HISKI Holds First Rakernas at UNAIR

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The speaker in the meeting of Indonesian Literature Scholars Association (HISKI) in FIB UNAIR. (Photo: UNAIR NEWS)

UNAIR NEWS – Fluctuations of organizations’ activity is natural anywhere and anytime. Many factors cause this fluctuation. Continuous efforts to sustain the organization are needed to achieve the objectives agreed on.

On Saturday, January 23, UNAIR Faculty of Cultural Sciences (FIB) hosted the first national working meeting (Rakernas) of Indonesian Literature Scholars Association (HISKI). This first national working meeting was held in cooperation with East Java Cultural Research Unit (UK2JT) to commence HISKI organizational activity. The national working meeting was officially opened by UNAIR Rector Prof. Dr. Muhammad Nasih, MT., Ak., and attended by the HISKI central officials, regional HISKI commissioners and representatives of Language Advancement and Development Board (BPPB).

Prof. Dr. Dadang Sunendar as BPPB chairman in his speech said BPPB always try to promote development, advancement and preservation of Indonesian language and literature. He believed that as the national language must be developed, and local languages work as main supplementary languages and then foreign languages as the second supplementary languages. Furthermore, Dadang hoped Indonesian literary works can be used as learning materials at educational institutions and adapted into other forms of art such as songs, comics, soaps/sinetron, and so on.

At the same occasion, Prof. Dr. Suwardi Endraswara, M. Hum., HISKI chairman, said that HISKI’s efforts are not only to revive Indonesia literature, but also to revive other literatures which have ever developed and known in Indonesia such as Dutch literature, Japanese, Chinese, French, Russian, German and other existing literatures.

In the future, in an effort to revive and preserve Indonesian literature, HISKI will cooperate with BPPB to conduct preservation of lost literary works. Literary works which are used to be marginalized will be HISKI’s focus of attention. Similarly thing will be done for literary works which have been banned in New Order regime and considered leftish.

“Those books (leftish) were only a matter of perception. There are leftism and rightism. HISKI was about literary understanding and comprehension scientifically. It is not about political encouragement, Suwardi said.

Literary works for students
Not only to revive canon literary works, but HISKI’s effort also to include literary studies in schools’ curriculums from Kindergarten (TK) to Senior High School (SMA). The implementation of the curriculum is by reading, appreciating, holding competitions, and summarizing so that our new generations feel interested to understand values of literary works. So far, according to Suwardi, Indonesian subject at schools only covers Indonesian language, so the teachers tend to teach the structures not the literary values.

“At schools, teachers do not master literary learning well, related to discussing literary works in class as they do not understand and are not interested in it. They prioritize learning the language structures. It brings another perception that teachers only teach with memorizing style. Teachers only gave the title and the author. So we really hoped literary works can be included in the curricula, with assistance of BPPB of course,” Suwardi said.

BPPB cooperation with HISKI hopefully can develop, advance, and preserve Indonesian language and literature. To realize it, BPPB and HISKI encourage communities to be more literate. These literate programs will be included in HISKI First Rakernas Formulated Plan.

Literary works for non-literature students
HISKI does not only focus on language and literature preservation but also to conduct researches. Such as one research conducted by Dr. Rita Inderawati, M. Pd, HISKI official in Palembang commission, to the students of other faculties regarding their interests on literate learning.

“I researched through HISKI’s competence that non-literature students such as students from Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Economics and so on also demanded to learn literature. Why are they interested? It might be caused by my indirect treatment, it was through polls. They try to appreciate Indonesian literary works I presented to them. Finally, almost 80% of non-English or Indonesian demanded literature learning in their faculties,” Rita said.

Before this Rakernas I held, HISKI only held National Meeting (Munas)once in every four years. This Munas was to manage organizational officials and discuss the statutes (AD/ART). As planned, this Rakernas will be held annually at the same time with International Conference of Literature (KIK). Next year, Rakernas II will be held in State University of Yogyakarta (UNY).

Author: Lovita Martafabella Cendana
Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh

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