Report of Presenting at UNESCO-APEID conference

By: Christian Timothy Wijaya

SMAN 10 Malang (Sampoerna Academy)

I had been invited to be a panellist-presenter at the UNESCO-APEID Conference in Jakarta – Inspiring Education: Creativity and Entrepreneurism, 6th to 8th December 2011. The organisers wanted to hear from a student’s point of view, what is the place of creativity in the current education system.

My presentation was in the first concurrent session on December 8th. I felt so nervous since it was to be my first time presenting to an international audience in an International conference.

I was nervous to say the leastI sat on a panel which was moderated by UNESCO’s Head of Education Unit in Indonesia, Mr Anwar Al Said. The other panel members were Dr Kim Seung Bo, Director of Korea’s Insitute of Vocational Studies, and Ronald Stones OBE formerly of Sampoerna Foundation and Green School, and now Head of Education Practices with Richard Chandler Corporation. I felt very small therefore.

Dr. Kim presented first. He presented lots and lots of statistics to justify the development of the policy to embrace creativity in education in Korea today.

Next was, Ronald Stones. He spoke of why our current education systems are broken, and why there are not preparing students adequately to be creative problem solvers in the modern world. He gave an example of how Green School was developing a different model, and spoke of his new work in developing a new paradigm in education.

Then it was my turn. I started my presentation by asking the audience to stand up and imagine that they were 18 years old and giving a presentation in an international conference. They then sat down and listened to my words and watched my slides. I presented about my views as a student about the education system in Indonesia. I said that I see that there is a lack of creativity and entrepreneurship in our education system. Something must be changed such as reducing the numbers of subjects and valuing more in the arts, music, and drama.

I kept my presentation simple and visual, and it seemed to attract the interest of the 80 or so people who chose to attend our session. There was a pleasing round of applause as I ended and took my seat.

As a panel, we had given three very different kinds of presentation, and there were plenty of questions from the audience. One particular interesting question was more of comment than a question. He questioned my idea about cutting the number of subjects because in his view, all 14 subjects contain basic essential information. I couldn’t hold myself back by responding, “Is the theory of relativity in Physics basic essential information?”

By the end of our session, there were a lot of people came to me to say congratulations. One of the first people was a Harvard Professor who had been keynote presenter.

It was very humbling experience for me. Playing a small part in the conference was an amazing opportunity.




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