Hachikō – a faithful dog

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”



Dog is the best friend of humankind. One dog in Japan proved his undying loyalty, waiting for his master’s return in the same location every single day for 10 years after his master’s death. It was Hachiko!

Hachikō (ハチ公), November 10, 1923 – March 8, 1935) was an Akita dog born on a farm near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture, Japan. He is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, which continued for more than nine years after his owner’s death. Hachikō is known in Japanese as chūken Hachikō (忠犬ハチ公) “faithful dog Hachikō”, hachi meaning “eight” and kō meaning “affection.” During his lifetime, the dog was held up in Japanese culture as an example of loyalty and fidelity. Well after his death, he continues to be remembered in worldwide popular culture, with statues, movies, books, and appearances in various media.


In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took Hachikō, a golden brown Akita, as a pet. Ueno would commute daily to work, and Hachikō would leave the house to greet him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued the daily routine until May 1925, when Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, while he was giving a lecture, and died without ever returning to the train station in which Hachikō would wait.

Each day, for the next nine years, nine months and fifteen days, Hachikō awaited Ueno’s return, appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.

Hachikō attracted the attention of other commuters. Many of the people who frequented the Shibuya train station had seen Hachikō and Professor Ueno together each day. Initial reactions from the people, especially from those working at the station, were not necessarily friendly. However, after the first appearance of the article about him on October 4, 1932 in Asahi Shimbun, people started to bring Hachikō treats and food to nourish him during his wait.

Hachikō died on March 8, 1935 at the age of 11 based on his date of birth. He was found on a street in Shibuya. In March 2011, scientists finally settled the cause of death of Hachikō: the dog had both terminal cancer and a filaria infection. There were also four yakitori skewers in Hachikō’s stomach, but the skewers did not damage his stomach or cause his death.

In April 1934, a bronze statue in his likeness was erected at Shibuya Station (35°39′32.6″N 139°42′2.1″E), and Hachikō himself was present at its unveiling. The statue was recycled for the war effort during World War II. In 1948, the Society for Recreating the Hachikō Statue commissioned Takeshi Ando, son of the original artist, to make a second statue. When the new statue appeared, a dedication ceremony occurred. The new statue, which was erected in August 1948, still stands and is a popular meeting spot. The station entrance near this statue is named “Hachikō-guchi”, meaning “The Hachikō Entrance/Exit”, and is one of Shibuya Station’s five exits.

The Japan Times played an April Fools’ joke on readers by reporting that the bronze statue was stolen a little before 2:00 AM on April 1, 2007, by “suspected metal thieves”. The false story told a very detailed account of an elaborate theft by men wearing khaki workers’ uniforms who secured the area with orange safety cones and obscured the theft with blue vinyl tarps. The “crime” was allegedly recorded on security cameras.

A similar statue stands in Hachikō’s hometown, in front of Ōdate Station. In 2004, a new statue of Hachikō was erected on the original stone pedestal from Shibuya in front of the Akita Dog Museum in Odate.


After the release of the American movie Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009) filmed in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the Japanese Consulate in US helped the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the city of Woonsocket to unveil an identical statue of Hachiko at the Woonsocket Depot Square, which was the location of the “Bedridge” train station featured in the movie.

Each year on March 8, Hachikō’s devotion is honored with a solemn ceremony of remembrance at Tokyo’s Shibuya railroad station. Hundreds of dog lovers often turn out to honor his memory and loyalty.


In 1994, the Nippon Cultural Broadcasting in Japan was able to lift a recording of Hachikō barking from an old record that had been broken into several pieces. A huge advertising campaign ensued and on Saturday, May 28, 1994, 59 years after his death, millions of radio listeners tuned in to hear Hachikō bark.

In July 2012, an exhibition containing rare photos from Hachiko’s life were shown at the Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum in Shibuya ward as part of the “Shin Shuzo Shiryoten” (Exhibition of newly stored materials). In November 2015, a previously undiscovered photograph of Hachikō was published for the first time. The image, which was captured in 1934 by a Tokyo bank employee, shows the dog relaxing in front of Shibuya Station.


“Never mind, said Hachiko each day. Here I wait, for my friend who’s late. I will stay, just to walk beside you for one more day.”


Impossible is nothing!

“Great people are not born great, they grow great”


Wednesday, 7 January 1987, a new star appeared in the sky. The big boy, 4.9-kilo weight, came to the life to conquer the world. “I gave birth to elephant!” says my beloved mother. I am the only son in my family, with two elder sisters, and my little sister. The great attention was directed towards me, as I was a stubborn son, the one who is the future breadwinner of the family. I had almost everything I wanted because I came from economically well-developed family. Not a single child could have many toys as I had. I will never forget that my father bought me a 2 years old horse for my 12th birthday. My parents, however, were still strict to me. Every day, early in the morning, my father woke me up, brought me to the stadium, jogging with me and teaching me how to play football. This extraordinary experience gave birth to my future football career. Later in my life, 1992, I made my first step in the local school named Tesha Saydaliev in my hometown Termez city, Surkhandarya region, Republic of Uzbekistan. I was a math prodigy, eager to know, industrious and neat. These were simply the result of my upbringing. I was averse to waste my priceless time, and had a great determination to do things on time.

meI have never had a dream but target, in my point of view, dream is just a imagination. Therefore, I usually set some targets in front of me, and move forward towards whatever I have aimed to reach. Being football player was my childhood target. In fact, I can recall those uncomfortable moments in the experimental tests in the local junior football club named “Spartak”. When I would pause to glance around the stadium, my parents and other youngsters who had same aim to play in that club, realizing that even though I might still have a young boy’s body but I had an old man’s heart. Frankly speaking, that was when I felt my heart trip, losing its cadence. Thinking football was the wave of the future. After all, I have accepted as a midfielder/playmaker because I was tall enough and had a good passes. It was the best experience one could ever have. My father brought me to neighboring county to buy football stuff for me. Words cannot express how I was happy. Training sessions have begun. Learning something new can be a scary experience, but I had a strong desire not to shame my parents, therefore, i showed my best strength. I knew there was nothing that I could not manage. I fought for my family’s honor, and always wanted to make my family proud of me. I believed, someday hard work would pay off. Ultimately, in 1998, i became champion between junior football teams throughout the country; it was the time to rise the championship cup over our heads, shielding my eyes from the tremendous glare that reflected off the cup. I did my family credit.


