Bahasa Inggris, SMA, Topik Belajar

Life and Times of Ki Hajar Dewantara | Bahasa Inggris Kelas 11

Teman KOCO, yuk kita simak teks berjudul “Life and Times of Ki Hajar Dewantara” pada materi Reading Enrichment di bawah ini. Setelah itu, kita akan sama-sama menjawab pertanyaan pada bagian post-reading activity. Mulai dari nomor 1, yakni “why do we need biographies? what is their purpose?” hingga nomor terakhir. Jangan lupa juga untuk cari tahu soal dan jawaban teks lainnya yang berjudul “President Soekarno of Indonesia: Speech at the Opening of the Bandung Conference, April 18, 1955” pada link tersebut, ya!

Teks Reading “Life and Times of Ki Hajar Dewantara”

The development of good character should be the heart and soul of education, and should dominate the spirit of teaching. This was the philosophy of the “Father of Education” in Indonesia, Ki Hajar Dewantara. The reason, he said, was that teaching and character building are like two sides of a coin and cannot, and should not be separated.

Education, by definition, means guiding student lives in a strong foundation of good character. So that they would be civilized humans of highest moral fibre, thus laying the foundation of a great nation without distinction of religion, ethnicity, customs, economic and social status.

Ki Hajar Dewantara was born in the royal family of Yogyakarta on 2nd May 1889. His given name was Raden Mas Suwardi Suryaningrat which he later changed to renounce his connections with the royal family. He transformed himself into an activist, columnist, politician and pioneer of education for Indonesians. He fought for the rights of Indonesians during the· Dutch and Japanese colonial eras (

He was born into an aristocratic family that granted him the privilege of free access to education of his choice. He got his primary education from ELS (Europeesche Lagere School), then he continued his education at Stovia (Java Medical School) but, due to health reasons, he couldn’t finish it. He started writing for newspapers and eventually all his writings were focused on Indonesian patriotism, thus anti Dutch.

He was involved in the early activities of Budi Utomo and the lndiesche Party, which were both important in the early development of the pergerakan, the “movement” that grew up with an ascent of Indonesian national political consciousness (

He was exiled between 1913 and 1919, following the publication of two of his articles: “Ais ik eens Nederlander” (If I ware a Dutchman) and “Een voor allen en allen voor een” (One for all and all for one). He used his time in exile to learn more about education and obtained a Europeesche certificate (

Following his return, he focused more on cultural and educational efforts paving the way to develop educational concepts in Indonesia. He believed that education is very important and the most important means of freeing Indonesians from the clutches of colonization. He played a leading role in establishing “National Onderwijs lnstitut Taman Siswa” in 1922. This institution was established to educate native Indonesians during colonial times. This institution was based on these principles:

1. Ing Ngarsa Sung Tuladha (the one in front sets examples).
2. Ing Madya Mangun Karsa (the one in the middle builds the spirit and encouragement).
3. Tut Wuri Handayani (the one at the back gives support). (

As Ki Hajar believed that character was not merely a theoretical concept, but a practical and living concept, he embodied his vision in his school, Taman Siswa. The central goals of Taman Siswa emphasized character building, including traits such as patriotism and love for the nation, and a sense of national identity.

His vision was that Indonesians would be free from colonial powers, to fight for independence and have good character. He continued writing but his writings took a turn from politics to education. These writings later laid the foundation of Indonesian education. Froebel, Montessori and Tagore influenced his educational principles and, in Taman Siswa, he drew some inspiration from Tagore’s Shantiniketan (

After independence, he was given the office of Minister of Education and Culture. For his efforts in pioneering education for the masses, he was officially declared Father of Indonesian Education and his birthday is celebrated as the National Education Day. His portrait was on the 20,000 rupiah note till 2002. He was officially confirmed as a National Hero of Indonesia by the 2nd President of Indonesia on 28th November 1959 (

Ki Hajar Dewantara passed away on 26th April 1952 at the age of 69 years. His wife donated all Ki Hajar’s belongings to Dewantara Kirti Griya Museum, Yogyakarta. He was a great man who spent his whole life serving his people and country.

Jawaban Reading Activity

Berikut soal dan jawaban reading activity “Life and Times of Ki Hajar Dewantara” yakni:

1. why do we need biographies? what is their purpose?

Biography is a simple description of a person written by someone else. The purpose of a biography is to share the life of another person with an audience. An author may choose to write a biography because they find the subject’s story to be interesting or to have themes that apply to life today.

2. what information can we find about a person by reading a biography? discuss.

A biography, or simply bio, is a detailed description of a person’s life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience of these life events. Unlike a profile or curriculum vitae, a biography presents a subject’s life story, highlighting various aspects of their life, including intimate details of experience, and may include an analysis of the subject’s personality.

3. from Ki Hajar Dewantara’s biography, how would you discribe him?

Ki Hajar Dewantara whose real name is Raden Mas Soewardi Soerjaningrat was born on May 2nd, 1889, in Yogyakarta. Although he lived in colonial times (difficult times), he was an open minded person with his modern opinios. He always thought that everybody had the right to get an education. So, he still tried to develop Indonesia’s educational system with his brilliant ideas. That’s why he was chosen as Minister of Indonesian Education under President Soekarno’s administration.

4. can you find any similarities between ki Hajar Dewantara and yourself? describe.

I agree with his insight that everybody had the right to get an education, not underestimate the poor in school and always see people by their knowledge not by their status, and not judging people from what they cannot do and what they do.

5. responsibility is being accountable to God and to others as you do your duties or obligations in a faithful way. do you think ki Hajar Dewantara was a responsible person? how did he show it? discuss.

Yes, I think that Ki Hajar Dewantara was a responsible person because he was persistent on his duties or obligations to develop education in Indonesia. Even in order to complete his responsibilities, he had to be arrested by the dutch colonial because of his article and he was in jail for some time even later he was released.

6. think of an example of task or event in your life that required responsibility. were you responsible in fulfilling this duty or obligation? share your example.

An example of task in my life that required responsibility is: as a student I have responsibility to do my homework honestly.

7. do you think there were some significant events that changed Ki Hajar Dewantara’s life? how did those events shape or change him? discuss.

Yes, I think there were some significant events that changed Ki Hajar Dewantara’s life, when he joined the Japan organization, he get the knowledge about education development. Then he got out of the organization and he took the initiative to develop education in Indonesia.

8. what kind of impact did Ki Hajar Dewantara have on people? discuss.

We can see kind of impact nowadays that people in Indonesia can get proper education, such as there are a lot of scholarship for those who need and want to continue their study in University.

9. Ki Hajar Dewantara has had great impact on indonesian struggle for freedom, especially education. discuss with your peers what may have been different if he was not there.

As we know that before Ki Hajar Dewantara’s movement, the proper education in Indonesia was only for high society status or rich people. In the other side, the poor couldn’t get proper education. However, nowadays people in Indonesia can get proper education without considering the race, society status, ethnic, and even religion.

10. Ki Hajar made lot of sacrifices for his country. if you were in his place, what would you do? describe

If I were in his place, I will support his persistence and continue his struggle by voicing proper education for all Indonesian children.

11. what did you know about the Ki Hajar Dewantara prior to reading his short biography? did you learn anything new about him? did anything you read changed your opinion about him?

After read his biography, then I know his struggle in fighting for proper education for all children in Indonesia.

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