Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Consulate General in Sydney and the Australian Ministry of Education will enhance cooperation, especially in the field of Indonesian language learning for school students in South Australia, according to a statement received by Antara here on Thursday.
The cooperation in this field was the focus of the discussion during a meeting between the South Australian Minister of Education, John Gardner, and Consul General, Heru Subolo, accompanied by the Consul, Hermanus Dimara, on Wednesday (Oct 31).
"Our two state leaders have enhanced the partnership between Indonesia and Australia from strategic to comprehensive strategic partnership."This new level of partnership results in more opportunities of cooperation and, at the same time, encourages us to initiate new areas of cooperation," Subolo stated.
According to him, one of the important areas of cooperation between the two countries is Indonesian learning program in public schools in South Australia.
The Consul General emphasized that language plays an important role in strengthening people-to-people relations in different nations, cultures, and backgrounds.
Regarding Indonesia and Australia relationship, especially South Australia, learning Indonesian Language (Bahasa) will strengthen the relations between people of the two countries. Moreover, with the cooperation of sister province-state of West Java and South Australia, learning Bahasa Indonesia becomes more and more relevant.
"I strongly agree that language is an important instrument in getting our people closer. More than that, learning other languages will broaden students` insight and understanding about other countries," Gardner stated.
The minister added that the administration of South Australia had established policies to improve foreign language teaching and learning programs, including Bahasa Indonesia, at schools.
"In this regard, I fully support and encourage the completion of memorandum of understanding (MoU) draft in the field of Indonesian Language program between South Australia and Indonesia. I look forward to signing the MoU with my partners from Indonesia," Gardner noted.
The draft of the MoU that is being finalized will formalize the cooperation between Indonesia and South Australia in the Indonesian Language learning and support the promotion of Bahasa Indonesia at schools in the state.
Data from the South Australian administration show that around 84 state schools in South Australia offers Indonesian as one of the subjects for students.
The meeting between Subolo and Gardner is part of Consul`s working visits to Adelaide to attend the 2018 OzAsia Festival.
One of the events at the festival is the opening of the Borak Arts Series, which will last for three days.
The OzAsia Festival is Australia`s leading international art festival involving Asian cultures. This annual event is held for more than 18 days during this spring featuring various arts, such as contemporary dances, theater, music, visual arts, films, literary works, foods, family events, workshops, and discussions with the theme of Asia today.
The event is expected to attract 190 thousand people.
Reporting by Libertina W. Ambari
Editing by Rahmad Nasution