Nevertheless, my happiness did not last long, one day I was eavesdropping on my parent’s conversation. The atmosphere was not good in that small talk. My father told that we are in big trouble. His business was bankrupted. I had no idea what was the reason. There was no answer; there was no clean diagram of point A leading smoothly to the point Z. The delicate treatment did not work, though, there was an eagerly awaited announcement to know the details, or I assumed it was a hatched plot to cheat my father out for his business. My father was a big gun in the city. He had brought a super star, top singer in the county, to my circumcision. After that, people started to dish the dirt on him, even on my family. Playing in the world’s top football clubs, like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, being a well-educated lawyer, travelling throughout world had turned into something impossible that I could never get as if it were something written in the stars. Needless to say, my dreams crushed. This “punch” brought new direction to my life and was a huge turning point for me. The black clouds were over my head, dark days started…


Later as an adolescent, I had to work that I had never used to. My father left the city, went to overseas in the purpose of earning money. The young man became a breadwinner of the family. I had to rethink my strategies. I was devastated that I could not pursue my dreams of obtaining the college and bachelor degree, or continuing my football career in top clubs that I had always desired.

            One thing led to another, after while my mother got high blood pressure and spent more than a month in the hospital. At that time, my sisters were students in local university, my little sister was still in the school like me. There was no income at all. I left football. I understood that even though this particular option was no longer open to me. I had to work, had to feed my family, buy medicines for my mother. I got a job in a computer game club as an administrator. I need much money and had to get it as quickly as possible, hence, I worked 24 hours a day. I ate, slept; shortly, I lived in the work place. It was a huge room filled with 10 computers. It was very cold inside. Every day, I tucked the earned money away. Twice, sometimes one a week, I came back home, bring a food, money for living and for medicine. When I visited my mother at hospital, just could bring two apples, I saw her and I could not hold my tears. We stood huddled together for a moment, my bottom lip quivered while tears were coming out of my eyes and even from the deep of my heart. They were tears of sorrow, for sure… I was in utter shock that not a single person, any relatives, any friends gave their hands to my family or to me in this unbearable time. I had no one to share my feelings, problems.. no one, no one at all, even God, but I still kept being practicing Muslim. I hold my beloved mother so hard, and I said, “Mum, I love you so much, much ever. I am ready to give my life for you.” We sat on the floor in front of the window in the big hall. It was about 1 am. We were goggled of doctors and other patients. I nestled my head against her shoulder and felt into gentle slumber; I did not sleep for days hence I was completely spaced out. I reeled out the hospital with gloomy face. This way of life, caused a great deal of stress for stunning me for long time. It is impossible to forget such horrific experience – they linger in the memory forever. Despite these occasional setbacks, I continued, headstrong, to pursue my passion for all things early modern. I did believe that the sorrows of my earlier years would give way to joy in later life. I got big ideas. I swore that I will not ask for help from anybody in any case in this world, I will make them ashamed who dished the dirt, who look at me as a piece of rubbish. Therefore, I took advantage of standing on my feet by myself.

hood DSC03226

Right after high school, I entered Tashkent Law College in capital city of Uzbekistan. I continued to come across many obstacles while I was a college student or even at university. After graduating my college, I took an entering exam at Tashkent Law University but I have failed. Another event, which shifted my life forever, that I have applied document for Uzbek State World Languages University. Being a lawyer was not a dream anymore. Not because of I could not pass the exam at Law University but I thought rational for a while. It is better to learn language and travel around the world, take my mother to overseas, to see the masterpieces of the modern or even ancient architecture rather than become a prosecutor and sentence people, make mothers suffer. It was outstanding decision I suppose. This was tremendous breakthrough in my life. In the nutshell, I have succeeded. In 2006, I became a student of Uzbek State World Languages University. My undergraduate curriculum consisted mainly of English classes. My student period was full of challenges in terms of economic circumstances and academic difficulties. I lodged with my friend when I came to capital city for the first time. I have faced an independent but tough life as I was living far from my family. Knowledge and gaining bachelor degree have now become more important than they had ever been before. I was doing well at University, after the first year my GPA was 3.7 out of 4 but in the following year I got in trouble with my main English teacher because of I was used to find his mistakes and got in discussions beyond the topic which was being taught but still in academic sphere. He has stopped paying attention to me, stopped answering my question, started getting bad grades from him even though I was one of the most active students in the class, though; my grades from other subjects were high. I was hunger of knowledge. Seeing no other alternatives, I continued to learn English at home, it turned into self-study. On the other hand, I was suffering economically as well. A friend, whom I was used to stay together, has transferred his study to the city where his family works. Alone at home. Nothing to eat. There were my relatives in the same city where I studied. I had no option visiting them for dinner or asking money for daily expenditures but feeling of shame push me back. I have already had my word that I will not ask for help from anybody else as they did not do when I was in need. I will never ever forget that once I opened a refrigerator and I saw a pair of carrot but they were uneatable… Carrots kept me alive for another bad day.. Twice I have lost myself, first one was at the bus stop, and another one has occurred in the bus, on the way to University. I became “skin and bone.” Saturdays and Sundays my schedule was not full, so I found myself with extra time on my hands. I joined my acquaintance to work at reconstructing buildings. It was wintertime. We were making a roof for crockery factory, suddenly I stepped on the nail. I did not feel pain because I have already got my leg frozen. Snow turned into red; it was as if roof has already painted into red if one looked at it from the front of the building.

