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Jakarta Post

Only half of Yogyakarta's students use Javanese properly

  • Slamet Susanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Tue, September 1, 2015   /  11:35 am

A survey conducted over the past two years shows that only 50 percent of the students in Yogyakarta can speak the refined version of the Javanese language.

"This is an emergency. The Javanese language could disappear in the next generation," the head of the provincial Education, Youth and Sport (Dikpora) Agency, Kadarmanta Baskoro Aji, told thejakartapost.com during the 2015 Anugerah Kihajar, an event for students in Yogyakarta.

According to Baskoro, the proper use of Javanese involves mastering kromo inggil or the ultra-polite, refined version of the Javanese language, which is considered important to build character, ethics and tolerance.

"Kromo teaches that we should respect older people and to be more tolerant. It is important to build character for the younger generation," said Baskoro.

He added that up to 90 percent of students used ngoko (informal Javanese) instead.

"In the era of globalization, the ability to use English is important, but it has to be placed side by side with local content such as kromo to create an advanced generation with personality," said Baskoro.

In an effort to preserve kromo among students, the provincial government has released regional regulation (Perda) No. 5/2011 on culture-based education management that requires Javanese language as local content in every school in Yogyakarta.

According to the head of the communication technology education agency, Singgih Raharja, there is an inaccurate perception that all things traditional are always outdated in comparison with technology.

The agency is currently developing learning applications for the Javanese language such as games, smartphone apps and Javanese-language radio.

Culture-based events are also held, including the three-day Anugerah Kihajar, which started on Monday. At the event, up to 1,100 students participated in various competitions including a Javanese-language contest and a Javanese-language radio broadcast. (kes)

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