO.COTEMPO.CO – 23 jam yang lalu

Konten Terkait

TEMPO.CO , Jakarta:Tak perlu cemas jelang 9 Juli 2012 walau ada ancaman kiamat internet terhadap sekitar 1 juta komputer. Ada sedikit harapan meski tinggal empat hari server DNS belum juga terbebas dari serangan malware bernama DNAChanger trojan.

Biro Federal Investigasi memang belum memastikan seluruh server DNS tak terinfeksi dan bisa disembuhkan dari serangannya. DNS atau Domain Name System adalah layanan internet yang mengubah nama domain seperti menjadi kode angka sehingga antar komputer bisa saling berkomunikasi. Sejak tahun lalu, sebuah malware bernama DNAChanger trojan menyerang ratusan ribu komputer.

Mari belajar bagaimana mengatasinya. Cara paling awal adalah dengan mendeteksi serangan trojan ini. Situs akan memberi panduan kondisi komputer Anda. Jika router Anda terinfeksi, situs pun akan beranggapan komputer Anda terjangkit DNSChanger trojan, meskipun sebenarnya tidak. Yang lebih buruk lagi, jika ISP Anda mengatur ulang lalu lintas DNS, maka kemungkinan komputer terlihat bersih. Walaupun ada kemungkinan pengaturan DNS Anda sudah diubah oleh virus jahat.

Jika Anda ingin benar-benar mengetahui apakah komputer anda terbebas dari penyebab Kiamat Internet, maka Anda harus melihat secara manual alamat IP server DNS. Alamat IP tersebut akan menunjukkan dengan siapa saja komputer Anda saling berkomunikasi. Dari situ bisa diamati apakah ada serangan apakah bisa dihapus.


Pada komputer berbasis Windows 7, bukalah start menu dan jalankan aplikasi Command Prompt. Atau bisa juga mengetik cmd di kolom search start menu. Ketika command prompt terbuka, maka ketik ipconfig /allcompartments /all dan tekan enter. Layar akan menampilkan sejumlah teks. Telusuri tulisan itu ke bawah hingga menemukan baris bertuliskan DNS Server. Lalu salin ke bawah sejumlah kode string yang mengikuti server DNS. Kalau banyak berarti, komputer anda mengakses lebih dari satu server.


Bagi pengguna komputer berbasis Mac OS X, caranya lebih mudah. Buka Apple menu, biasanya berlokasi di sudut kiri atas layar, pilih system preference. Lalu klik ikon network untuk membuka menu network setting. Arahkan ke advance setting dan salin ke bawah sejumlah kode string yang terdapat dalam box server DNS.


Jika Anda sudah mengetahui alamat IP yang digunakan server DNS makan salin dan tempel ke situs milik FBI. Situs FBI DNSChanger akan memberitahu apakah komputer Anda menggunakan server DNS yang nakal atau tidak. Lalu jika positif kena, apa yang harus dilakukan.


Pertama tentuya menyelamatkan data. Buat back-up data-data penting lalu format ulang piranti keras komputer Anda dan instal ulang sistem operasinya. Atau bisa juga tanpa instal ulang, tapi dengan alat penghapus seperti Kaspersky Labs TDSSKiller. Sebuah piranti lunak besutan perusahaan antivirus Rusia untuk menghilangkan DNSChanger trojan.


Jika serangan sudah masuk jaringan, maka Anda harus mengecek setiap komputer dalam jaringan. Lalu cek juga pengaturan router untuk memastikan tidak terinfeksi. Cara mengecek DNS router, serupa dengan mengecek DNS komputer. Salin alamat IP server DNS router lalu masukkan ke situs FBI apakah layanan tersebut aman atau tidak. Jika tidak aman, maka reset pengaturan router Anda. Terakhir, jangan lupa setelah semua diatur ulang, jalani lagi prosedur pengecekan dari awal.

Siap-siap Jelang Kiamat Internet

TEMPO.COTEMPO.CO – Kam, 5 Jul 2012

Konten Terkait

TEMPO.CO , Jakarta -Ancaman kiamat Internet tinggal hitungan hari. Tepatnya 9 Juli 2012, sekitar 500 ribu peranti keras yang terinfeksi bisa mati total karena serangan malware DNS. DNS atau Domain Name System adalah layanan Internet yang mengubah nama domain seperti menjadi kode angka, sehingga antarkomputer bisa saling berkomunikasi.

Tapi, sejumlah penjahat telah menginfeksi dunia cyber dengan malware bernama DNSChanger. Virus ini memungkinkan penjahat dunia maya bisa mengendalikan server DNS. Akibatnya pencoleng jagat cyber ini bisa mengacaukan akses Internet pemilik komputer dan membahayakan interaksi antarkomputer yang telah terinfeksi.

Namun tenang ada cara untuk mengecek penyebaran serangan ini. Pertama bukalah situs Laman ini akan menunjukkan apakah komputer terjangkit malware. Jika tertulis DNS Resolution = Green, berarti komputer aman. Tapi jika DNS Resolution berwarna merah, hati-hati itu indikator awal terinfeksi.

Tak hanya situs, Google pun membuat sebuah aplikasi yang memperingatkan ancaman ini. Mesin pencari raksasa ini akan menampilkan peringatan bagi komputer yang terindikasi kena malware jika membuka Dalam peringatan tersebut, Google juga menambahkan tautan untuk menghapus serangan malware.

Google memprediksi sekitar 500 ribu lebih komputer sudah terinfeksi DNSChanger Trojan. Sejumlah ahli keamanan komputer sebenarnya sudah memenangkan gugatan tentang akses pengendalian infrastruktur yang dikelola para peretas trojan itu. Sayangnya kemenangan mereka tahun lalu itu tidak diikuti dengan izin mematikan infrastruktur menjelang kiamat Internet, 9 Juli 2012.

Pada Maret 2012, FBI telah mendapatkan izin dari pengadilan untuk membiarkan server membersihkan DNS mereka sendiri. Solusi ini bersifat sementara karena mengizinkan korban untuk membersihkan DNS mereka dan mengembalikan ke pengaturan normal DNS. Tapi hanya sampai 9 Juli 2012, komputer yang masih terinfeksi DNSChanger tetap akan menerima kiamat Internet