912504_574851249203031_998991125_n General speaking, I swore vengeance on everybody who put us in trouble, dishing dirt on us but without a force rather with “brain” as my mother always teaches me “..never hurt people, even though you are hurt, let it flow, the day will come, the sun will shine between clouds again then they will regret. Just be patient.” Nothing could have been further from the truth. June 2010, I was defending my final research paper for gaining bachelor degree. Defending time has already come. We were in the diploma defense hall. There were approximately 20 students, professors and the teacher who hated me a lot. I did all as I could. It was time to announce the final grades. Exciting moments. They called my name, I went in front of the hall and the dean started to speak.. “the best speaker in this year with the best result 88 points out of 100 is Jakhongir Shaturaev!” The claps for the accomplishment evoked me someone special whom I was not patient to tell what has happened just now. I am calling my mother. “hello, mother it is me. I have failed in the exam.” “Really?” she chimed in. I could feel nuance of her, however, I just wanted to startle her. She was expecting an inordinate result from me but she was still in the line while crying and I continued my speech “I am always ready to give a sacrifice for those I love. I am the best speaker and graduated with the highest score in my faculty. Your sacrifices for me have paid off” tears of sadness turned into tears of joy. Then I got a job in one of the top engineering company as a junior manager and English translator. The economic problem in my family stared to wear off and it was recovering gradually._DSC1375

The atmosphere became “fresh” again in my family as the wounds were gradually healing up.  My mother has been promoted, and she was risen from an ordinary teacher into the position of deputy dean at the University where she works. Despite my future visions and good intentions to pursue post-secondary studies, bachelor degree, many decisions, and circumstances influenced my path but nothing would stand in the way of achieving my goals. In 2011, i got to my target what I fought for throughout of my life. I got a full scholarship for Master Degree in Indonesia. That year was the beginning of the new era for my family and for me as well. My two elder sisters finished their master degree, my little sister entered to Tashkent State Medical University. 10 July 2014, I graduated my master degree with the GPA 3.8 out of 4. At the moment, I am working as a regional manager in Samsung Company, furthermore, still willing to gain PhD in these coming years. In addition, I am reading books, those suits my sophisticated taste and playing table tennis in my spare time.


Different events in my life have directed my life path depending on the circumstances I found myself in. Free feeling when I achieve the goals I have set for myself because my goal keeps me moving forward as I know if I fall seven times, I stand up eight times. The life taught me a lot and it still does. If you work hard, it will pay off for sure. Just have a little faith, hard work and be patient. On the way to reach your target you shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars. I found throughout my small life experience that in this living world impossible is nothing!

  to be continued….

Left Brain vs Right Brain


 “There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man.”- Aristotle

What Is Left Brain – Right Brain Theory?

According to the theory of left-brain or right-brain dominance, each side of the brain controls different types of thinking. Additionally, people are said to prefer one type of thinking over the other. For example, a person who is “left-brained” is often said to be more logical, analytical, and objective, while a person who is “right-brained” is said to be more intuitive, thoughtful, and subjective. In psychology, the theory is based on what is known as the lateralization of brain function. So does one side of the brain really control specific functions? Are people either left-brained or right-brained? Like many popular psychology myths, this one grew out of observations about the human brain that were then dramatically distorted and exaggerated. The right brain-left brain theory originated in the work of Roger W. Sperry, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981. While studying the effects of epilepsy, Sperry discovered that cutting the corpus collosum (the structure that connects the two hemispheres of the brain) could reduce or eliminate seizures. However, these patients also experienced other symptoms after the communication pathway between the two sides of the brain was cut. For example, many split-brain patients found themselves unable to name objects that were processed by the right side of the brain, but were able to name objects that were processed by the left-side of the brain. Based on this information, Sperry suggested that language was controlled by the left-side of the brain. Later research has shown that the brain is not nearly as dichotomous as once thought. For example, recent research has shown that abilities in subjects such as math are actually strongest when both halves of the brain work together. Today, neuroscientists know that the two sides of the brain work together to perform a wide variety of tasks and that the two hemispheres communicate through the corpus coliseum. “No matter how lateralized the brain can get, though, the two sides still work together,” science writer Carl Zimmer explained in an article for Discover magazine. “The pop psychology notion of a left brain and a right brain doesn’t capture their intimate working relationship. The left hemisphere specializes in picking out the sounds that form words and working out the syntax of the words, for example, but it does not have a monopoly on language processing. The right hemisphere is actually more sensitive to the emotional features of language, tuning in to the slow rhythms of speech that carry intonation and stress.”

In one study by researchers at the University of Utah, more 1,000 participants had their brains analyzed in order to determine if they preferred using one side over the other. The study revealed that while activity was sometimes higher in certain important regions, both sides of the brain were essentially equal in their activity on average. “It’s absolutely true that some brain functions occur in one or the other side of the brain. Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right. But people don’t tend to have a stronger left- or right-sided brain network. It seems to be determined more connection by connection,” explained the study’s lead author Dr. Jeff Anderson.

The Right Brain

According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:

  • Recognizing faces
  • Expressing emotions
  • Music
  • Reading emotions
  • Color
  • Images
  • Intuition
  • Creativity

The Left Brain

The left-side of the brain is considered to be adept at tasks that involve logic, language and analytical thinking. The left-brain is often described as being better at:

  • Language
  • Logic
  • Critical thinking
  • Numbers
  • Reasoning


Researchers have demonstrated that right-brain/left-brain theory is a myth, yet its popularity persists. Why? Unfortunately many people are likely unaware that the theory is outdated. Today, students might continue to learn about the theory as a point of historical interest – to understand how our ideas about how the brain works have evolved and changed over time as researchers have learned more about how the brain operates. While over-generalized and overstated by popular psychology and self-help texts, understanding your strengths and weaknesses in certain areas can help you develop better ways to learn and study. For example, students who have a difficult time following verbal instructions (often cited as a right-brain characteristic) might benefit from writing down directions and developing better organizational skills. The important thing to remember if you take one of the many left brain/right brain quizzes that you will likely encounter online is that they are entirely for fun and you shouldn’t place much stock in your results. In general, the left and right hemispheres of our brain process information in different ways. While we have a natural tendency towards one way of thinking, the two sides of our brain work together in our everyday lives. The right brain of the brain focuses on the visual, and processes information in an intuitive and simultaneous way, looking first at the whole picture then the details. The focus of the left brain is verbal, processing information in an analytical and sequential way, looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole.

Left brain thinking is verbal and analytical. Right brain is non-verbal and intuitive, using pictures rather than words. The best illustration of this is to listen to people give directions. The left brain person will say something like “From here, go west three blocks and turn north on Vine Street. Go three or four miles and then turn east onto Broad Street.” The right brain person will sound something like this: “Turn right (pointing right), by the church over there (pointing again). Then you will pass a McDonalds and a Walmart. At the next light, turn right toward the Esso station.” Though right-brain or non-verbal thinking is often regarded as more ‘creative’, there is no right or wrong here; it is merely two different ways of thinking. One is not better than the other, just as being right-handed is not ‘superior’ to being left-handed. What is important is to be aware that there are different ways of thinking, and by knowing what your natural preference is, you can pay attention to your less dominant side to improve the same.

