Learning from Three Great Women Educators

Edel Trudis Uto

Education that Indonesian women are enjoying today cannot be separated from the efforts of the female educational leaders who pioneered it with a very hard and tireless struggle. Three of those female educators are R.A Kartini, Raden Dewi Sartika, and Rohana Kudus. These three figures are well-known as the fighters for women’s emancipation because they fought women’s equal rights with men in education. There are some things about themselves that we must instill in our souls to become stronger and bring change to our nation and country. This essay will discuss the attitudes we can learn from these three figures in the fight for education in Indonesia.

First of all, the three figures have social concerns. The inability to continue learning formally, apparently did not make them despair or remain silent. The three figures prefer to compensate to vent their ideals and hopes in a positive and constructive form for the progress of their people. For example, R.A Kartini gathered women in her home, taught them to read and write. And provide knowledge, skills, and insight. Rohana founded the Amai Setia Crafts School. A school for girls focused on skills. However, despite focusing on skills, Rohana also teaches a variety of general subjects, such as literacy education, religion, character, finance, and also the Dutch language. And Dewi Sartika teaches women how to sew and cook. Now we can also follow it up with small things like giving alms to other less fortunate people who can make your surroundings happier.

The second one is to be patient and let the time determine. They did not only struggle to survive and fight for their dreams in educating women, but also showed patience that we must exemplify. Kartini often got challenges and was ridiculed and even rejected by her surrounding communities due to their ignorance of the meaning of education. Dewi Sartika did not have the opportunity to finish school and was forced to leave school because of the accident that had abounded her father who was then moved to Ternate. Rohana Kudus patiently took part in the trial because she was accused of misusing money and finally was proven innocent. Falling many times and facing various problems did not make them surrendered. The got up and kept fighting. Not to mention fighting for the lives of others in the aspect of education for women at the time, struggling even for their own education was very difficult. But they remain patient and did not give up. They believe everything would be beautiful in its time.

Last but not least is to be fearless, i.e. viewing obstacles as opportunities to grow. Breaking traditions requires a lot of courage, especially if it involves a lot of people, not just you. We must admit that they have great courage to make women as intelligent and educated human beings. They may get opposition from elders or the local community for the idea of inviting women out of the darkness of knowledge. And to achieve success in establishing a school, many trials have been experienced but all they faced with courage.

Those are the three inspirational ideas we can learn from the three figures above. Having social care is the best way for us to make people surrounding us happier. Be patient, not everything we do run smoothly. Obstacles naturally emerge, and facing them is the time when our patience is tested. Therefore patience is very important in our lives as far as we dare to face obstacles and make them a reason for us to go forward in achieving our goals.

*Thanks to the author ofA Lesson from Six Great Autodidacts: Learning is Good, Schooling is Bad that inspired me to write this essay

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