By Muhammad Sulhanudin
Starting from 2002, Faculty of Letters of Diponegoro University has put a new curriculum. This curriculum is published based on the decree of National Education Minister No. 232/U/2000. Although the decree was published in 2000, the implementation comes to be effective in 2002, which means, to be officially applied for students of 2002.
The new curriculum, known as curriculum of 2000, reveals many changes. Among the changes are the replacement of KKN with an apprenticeship program and the offering of a non-thesis line. KKN, which previously provided students with a chance to deliver their public service, is now irrelevant. As Prihatmi, the dean of faculty of Letters, remarked, so far KKN has made few benefits since students could not really implement what they have got in the university for people. It is therefore useless. Often, what occurs in the field is not what the purpose has designed to be, “say, it is just clumsy that students of faculty of Letters be ordered to build a bridge,” said she disappointedly.
Agus Subiyanto, the new head of English Department, analyses that society has a different condition today. In the past, people warmly welcomed the visit of students who carried out KKN. But at present, people do not really need students’ help. It is sadden to say that students’ visit may just bring a bother for the local people and the area as well.
Next is the offering of a non-thesis line. The line is an option for the students other than the thesis-line. It is also a requirement to get S1 degree. By this policy, students are given an academic freedom to decide which line they prefer to complete in their study. At the beginning, this policy was implemented on the purpose to prepare students for work field, and also to help students who find difficulties in arranging a thesis. “In the work field, we are to be practical; the experience of research is less needed. Besides, we are also required to pursue other skills, which support the field we are majoring,” said Drs. Muallimin, M.A., the secretary of English Department.
In agreement to Mualimin, Agus Subiyanto added that this decision has been prudently discussed in the meeting. “And we have also got suggestion from the alumni who are now working. So we did not decide it single-handedly,” he explained.
Not all departments in the Faculty of Letters agree with this policy. The only department which is still arguing the non-thesis line is the Department of History, whereas two other departments agree with the policy. Prihatmi, the first person in the faculty of Letters, notes that the Department of History students are suggested to take a thesis. As for other departments, it will be no problem, because the Department of History is closely related to conduct a research.
Our faculty is in fact not the pioneer of implementing a non-thesis line; University of Indonesia (UI) has pioneered this idea and has started it a couple of years ago. Other state universities (PTN) now start following this idea. UNDIP is one of them, which will implement this policy for the Department of Indonesia students and English Department in the academic year of 2002.
In addition to the change of KKN and the non-thesis line offer, there are still many changes in this new curriculum. Several subjects that are considered irrelevant will be deleted. New subjects then appear to replace them. The SKS of lectures such as Man and Culture of Indonesia (MKI) and Indonesian Language in the English Department is simplified into 2 SKS, which previously were 4 SKS.
Some subjects that are considered still confusing have also been corrected. For example: speaking, grammar, listening, writing, and translation. Formerly, the name of these subjects used sequential number, but they are now changed to be in level; namely basic, intermediate, upper-intermediate, and advance, despite the material are basically same.
So far, curriculum of 2000 is the latest curriculum which is implemented in the Faculty of Letters. The lecturing material is based on the former curriculum textbook that was released in 2002. For a temporal time, the textbook of curriculum 2000 is no longer published. “In this year, 2003, the textbook guidance is not published anymore, because it will be revised. Consequently, the students of 2003, especially the English Department students and other departments have not got the manual book yet. For the English Department, it has been planned to publish the revision of the 2000 curriculum as soon as everything is done. We plan to socialize this revision to the students of 2000 and 2003,” said Agus Subiyanto”.
There are three subjects that are optionally offered in the Non Thesis line. They are Journalism, Applied Linguistics and ……….. Apart from revising the curriculum of 2000, the department also offers new subjects, such as Seminar on Grammar, Entrepreneurship, and TOEFL/IELT Preparation. Previously, such subjects were not presented. TOEFL/IELT Preparation is offered in the fifth semester. In this case, the department will cooperate with the Public Service Institution (LPM). Meanwhile, to hold a TOEFL test, SEU/MLC (Multi Language Center) will manage. The department also planned that the students will get a certificate.
What Do They Say about the New Curriculum?
Curriculums of 2000, which will soon be revised, are supposed to bring effect to the Faculty of Letters students. This effect can be positive or negative. Non-thesis line a breakthrough program published out by the Department of English and the Department of Indonesia. It surely has effect on the students themselves.
Toni, a student of English Department 2000 said that by the implementation of non-thesis line there would be a very small percentage of students who take the thesis line. It is because the non-thesis line is easier. Meanwhile, Ade, a student of English Department 2002 gets worried to take the non-thesis line. She is afraid that later she will have difficulties to continue her study.
It is Puji, a student of English Department 2002, different from Toni and Ade, who sees no problem with non-thesis line. Besides, it will be helpful for students who are completing thesis. He argues that the subjects offered in non-thesis line are good.
About the abolition of KKN, most of students stated that they do agree. Toni declared that he really supported this policy. He said that by an apprenticeship, students could largely apply their knowledge they have got from university. It is different from KKN of which the application is unclear.
Nevertheless, there are some students who disagree with the abolition of KKN. Dipta, a student of 2002, said that the knowledge that students got in campus is not to be business-oriented only, but also to be delivered for society. He emphasized the importance of KKN considering that the students will later on enter the society after they finish their study.
When Rahayu Prihatmi was confirmed about which is better, thesis or non-thesis, the dean of Faculty of Letters said that both of them are good. It is just what the students want to choose. They know their own capabilities; if they are able to write a thesis and have desire to do some research, it will be no problem.
Agus Subiyanto, the head of English Department, proposes the same opinion with Sri Rahayu. He added that for non-thesis line, the offered subjects are not inferior to the thesis line. Responding the worry of a few of the students who will take thesis line, he considered that there must certainly be one or more students who have strong desire to do a research. In his opinion, so to say, there would be students who undertake thesis line.*(Udin/Ivan)
*Headline News of Miracle, June-July 2004