The misconceptions about men, women and HIV

Here’s one to challenge your preconceptions about men, women, sex and HIV by Wisdom of Whores author Elizabeth Pisani.

This should be food for thought, especially for the gender champions who tend to think that education and empowerment would solve much of society’s ills and reduce the rate of HIV infections.

Men are pigs, women are angels. Not.


Yesterday at 1:17am

As promised, data on women, autonomy, partnerships and HIV. It’s quite true that I have not developed some magic indicator of “autonomy”. But the World Economic Forum has. Or at least its Gender Equality Index is as close as damnit. Let’s take the sub-Saharan African countries at either extreme, and set their equality index against their HIV rates:

On individual measures that are often indicators of women’s ability to make their own choices and decisions — educational level, for example, we see a strong correlation too, both at the national level:

and at the household level:

So, in countries where women are more equal to men on measures of workforce and political participation as well as education, there’s more HIV than in countries where women are more constrained. In countries where women are more educated, there’s more HIV. Within countries, more educated women are more likely to be infected with HIV.

via Facebook | Elizabeth Pisani: Men are pigs, women are angels. Not..

Teachers are doing it for themselves – on the Net

How do you help increase the quality of education in Indonesia?

Well, if you’re Citibank, (disclosure: they are our clients and we helped in this project) one way is to help set up a forum where teachers can help themselves, learn from each other and discus ideas.

And this was what Citi did in conjunction with their NGO partner, HOPE Indonesia.

The Aksi Guru website

Yesterday, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility efforts under the Citi Peka unbrella, Citi among other things launched the website that it says is probably the first of its kind in Indonesia aimed at supporting teachers’ peer-development and student outreach.

It says high school teachers in Indonesia can, through, embrace social media as a means of communication and a tool that has the potential to facilitate information and experience sharing among the education community. Through the site, teachers can exchange ideas and thoughts, and most importantly interact with their students most of whom are already tech-savvy.  Citi, in is media release, added:

“We hope to boost teachers peer development by launching the website,” said Charles Ham, Country Director Yayasan Hope Indonesia. “The use of internet and social media as a means for widespread communication is remains relatively low among teachers in the country, and we hope to generate teachers’ interest and eagerness in sharing their creative teaching methods with others though this site,” he continued.

“We have seen Indonesian teachers’ ability to create interesting learning activities continues to grow over based on the 4,448 proposals CSF received in the past seven years. Now is time for these teachers to inspire one another through,” says Ditta Amahorseya, Director-Country Corporate Affairs Head, Citi Indonesia “We hope for CSF grant recipients and other high school teachers become role models for each other and their respective schools as well as pioneer education methods that are innovative, creative, and inspiring.”

As with so many sites utilizing social media these days also uses Twitter and Facebook to amplify its messages.

From the response so far, it looks like teachers are taking to this new form of cooperation, co-learning and collaboration.

Related information:

Pendidikan dan guru 2.0

Guru Kreatif

Mengajar Lewat Blog by Ndoro Kakung






The 2.0 Indonesian teacher

There are many bright sparks in the vast, seemingly barren landscape of education in Indonesia. Agus Sampurno is one such spark and he’s using his blog and  Twitter account to inspire others and ahare experiences with them.

Full report in Talking Points

Pendidikan Indonesia dan Guru 2.0

November 18th, 2009 | No Comments »

Tags: agus sampurno, aksi guru, guru 2.0, guru kreatif, maverick, pecha kucha, pendidikan 2.0

Posted in Ideas, Indonesian | Edit |

“Saat ini, kita mempersiapkan siswa kita untuk pekerjaan yang belum ada. Kita persiapkan mereka mengakrabi teknologi untuk memecahkan masalah yang belum ada.”

Kira-kira begitulah yang disampaikan Agus Sampurno–seorang guru SD yang fasih menggunakan social media termasuk blog, Twitter dan Facebook. Pak Guru yang aktif di Twitter dengan akun @gurukreatif ini yakin bahwa guru, dengan segala keterbatasannya, bisa menjadi guru yang kreatif. Guru Kreatif

Blog Guru Kreatif“Guru dan buku bukan lagi sumber pengetahuan saat ini,” kata Pak Agus. “Murid-murid sudah fasih mencari bahan-bahan dan informasi di Google dan search engine lainnya. Guru harus siap dengan ini semua,” ujarnya saat berkunjung untuk sharing session mingguan Maverick Jumat lalu.


Pak Agus pun bertutur mengenai bagaimana seorang guru di era 2.0 ini harus mengubah sikap dan pola pikir mereka. Kedisiplinan tidak bisa lagi diterapkan lewat rasa takut atau sikap galak; tetapi lewat rasa hormat. Rasa hormat timbul ketika siswa bisa merasa nyaman berada di kelas, dan merasa bebas untuk berinteraksi dengan gurunya. Rasa nyaman inilah yang harus dipupuk oleh seorang guru kepada para siswanya.

Salah satunya, lewat cara belajar yang kreatif.

via admin | Maverick Indonesia.

