VP urges professors overseas to return, serve country

"Serving the country is not limited to material measurements, so when you return here do not think of dollar bills, but think of alms, that is even greater," the vice president said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Vice President Jusuf Kalla has urged Indonesian professors working overseas to return home and serve the country.

"Serving the country is not limited to material measurements, so when you return here do not think of dollar bills, but think of alms, that is even greater," the vice president said at an event called Visiting world class professor held at the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education in Jakarta on Monday.

During the event, Kalla also thanked the professors, from different fields, participating in the event for their attendance.

Although Indonesian campuses do not pay as much as universities in other countries, serving the country will be a noble endeavor, he stated.

"That is the power of devotion, pride, and most importantly, alms," he said, adding that the government now provided benefits for professors, although the amount was not as big as that offered by universities overseas.

Additionally, academics were very much needed in the country, as the ranking of Indonesian universities had gone down because a lot of lecturers were busy with activities outside the campus, he said.

"The lecturers are busy outside the campus. Back in the day, when we had road constructions, lecturers from the Bandung Technology Institute (ITB) were the consultants and could only teach on Saturdays and Sundays as they had to return to Jakarta on Monday. University of Indonesia (UI) economists are covered in the media, and at the regional level lecturers are involved in the Regional Development Planning Agency. All because they are needed and that is when knowledge comes in handy," he reiterated.

Indonesia was not lacking in professors and most of them graduated from universities outside of the country, he said.

However, he said, the problem in the education sector was one of lack of quality.

Additionally, there are issues involving culture and practices, he said. During their study overseas the professors followed that countrys discipline, but when they returned home they reverted to the undisciplined culture and practices.

"Which is why we need to also repair our culture and return to our mental discipline," he concluded.(*)

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