So this popped up in my news feed on Facebook. My first reaction was just “What.” My second reaction is still on-going. It’s not like Mr. Gumelar is saying Indonesians should ban science from schools; he’s just saying it doesn’t really fit into an elementary school curriculum. I’m not sure I entirely understand what he thinks should be taught in elementary school (aren’t children going to learn culture and religion from their parents?), but it’s not the weirdest argument to make. I think the reason I’m confused is because I’m missing context. The article claims Gumelar is advocating a return to the model of education during Dutch rule over Indonesia which taught only “basic education”, which is never defined. I am a bit amused that he is worried over the current education system being too Western-valued, but evidently does want the system imposed during colonialism. (I know nothing of Dutch treatment of Indonesia or the historiography of it, so maybe it’s not as bad as my go-to idea of imperialism would suggest, but still, this seems surprising). But I agree with the education observer quoted at the end of the article: it still seems important to expose children to basic science concepts.