Indonesia not fussed bout science and maths in English

For many normal countries like Indonesia, getting instruction in English is something desirable and they move ahead, maybe slowly but surely,  in an increasingly globalized world. Countries like Malaysia seems bent on moving in the opposite direction. Malaysia Boleh!

Students being taught English in an open-space class in Aceh. The use of English as the language of instruction at national schools is limited to some 700 schools out of 5,000. (Antara Photo)

via the Jakarta Globe:

Ministry Turns a Deaf Ear to Critics Over Use of English in the Classroom

While the use of English as a language of instruction in schools has often sparked controversy, the government says it is unlikely to follow neighbor Malaysia and drop the use of English for math and science classes.

The Ministry of National Education’s director general of management for primary and secondary schools, Suyanto, told the Jakarta Globe the ministry would stick to its agenda of increasing the number of schools that use English for math and science lessons.

“No way will we drop it,” he said. “Students have a great capacity to learn, so we should encourage them.”

Last week, the Malaysian government announced that it would dump English as the language of instruction for math and science in schools. Malaysia’s deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, as reported by Agence France-Presse, said his government was convinced that science and math needed to be taught in a language that would be easily understood by students.

Critics of Malaysia’s nation-wide policy of teaching these two subjects in English say that student performance has declined since the policy’s introduction in 2003, and that it is particularly unfair for children who are not proficient in the language.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Another idiotic headline and buried story in the Post

Here we go again with idiotic, firm-grasp-of-the-obvious headlines in the Jakarta Post.In which exam are there not tears of joy, sadness greeting the results? So long as there are exams it has been such and it will continue to be such so long as there are are exams. And this as the page 1 lead.

That is not the story. The story, Unspun would think, is buried in the 12th paragraph: why were there seven schools in Alor Regency in which not even a single student passed the exam? Can some real grown-up journalists please direct the copywriters in the weekends?

clipped from
Tears of joy, sadness greet exam results
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Kupang

Tears of joy and sadness greeted Saturday’s announcement of final examination results for junior high school students across the country.

Those who could not hide their excitement took to the streets on motorcycles, while others sprayed colorful paint on each other’s uniforms.

“We’re doing this to show our excitement after finally passing the national examination test,” student Putu Wira of SMP Dharma Praja in Denpasar, Bali, told Antara.

At another high school in Denpasar, SMP Dwijendra students clad in traditional Balinese costumes gathered en masse to pray for good results.

  blog it

Republic of delusions

Information and Communications Minister Sofyan Djalil has a sensitivity beyond the ken of most politicians and a sensibility beyond the belief of most right thinking persons.

His latest effort as guardian of what the nation should or should not be told is to try to pull the plug over  a TV show satirizing politicians called Republic of Dreams (Republik Mimpi) . His reason: the show promotes “negative political education” to the people.

If negative political education is what he is up against then he would do well instead to moderate the words and behavior of Ministers (e.g. Aburizal “the-flood-victims-are-still-laughing”) and politicians (e.g. Yahya I-have-small-assets-that-are-videoed-by-a-dangdut-singer Zaini).

The Republik guys are not taking it laying down though. Effendi Gazali, the brains behind the show that is aired over Metro TV  told The Jakarta Post: “So what’s the fuss? Why doesn’t the Minister take care of television shows that promote violence and the supernatural, which are true purveyors of bad taste?”

Effendi has a point, Sofyan Djalil should cultivate a thicker skin or get out of politics.

Nothing so gratifying…

…as when your efforts are being appreciated.

The gang at Maverick, the PR consultancy where Unspun works has for the past two year been putting their money where their mouths are in the field of Corporate Social Leadership.

Hang on, you say, shouldn’t it be Corporate Social Responsibility? Well, since the guys at Maverick are mavericks, they believe in questioning conventional wisdom. Doing that they hold that the “responsibility” in CSR is a bit of a bother since “responsibility” implies something you’re obliged to do, whether you believe in it or not. Many companies do not believe in their own CSR efforts so they often come across as hokey, even though they pile tons of money into it. Some mining companies come to mind.

Corporate Social Leadership, however, is different (credit to . It is using the assets you have as a company – such as your expertise, customer insight, ability to make decisions faster than government or civil society, money, location etc – to affect positive change in society. In Maverick, the guys have decided that their CSL program will be all about using the skills and knowledge of PR consultants to empower NGOs with media handling skills, i.e. how to talk to the media so that it is concise, short and memorable, what to say, what not to say etc etc.

They’ve been at it for two years and apart from adopting Mitra Netra last year, and Kelola for the Arts and Center for Better Education, for a 10-month course on how to do their own PR, have been media training about 15 other NGOs.

Today was very gratifying as one of the participants was so taken up with the training yesterday, he decided to show his appreciation by blogging about it in his organization’s blog Solidaritas Kebersamaan. Now if the Mavericks can only convince Corporate Indonesia to abandon their silly CSR initiatives and move into CSL instead…