A student and a servant to stories along with mildly interesting, yet debatably useful, tidbits
This file photo shows a view of Malioboro Street, considered the heart of Yogyakarta. (Shutterstock/Jon Chica)
Yogyakarta, the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region (DIY), has justly earned the moniker "City of Culture".
Aside from the strong patronage of the Yogyakarta Sultanate, whose Sultan is also the governor of Yogyakarta, the city is known as a melting pot of culture. With its many educational institutions, the city attracts a lot of students from beyond its borders, and is hence also known as "City of Students".
The city excels not only in the number of its educational institutions, but also from their achievements. Kolese Debrito and SMAN 1 Yogyakarta are among the top performing senior high schools in the country. One of Indonesia’s leading educational institutions, Gadjah Mada University (UGM), also calls the city home, along with the first dedicated art schools in the country, the Indonesian Institute of the Arts (ISI).
Coupled with the relatively small size of the downtown area, referred to simply as Kota (“the city”) by locals, it almost feels as though there’s a school on every corner.
Read also: Yogyakarta: One day, eight destinations
Students who come to the city obtain quality education and cultural experiences, and also give back to the local community. For example, Muhammadiyah 2 Yogyakarta senior high school celebrated this year's graduating class with community service programs in the Kulonprogo and Purwerojo regencies of DIY and Central Java, respectively. Meanwhile, SMAN 8 Yogyakarta senior high school runs programs that includes teaching the children of Pentingsari village.
The UGM is one of the pioneers of the Student Community Service program (KKN), which is a mandatory and integral part of learning at the university. It also oversaw the expansion of the KKN as an inter-university program, along with was two other universities.
The KKN is also mandatory at the Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta (UMY), Sarnawijayata Tamansiswa University (UST), Atmajaya University and other institutions in the province. Their students have created a variety of creative solutions for the issues they encounter in the communities in which they work.
In 2017 alone, UMY’s KKN Team 031 set up an integrated service post (Posyandu) and an integrated health counseling post (Posbindu), community healthcare services focusing on the elderly in Tegalsari village, Sleman, DIY. Meanwhile, Team 079 created a video game called Goa 1 for PC and Android devices to promote the Japanese military cave in Bantul regency, DIY.
Read also: Community service or self-service?
UST also contributed to the community by introducing the production of banana chips of various flavors and innovative packaging to women in the Family Welfare Movement (PKK) of Karangmojo village, Gunungkidul, DIY. In 2016, the ever-pioneering UGM started the Agro Innovation Expo to campaign for the goods of Banyuroto village farmers in Magelang, Central Java.
In giving back to the community during their studies, students often gain a heightened sense of care for their fellow men. This encourages them to become further involved in social endeavors. One such example is the #UntukPapua movement, which was initiated by UGM alumnus Fajar Surya Budiman and aims to raise educational quality for children in Papua.
The various institutions of Yogyakarta continue to nurture their students' concern for the welfare of our fellow humans and the world we live in, and in doing so, cultivate the minds of the nation's future leaders.
Dananjaya Rijaluzaman is a student drawn to uncovering human-interest stories, along with mildly interesting, yet debatably useful, tidbits.
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