By learning abacus through the systematic training approach at UCMAS, children can fully realize their potential by activating both sides of their brain. By consciously using the right side of our brain, we can be more creative. More so , because left brain strategies are the ones used most often in the classroom, right brain students sometimes feel neglected. By activating the power of both hemispheres, a child will be able to retain knowledge better and become proficient in any subject, especially math.



Certain bodily functions are assigned to either the right or left side of the brain. The brain’s right hemisphere controls the muscles on the left side of the body, while the left hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body. In general, the left hemisphere is dominant in language: processing what you hear and handling most of the duties of speaking. It’s also in charge of carrying out logic and exact mathematical computations. When you need to retrieve a fact, your left brain pulls it from your memory. The right hemisphere is mainly in charge of spatial abilities, face recognition and processing music. It performs some maths, but only rough estimations and comparisons. The brain’s right side also helps us to comprehend visual imagery and make sense of what we see. It plays a role in language, particularly in interpreting context and a person’s tone.

The Right Brain

  • Sees, thinks and processes information in whole, concrete images, therefore, it does not use a step-by-step method to reach a conclusion.
  • Has difficulty understanding the parts of whole images without the whole object present. For example if a teacher is using an orange cut up into pieces to demonstrate fractions there should also be a whole orange in view of the student to keep the “whole” picture in their minds.
  • Has difficulty thinking in sequences and has to be trained in sequencing skills, using concrete materials and visual aids. Examples of aids are: blocks with letters or numbers, flashcards, multiplication tables, coins for understanding money, clock faces with removable numbers, etc.
  • The right brain is reality-based because it thinks in whole, concrete images; that is, it thinks in whole pictures and does not think in the abstract or parts. Therefore, it cannot work easily with abstract symbols like words and numbers.
  • Thinks multi-dimensionally, or comprehending a subject on many different analytical levels. Therefore a right-brained person will not fully understand a concept until all aspects of the subject are put together to form the whole image or conclusion.
  • Has difficulty focusing on and organizing a large body of information such as a school project with written material, drawings, photos, references, etc. This is because a right-brained person is always using a multi-dimensional thinking process and can get confused where to start on a project and how to put it together in a logical, step-by-step format.
  • Thinks emotionally, intuitively, creatively, globally and analytically
  • May have difficulty with the verbal or language arts skills of hand printing, phonics, spelling, reading, writing sentences and paragraphs
  • May also have difficulty understanding and working with mathematical concepts of time, measurements, size and weights, money, fractions, number facts, word problems, algebra and geometry
  • May not be able to follow oral and written instructions without a visual demonstration. Needs all three senses involved: listening, seeing and touching.
  • Reacts best to visual images, oral discussions and handling objects
  • May excel in music, art, drawing, athletics and coordinated physical movement.
  • May be naturally mechanically-minded always taking things apart, repairing or improving them without instruction or even coming up with new inventions.
  • Remembers faces, places and events very well but not the names.
  • May have a photographic memory for images, reading selections, oral discussions, places visited and musical works.

The Left Brain

  • Thinks in abstract letters, numbers, written words and formulas
  • Excels in mathematics, reading, spelling, writing, sequencing and the use of verbal and written language
  • Is strongly verbal and reacts best to verbal input
  • Responds well to phonics when learning to spell and read
  • Handles sequencing of numbers, letters, words, sentences and ideas easily
  • Does not need to visualize in whole, concrete images to understand ideas, both concrete and abstract
  • Sees the parts within the whole first, then arrives at the whole concept of a given idea.

Look at the picture below for about 30 seconds and have a think about what you see. Then read below to evaluate the results of what you saw and find out if you are left or right brain orientated.


If you see the lady turning clockwise you are using your right brain

If you see the lady turning anti-clockwise you are using your left brain

Some people do see both ways, but most people see it only one way. See if you can make her go one way and then the other by shifting the brain’s current. BOTH DIRECTIONS CAN BE SEEN. If you look away, she may switch from one direction to the other. We find that if you just look at her feet or relax and look at the floor where the reflection shows, she will switch direction! Experimentation has shown that the two different sides, or hemispheres, of the brain are responsible for different manners of thinking.

Differences between the Left & Right Brain

Left Brain              Right Brain

Logical                   Intuitive

Sequential            Random

Analytical             Holistic

Rational                 Synthesizing

Objective               Subjective

Looks at part        Looks at whole

Most individuals have a distinct preference for one of these styles of thinking. Some, however, are more whole-brained and equally adept at both modes. In general, schools tend to favor left-brain modes of thinking, while downplaying the right-brain activities. Left-brain scholastic subjects focus on logical thinking, analysis, and accuracy. Right-brained subjects, on the other hand, focus on aesthetics, feeling, and creativity.



First Cause:

Difficulty understanding any concept without starting with the “whole picture”. The right brain learner thinks and understands the world in whole concrete images. If the whole concrete image has not been presented first and is available when the student is starting to learn the parts, the parts will not make any sense and the brain will discard them. The right brain needs to start with and see whole images and whole concepts, not the separated parts.

Second Cause:

Difficulty with understanding the parts separate from the whole image of the word. If these students cannot see the parts within the whole and the whole image at the same time, they cannot make sense out of pieces or parts of information. For example, demonstrating fractions. Use two oranges, keep one whole, cut the other up first into halves then into quarters, but always have the visual image of the whole orange present. The student must understand that the word fraction stands for the equal parts you have created from the whole.

Third Cause:

Difficulty with the skills of hand printing, spelling, reading and composing sentences correctly. This usually means that the right brain cannot transfer its concrete images adequately to the left brain which works with abstracts and uses the language of words and numbers. The right-brain thinker cannot learn, analyze or work with what they do not understand or can process. This is a strong indication that although the students are taking in information and attempting to store it in whole concrete images, they are not using it for thinking or learning that requires abstract processing. Instead they are memorizing the image of the information and giving it back verbatim in their answers.

They can do this easily if they are expected to give one word answers or complete a sentence, but thinking out cause and effect is next to impossible because it is an abstract task that means nothing to them and requires proper training to cope with it.

