Anthropologists Discuss Development of Contextual Anthropology Education
YOGYAKARTA (KU) - As many as 60 anthropologists from 18 universities who are members of the Association of Indonesian Department of Anthropology (AJASI) held the third workshop in the Faculty of Cultural Sciences from 25-27 October 2010. The anthropologists are from UGM, University of Indonesia, Padjadjaran University, Airlangga University, University of North Sumatra, Samratulangi University, Udayana University, Cendrawasih University, University of Papua, etc.
The three day meeting discusses strategies for developing anthropology and contextual anthropology. The meeting departed from the question on anthropology education in Indonesia, which suffers from imbalanced ratio of faculty and students, decreased number of students, and regulations in universities and public schools.
Head of the Department of Cultural Anthropology UGM as well as a coordinator of AJASI, Dr. Lono Lastoro Simatupang, MA, told reporters on Wednesday (27/10) afternoon, that the interest in studying anthropology has changed. There are some colleges that are lack of students, but the others are full with enthusiasts. To overcome this, the practical step that can be done is to awaken an interest in learning anthropology in high schools that can be done through road shows. "We took the steps to promote and conduct study focus on specific areas in accordance with the natural environment and cultural context in the working area of each educational institution," said Lono.
He said that the declining interest in studying anthropology is characterized by the limitation of the subject of anthropology at high schools. It is taught only in the language class. Previously, anthropology was taught both in language and social science classes.
Workshop participants also agreed to improve the general skills needed by graduates of anthropology, i.e., observing, interviewing, analyzing, and writing about the culture based on academic level and the competence of each stratum.
Lono admitted that with current competences, anthropology graduates can apply their knowledge in various strategic areas, among governmental and non-governmental environment, local and foreign institutions. This field includes business, media, defense, education, health, and others. In accordance with the competence of graduates based on the S-1/S-2/S-3 strata, areas which can be covered by graduates include the additional skills that are needed to work well.
Besides, higher education institutions are actively working with users, particularly private institutions to provide opportunity for S1 students to practise field work or internships, research training, and thesis research.
Chairman of the committee, Dr. Anna Marie Wattie, MA, said that this workshop also agreed on the result of previous workshop on anthropology graduate’s title (S. Ant). The uniformity of degree is expected to show the identity of anthropology graduates who can fill various jobs in a professional manner. "Therefore, concrete actions will be done to propose that the holders of “S. Ant” title are professionals," she concluded.