Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Letter to ministry of Education of Republic of Indonesia

After all the troubles we had with university we decided to be bad girls and write really bad letter and send it to the ministry of education of Republic of Indonesia. You will have exclusive priviledge to check it out...
People at university are like little pussy cats since our letter came to the ministry
But first I have to tell you that I haven't recieved any reply from Indonesian embassy in Serbia even if I asked only a contact of someone that I can talk to.
I will remove last names of my colegues from this letter... just for their privacy

Dear Ladies and Gentleman,
My name is ** and I’m writing to you in front of 4 students of Darmasiswa program who needs help. Since we came to Indonesia we have nothing but problems with our University. We are studying at Muhammediah University in Surabaya. Our names are Marina Ilijevic, Sonia, May and Fatma.
We came at the beginning of August and our lessons began on the 27th of September. When we came here, we had 1 hour of orientation program where they told us that we will have lessons every day for 5 hours and right now we have lessons 4 times a week, 1 hour, that faculty will provide us with museum visits and tours of the city but nothing like that happened. We understand that they are busy and they can’t occupy their free time with us. When we don’t have lessons we like to spend our free time on our own and we like to travel around and get to know Indonesia. But, it seems like university doesn’t like that. They like when we are sitting at our rooms and wait for them to call or SMS us for their needs. They don’t respect our need for our free time.
Instead of teaching us and treating us as students, university started treating us as marionettes for its promotions. They also invaded our privacy many times and they are always asking where we are and what we are doing. They even have the keys of May and Fatma’s house. The dean of English Department Mr. Ahmad Idris Asmaradhani said to us that we can leave Surabaya only and only if he permits that. I believe that is violation of the basic human rights and that is the right for freedom. Instead of feeling welcomed to this country we are feeling like studying in a prison. Whenever we ask why we are treated that way they just smile. No one wants to talk to us. They are always sending us to visit schools around Surabaya “so that students can practice English language with us”. That always ends up like a good promotion of the university so that students can see that Muhammediah has foreign students coming from all around the world.
On Thursday 21st of October Sonia and me left for Jogjakarta for a weekend and on Friday 22nd we got a SMS from the university that there is an order from Rector Mr. Zainuddin Maliki that we have to show up at the university because there is going to be a TV station to interview us. When I called the dean of English department Mr. Idris to tell him that we are not in Surabaya and we will not come to the TV interview he started screaming at me that we cannot leave Surabaya without his permission, that if we don’t come on Sunday for a graduation ceremony we will be kicked out from the scholarship program. We had to finish our lovely weekend in Jogja and leave back for Surabaya. They never told us about ceremony even if it was planned months in advance. Then he accused me that I don’t want to learn Indonesian language and that is why I don’t understand anything and I don’t know about anything that is going on at the university. And all of that was screaming on the phone like I was some lower being, not a person. There are 7 more students with me in the group and all of them are speaking Indonesian and no one knew about this even we spend the whole day on Tuesday with him. Fatma went to Madura for the weekend for the bull races and she got the same treatment on the phone like me and same threats. She told the dean where is she going just before the weekend but he pretended that he forgot and he didn’t knew about it. Also with this threat, being kicked out from the program, he was not respecting our Christian religion and taking us away from the church on Sunday morning. We had to go to the ceremony instead. If we were nicely invited to this ceremony we would be more than happy to skip the church and to come and be part of something special for this university. We are respecting this university, we never came with bare shoulders or short skirts at university even Surabaya is so hot. We respect their time for prayer, we respected Ramadan all the way by not eating anywhere outside during the day and what we got for that? Being disrespected by university every single day and treating us like we are some idiots and not grownup human beings.
May and Fatma rented out a house because they wanted their privacy but the member of our university came to the owner of the house and asked for a key to the house. Sonia got sick from the stress; she has stomach pain all the time and we had to find a doctor on our own because no one at the university wanted to help us. We are on a good way to get sick too because stress situations are happening every day.
They never ask us anything if we want that, they just say “you must” or “that is an order from rector”. We don’t feel like being respected in this university and we don’t feel like students, we feel like prisoners. We tried to talk to them number of times but no one is listening, just smiling.
We ask for your help. We believe that Darmasiswa program is not created for foreign students to promote and be models for the universities they are studying at, but to be students and learn about culture and language. We also believe that basic principle of Darmasiswa is not to violate human rights.
We believe you will be able to talk to the university and try to solve our problems. We are just asking basic human rights and to be treated like every other student in the University.
We are sending you greetings with respect,
Marina Ilijevic, Serbia
Sonia, Italy
May, Egypt
Fatma, Egypt

There... now you have a small clue what was happening to me in last 3 months... these situations more or less the same were repeating over and over again almost every week and we didn't know how to put stop on it.

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