Fourth Cause:

Difficulty with sequencing (put in a logical order) numbers, letters, words, sentences, ideas, thoughts. If the students can neither see the “parts within the whole” in their correct sequence, they cannot spell, read, write sentences and paragraphs, nor do mathematical calculations.

Fifth Cause:

Difficulty understanding the abstract. The right-brain learner does not always understand the abstract words, thoughts and ideas they hear or read as they cannot easily turn them into whole concrete images they can visualize. If the dyslexic student cannot complete a thought in a visual image, they will have problems saving it and storing it in long term memory because it does not make sense. The right-brain thinker attempts to understand what is being read or spoken by catching the concrete nouns and active verbs, or by using intuition to fill in the blanks or reason it out.

Sixth Cause:

Difficulty with building a memorized word list.It is very important for all students, including dyslexics, to have a memorized sight list of words that is appropriate to their grade level. These words must be memorized beforehand so the brain does not have to lose time during reading figuring out how the word is decoded, what it sounds like or means. If the student spends too much time in decoding and recognizing the individual words, comprehension of the story is lost.

The student is forced to reread the passage over and over to understand what they have just read. Their short-term memory can consequently dump the information when the right-brain has struggled too long to decode the words and find context in what they are reading. Therefore, the student will not be able to answer any questions about their reading assignment because the student has not processed the information correctly or stored it in long-term memory.

Seventh Cause:

Difficulty in following instructions. Dyslexic students need very specific and complete instructions on how to do an assignment, project, test or complete a lesson. Again this is about the necessity to see the whole picture. They need to understand how the assignment starts and ends. They need to know: where to put their name, date and title; what kind of paper to use; pen, pencil or computer; the date to hand it in; how the answers should look (for example: one word answers, a paragraph or a page); and any other issues that may be of concern for the student. Once the student has all the information they require they have the “whole picture” of what to do and can now see the parts so they are ready to start the assignment. Also the entire lesson or explanation must be given at one time on the same day. If this does not happen, the students will forget everything they should have learned to be able to work on and complete the assignment. Dyslexic students should always be allowed and encouraged to ask questions to fill in any gaps they have in understanding what they are required to do.


The right and left hemisphere of the brain develop differently and have complementary strengths. The average person only uses around 10% of their brain, as most routine tasks carried out during work or learning predominantly use the left hemisphere. As a result, we do not make sufficiently balanced use of both hemispheres when thinking and learning. The effects of this have a major impact on every individual and on society as a whole. We are barely aware of what we could achieve if we were to think and learn using both hemispheres to their full potential – we are leaving tremendous possibilities and abilities untapped. Many problems in our education systems, in business and in our personal lives can be traced back to this.

Brain training: What effect can it have?

Truly successful learning can only occur when the two hemispheres of the brain, with their different ways of thinking, are used in full conjunction with each other. The bridge of neural fibers that makes this interhemispheric communication possible is the corpus callosum. With targeted training, both hemispheres can work together more effectively, improving the brain’s ability to learn and take in new information. Here are some of the ways you could benefit from this kind of training in your professional and everyday life:

  • Remember where you put things and remember names more easily
  • Learn new things more quickly
  • Retain what you have learned and be able to recall it more quickly
  • Work more productively
  • Improve your concentration
  • Improve your ability to multitask
  • Understand other people’s emotions better
  • Improve your creativity when tackling new challenges
  • Get better at doing sums in your head

Therefore, to improve your quality of life and professional success, it is worth investing a little time to train your brain to use both hemispheres together more effectively. Three 10-minute sessions a week is all it takes – you should begin to notice the results after 2-3 months. In fact, after completing a 10-minute training unit, you will already feel the benefit after just an hour of work. As formal schooling focuses heavily on left-brain skills, the games lend themselves to use by school pupils who want to maintain a good hemispheric balance. The games will also be suitable for use by older people who want to stay mentally sharp. At the end of every week of training, the user will be shown a personal Connectedness Index (CI) that indicates how strong the collaboration between the two hemispheres of their brain is.

 What does intelligence have to do with the size of the brain?

Gregor Brand writes: “Intelligence is a collective term for cognitive ability. It is often erroneously correlated with the size of the brain. ‘Intelligence’ describes how clever, learned or shrewd someone is. Factors primarily associated with the left hemisphere are commonly linked to intelligence. The reason for the belief that intelligence is linked to the size of the brain is obvious. The brain is the organ that controls functions like language and conscious thought, closely associated with intelligence. Ever since this has been common knowledge, people have speculated whether having a larger brain leads to greater intelligence. Nevertheless, this notion is unfounded. Regardless of whether and how the size and weight of the brain are related to intelligence, it is agreed that no direct correlation to individual intelligence can be derived. This is because the brain is not only responsible for the types of functions measured by intelligence tests, it also interacts constantly with the body in a variety of ways.”

Can intelligence be measured by intelligence tests?

Yes. However, “intelligence” is such a loose term, encompassing all kinds of different fields of human achievement, that a strict definition will never be possible.

What is an intelligence test?

An intelligence test aims to measure someone’s intelligence by testing various areas of the brain. It takes gender differences and the different strengths of the two hemispheres into account, and its result thus provides an overall impression of cognitive ability.

What effect can brain training have?

Brain training is an attempt to train and strengthen mental skills. It can take the form of IQ training or more generalized intelligence training. Different parts of the brain can be trained individually, or the whole brain at once. Unlike our brain test, brain training aims to boost cognitive skills by stimulating the gray matter and improving performance on a systematic basis.

Memory training: what is that all about?

Memory training focuses on training and optimizing the brain and its recall ability. To achieve the best results, you need a good understanding of how your brain and memory work, including whether you are more of a left-brain or right-brain thinker. Knowing this allows for targeted memory training that can help you remember things better and work more productively.

Do video games negatively affect mental performance?

On the contrary – a recent study by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Charité University Psychiatric Clinic at St. Hedwig Hospital, Berlin, suggests that playing video games enlarges areas of the brain important for spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic thinking and fine motor skills, and that the beneficial effects of playing computer games can also help in the treatment of mental illnesses. To find out the effect of video games on the brain, the scientists had a group of adults play the game ‘Super Mario 64’ for 30 minutes a day for two months,” explains the Max Planck Institute’s press release on the study, “while a control group was not allowed to play the game. Participants’ brains were then measured using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT). Compared to the control group, the game-players had increased grey matter – the part of the brain containing neural cell bodies. Enlargement was seen in the right hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and parts of the cerebellum. These areas of the brain are of central importance in spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic thinking and digital fine motor skills. Interestingly, the enlargement was greater in the test subjects who most enjoyed playing the game.”

Personality tests: why are they so popular?

Personality is important to all of us – people everywhere are keen to develop skills and build on their strengths. Personality tests are available in countless numbers online and are a regular feature in women’s magazines. People always want to know: what am I doing right? What are my weaknesses? What are my strengths, and how strong are they? How can I improve my personality, and which aspects in particular? Ultimately, the key questions to ask yourself are: how much am I prepared to change, and what is my personal motivation to do so? It’s a topic that fascinates people, and the media always finds new ways to appeal to this foible by creating personality tests to attract and hopefully retain interest.

How do I find the right job? Can the brain test help me find a position that suits me?

The brain and its hemispheric balance undoubtedly have an effect on the jobs people are happiest in. However, the position you hold and are able to rise to in your chosen field also plays an important role in how strong each hemisphere can become. In turn, training the hemispheres to work together more effectively is sure to improve work performance and thus career prospects.

Click start to check out which side of your brain is dominant


Kingdom Tower – the tallest skyscraper in the world


Kingdom Tower

Kingdom Tower (Arabic: برج المملكة‎ Burj al Mamlakah), and initially proposed as the Mile-High Tower, (Arabic: برج الميل‎), is a skyscraper currently under construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at a preliminary cost of SR4.6 billion (US$1.23 billion). It will be the centrepiece and first phase of a SR75 billion (US$20 billion) proposed development known as Kingdom City that will be located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah. If completed as planned, the tower will reach unprecedented heights, becoming the tallest building in the world, as well as the first structure to reach the one-kilometre-high mark. The tower was initially planned to be 1.6 kilometres (1 mi) high; however, the geology of the area proved unsuitable for a tower of that height. The design, created by American architect Adrian Smith, who also designed Burj Khalifa, incorporates many unique structural and aesthetic features. The creator and leader of the project is Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the wealthiest Arab in the Middle East, and nephew of King Abdullah. Al-Waleed is the chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), the largest company in Saudi Arabia, which is a partner in Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), which was formed in 2009 for the development of Kingdom Tower and City. Reception of the proposal has been highly polarized, receiving high praise from some as a culturally significant icon that will symbolize the nation’s wealth and power, while others question its socioeconomic motives, and forecast that it will have negative financial consequences. At over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) and a total construction area of 530,000 square meters (5.7 million square feet), Expected to cost $1.2 billion to construct, Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building featuring a luxury hotel, office space, serviced apartments, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory. Kingdom Tower’s height will be at least 173 meters (568 feet) taller than Burj Khalifa, which was designed by Adrian Smith while at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.


The building has been scaled down from its initial 1.6 km (about one mile) proposal, which was never fully designed, to a height of at least 1,000 metres (3,281 ft) (the exact height is being kept private while in development, similar to the Burj Khalifa), which, at about one kilometre, would still make it by far the tallest building or structure in the world to date, standing at least 173 m (568 ft) taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The tower and its 50-hectare (120-acre) plot, which will include other buildings, will be the first phase of the Kingdom City development, a three-phase project proposed for a large area of undeveloped waterfront land with an area of 5.2 km2 (2.0 sq mi). It was originally planned to cover 23 km2 (8.9 sq mi) and cost SR100 billion. The area is located roughly 20 km (12 mi) north of the port city of Jeddah. Kingdom City was designed by HOK Architects, and is estimated to cost at least US$20 billion (SR75 billion) and take around ten years to build.[8] It will essentially become a new district of Jeddah. The second phase of the project will be the infrastructure development needed to support the city, and the third phase has not yet been disclosed. The focal point of the development, Kingdom Tower’s primary purpose will be to house a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, Class A office space, and luxury condominiums; it will also have the world’s highest observatory. Although the Kingdom City plot is nearly isolated from the current urban core of Jeddah, northward is generally considered the direction in which the city will spread in the future: however, no land tracts of such size were available closer to the city. The tower is being designed primarily by Chicago-based architect Adrian Smith of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS + GG), the same architect who designed the Burj Khalifa while he was working for Skidmore, Owings & Merill (SOM), for which he worked almost 40 years. AS + GG was formed in 2006 by Adrian Smith, Gordon Gill, and Robert Forest. The development of the tower is being managed by Emaar Properties PJSC. Thornton Tomasetti has been selected as the structural engineering firm, and Environmental Systems Design, Inc. (ESD) is a part of the AS + GG design team that serves as the building services engineering consultants.



In May 2008, soil testing in the area cast doubt over whether the proposed location could support a skyscraper of the proposed one mile height, and MEED reported that the project had been scaled back, making it “up to 500 metres (1,640 ft) shorter.”Reports in 2009 suggested that the project had been put on hold due to the global economic crisis and that Bechtel (the former engineering firm) was “in the process of ending its involvement with the project.” Kingdom Holding Company quickly criticized the news reports, insisting that the project had not been shelved. In March 2010, Adrian Smith of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS + GG) was selected as the preliminary architect (though they deny involvement in the earlier, mile-high designs). Later, when the proposal was more serious, they won a design competition between eight leading architectural firms including Kohn Pedersen Fox, Pickard Chilton, Pelli Clarke Pelli, and Foster + Partners, as well as the firm Smith formerly worked for, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, which was the final competitor in the competition before AS + GG was chosen. In addition to Burj Khalifa, Adrian Smith has designed several other recent supertall towers; the Zifeng Tower in Nanjing, China, the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, and the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, as well as the Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China. The four buildings are all among the top eleven tallest in the world, and the Pearl River Tower is a unique tower that uses zero net energy as it gets all its power from wind, sunlight, and geothermal mass. In October 2010, the owners (Kingdom Holding Company) signed a development agreement with Emaar Properties PJSC. The final height of the building was questionable, but it was still listed to be over 1 kilometre. Kingdom Holding said construction was progressing. In March and April 2011, several news agencies reported that the Mile-High Tower design had been approved at that height and that the building would cost almost US$30 billion (SR112.5 billion). This design was going to be drastically larger than the current design, with a floor area of 3,530,316 m2 (38,000,000 sq ft) and would have utilized futuristic wind aversion and energy producing technology for sustainability. It and the surrounding City would have had the ability to accommodate 80,000 residents and one million visitors, according to RIA Novosti. Many things were rumored about the mile-high designs, such as that it would be so high the top would freeze at night, helicopters would be used for construction, parachutes would be part of the fire escape plan, and that an elevator ride to the top would take 12 minutes (multiple transfers would be required) in a typical elevator and five minutes in a high-speed elevator. Adrian Smith denied that he was a part of any of the earlier designs, which had been purported in the media. One source even corrected its article and clarified the misunderstanding. In early August 2011, the Binladin Group was chosen as the main construction contractor with the signing of a SR4.6 billion (US$1.23 billion) contract, which is less than it cost to build the Burj Khalifa (US$1.5 billion). New renderings were revealed and on 2 August it was widely reported that the project was a go at the 1,000 m (3,281 ft) height with a building area of 530,000 square metres (5,704,873 sq ft), and will take 63 months to complete. Announcement of the main construction contract signing caused Kingdom Holding Company’s stock to jump 3.2% in one day, in addition to KHC already having reported a 21% rise in second quarter net profit. Also, for the first time, architects Gordon Gill and Adrian Smith officially announced their involvement in the project. On 21 September 2012, it was announced that financing for the Kingdom Tower was complete. Talal Al Maiman, chief executive officer and managing director of Kingdom Real Estate Development Co. said in an interview “We have all the investors, all the finance, all the money we need,” Al Maiman said. “It took us beyond 20 months to convince investors, working every detail and aspect of financing.” On 10 October 2012, Kingdom Holding awarded contracts totaling $98 million. Kingdom Holding Co. has signed a deal with Subul Development Company for the sale of land in the Kingdom Riyadh Land project for $66.5 million. The Kingdom Riyadh Land project, a mixed-use commercial and residential development, will generate more than $5.33 billion of total investment and will house up to 75,000 people. The final master plan contract was awarded to Omrania & Associates and Barton Willmore. Bauer, a German Foundations equipment manufacturer and contractor was awarded a US$32 million contract to support the initial phases of construction of the Kingdom Tower. This includes the installation of 270 bored piles with diameters of 1.5 meters and 1.8 meters. The enabling works are expected to begin before the end of 2012 and take about 10 months to complete. Construction started on April 1, 2013. Piling was completed in December 2013.



The triangular footprint and sloped exterior of Kingdom Tower is designed to reduce wind loads; its high surface area also makes it ideal for residential units. The overall design of the tower, which will be located near both the Red Sea and the mouth of the Obhur Creek (Sharm Ob’hur) where it widens as it meets the Red Sea, as well as having frontage on a man-made waterway and harbor that will be built around it, is intended to look like a desert plant shooting upwards as a symbol of Saudi Arabia’s growth and future, as well as to add prominence to Jeddah’s status as the gateway into the holy city of Mecca. The designer’s vision was “one that represents the new spirit in Saudi Arabia”. The 23 hectare (57 acre) area around Kingdom Tower will contain public space and a shopping mall, as well as other residential and commercial developments, and be known as the Kingdom Tower Water Front District, of which, the tower’s site alone will take up 500,000 m2 (5,381,955 sq ft). As with many other very tall skyscrapers, including the Kingdom Centre in Riyadh, which is generally considered to have sparked the recent significant commercial developments around it in the district of Olaya, much of the intention of Kingdom Tower is to be symbolic as well as to raise the surrounding land value rather than its own profitability. To that effect, the tower’s architect, Adrian Smith, said that the tower “evokes a bundle of leaves shooting up from the ground–a burst of new life that heralds more growth all around it”. Smith states that the tower will create a landmark in which it and the surrounding Kingdom City are interdependent. Talal Al Maiman, a board member of Jeddah Economic Company, said, “Kingdom Tower will be a landmark structure that will greatly increase the value of the hundreds of other properties around it in Kingdom City and indeed throughout North Jeddah.” The concept of profitability derived from building high density developments and malls around such a landmark was taken from the Burj Khalifa, where it has proven successful, as its surrounding malls, hotels and condominiums in the area known as Downtown Dubai have generated the most considerable revenue out of that project as a whole, while the Burj Khalifa itself made little or no profit. A rendering showing the bottom of the unique, glass-floored, circular sky terrace that will overlook the Red Sea from over 610 metres (2,000 ft). The large, outdoor sky terrace will overlook the Red Sea and have an area of over 697 square metres (7,500 sq ft)


The building will have a total of 59 elevators, five of which will be double-deck elevators, as well as 12 escalators. It will also have the highest observation deck in the world, to which high speed elevators will travel at up to 10 metres (33 feet) per second (slightly over 35 km/h (22 mph)) in both directions. The elevators cannot go faster because the rapid change in air pressure over that much distance would be nauseating; at 914 m (3,000 ft), the air pressure is over 10 kPa (1.5 psi) lower than at ground level (about 10% less air pressure). They must also be efficient so the cables are not unbearably heavy. Kingdom Tower will have three sky lobbies where elevator transfers can be made, and no elevator will go from the bottom to the highest occupied floor. No official floor count has been given, however Smith stated in a television interview that it will be about 50 floors more than the Burj Khalifa, which has 163 occupied floors, leading to the inference that Kingdom Tower will have over 200 floors. The tower will also feature a large, roughly 30 m (98 ft) diameter outdoor balcony, known as the sky terrace, on one side of the building for private use by the penthouse floor at level 157; it is not the observation deck. It was originally intended to be a helipad, but it was revealed to be an unsuitable landing environment by helicopter pilots. The building’s large notches will also serve as shaded terraces for other areas of the tower and the exterior of the building will use low-conductivity glass to save on cooling costs by reducing thermal loads. In addition, the lower air density, exacerbated by the thin desert atmosphere, will cause the outdoor air temperature towards the top of the tower to be lower than the ground level air, which will provide natural cooling. There is also significantly more air flow (wind) at heights, which is very strong at one kilometre and had a large impact on the structural design of the tower. The Burj Khalifa actually takes in the cooler, cleaner air from the top floors and uses it to air condition the building. Kingdom Tower will be oriented such that no façade directly faces the sun; it will also use the condensate water from the air conditioning system for irrigation and other purposes throughout the building. Chicago-based Environmental Systems Design, Inc. will provide mechanical, plumbing, electrical and fire protection engineering, as well as tele-data, audio/visual, security systems and acoustics. Langan International will be responsible for geotechnical engineering as well as some ground level site work such as transportation engineering and parking, including the design of the proposed 3,000–4,700 car underground parking garage that will be located near, but not under the tower for terrorism reasons. Langan also designed the tower’s foundation, which has to be able to support the tower despite the less than optimal subsurface conditions, such as soft rock and permeable coral, which could cause the piles to settle. Thornton Tomasetti has provided the structural engineering for two of the previous world’s tallest building title holders, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, and the Taipei 101 in Taiwan, as well as the under construction Ping An Finance Centre in Shenzhen, which will be the tallest building in China after completion. Saudi Binladin Group is the largest construction firm in the Middle East, with over 35,000 workers and hundreds of projects. They recently constructed the topped-out 601 m (1,972 ft) Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower in Mecca, which is the tallest building in Saudi Arabia and second tallest in the world, as well as the largest skyscraper in the world by floor area and volume. Aside from buildings, the firm has also constructed many major infrastructure projects, such as the King Abdulaziz (Jeddah) International Airport expansion and the 775 km (482 mi) six lane Al Qassim Expressway through Saudi Arabia. Saudi Binladin Group is owned by the family of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Ladin, whom the family disavowed long before his death. Nonetheless, it has sparked some minor media buzz. When asked his thoughts about this in an interview, Adrian Smith simply stated that they are the largest construction firm in the Middle East, most significant work in Saudi Arabia was done by them, and that it is a very large family that shouldn’t be stereotyped by one of its members. Furthermore, in January 2012, New York City judge George B. Daniels ruled that no charges could be filed against SBG to repay the victims of 9/11 as there is no evidence of the construction firm financially supporting bin Laden after he was removed as a shareholder following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.


In addition to its primary functions, the building is slated to include a significant amount of retail as well as a wide variety of other unique amenities with the intention that it functions as a nearly self-sustaining entity, approaching the concept of a “vertical city”. The building’s design has been applauded as simplistic and buildable, yet bold, brilliantly sculpted, and high-tech, with AS + GG describing it as “an elegant, cost-efficient and highly constructible design.” The estimated construction cost of US$1.23 billion, which is less than that of the Burj Khalifa (US$1.5 billion), can be attributed to cheap labor in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, and that three shifts will work around the clock to expedite the process. Construction costs have also declined since the global financial crisis.

In July 2011, a report by consultancy EC Harris found that Saudi Arabia is the cheapest country in the Middle East to build in, half as expensive as Bahrain, and 34% cheaper than the United Arab Emirates, where Burj Khalifa is located. The future towers’ site is located in very close proximity to King Abdulaziz (Jeddah) International Airport, whose runways nearly align with the towers’ site, which will have an effect on the airspace. While skyscraper experts have stated that towers well over one kilometre, even two kilometres (6,562 feet) high, are technically buildable, physical sustainability and practicality issues come into play in towers of this height. From a real estate perspective, it is considered virtually impossible to create enough demand to justify such a tower, but that at some point someone with a great excess of money will likely do it anyway. As for physical restraints, Bart Leclercq, head of structures for WSP Middle East recently said, “I truly believe that 1 mile—1.6 kilometres—is within range. Over that, it may be possible if there are improvements in concrete quality. But 2km is too big a figure –it’s just a step too far at the moment.” Sustainability of such a tall building would include issues such as vertical transportation limitations, with elevators only being able to go so far, building sway, caused by wind, and super column settling, which occurs because concrete tends to shrink as it hydrates and settles under load, whereas steel is dimensionally stable, thereby causing the floors to become unleveled. Additionally, a very large core size is required in very tall buildings to support the structure as well as to house the large number of elevators needed. The core size consumes a significant amount of the space on the lower and middle floors. One of the ways Kingdom Tower attempts to overcome these issues is with its smooth, sloped-exterior design, which, although more expensive to build, offers superior aerodynamic performance over “stepped” designs such as the Burj Khalifa, allowing it to have a more conservative core overall. This was determined by wind tunnel tests performed at Burj Khalifa. Kingdom Tower will also utilize copious stiffening materials to prevent the excessive sway that would otherwise make the occupants of upper floors nauseous on windy days, including very high strength concrete that will be up to several metres thick in certain parts of the core. This, along with the highly integrated steel frame and shear walls, is also intended to prevent catastrophic failure of the structure in the event of a terrorist attack. Traditionally, these physical constraints, namely the space consumed by elevators, were considered to make a building become increasingly less profitable past 80 floors or so. More recently, it has been the advent of truly mixed-use design such as Shanghai Tower and Burj Khalifa, as well as improved building technology, that have outdated this rule of thumb, which generally applied to single use buildings. Both towers share a similar three-petal triangular footprint for stability and a tapering form, with sheer height and wind being the biggest structural design challenge. The smooth, sloped façade of Kingdom Tower particularly induces a beneficial phenomenon known as “wind vortex shedding,”[66] whereas normally when wind swirls around the leeward side of a building, rushing in from both sides to fill the low pressure zone, it would create tornado-like vortices, which would rock the building from side to side due to variations in pressure, direction, and velocity, the dynamic façade of Kingdom Tower creates an infinite timing differential (whereas Burj Khalifa is limited by the number of steps) in air pressure exertion in any one particular direction, thus creating a more stable structure, as there is no broad area of outstanding pressure or depression at any given time. Put simply, a smooth taper is more aerodynamic than an irregular or jagged taper, while both are advantageous over rectangular geometries. At Kingdom Tower’s height, it is considered essentially unfeasible to use a traditional square design.


To overcome elevator issues, the tower will use its large number of efficient elevators as well as its three sky lobbies, which allows transfers to be made between elevators serving a specific area with no elevator being overburdened. Much was learned from Burj Khalifa that helped with the design of Kingdom Tower not only structurally, but in methods for designing practical mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems, as well as adhering to local regulations and international building codes. Despite all the physical challenges, Adrian Smith states that practicality is still the greater challenge over structural durability, even in such super-tall designs, and that as with all buildings, Kingdom Tower’s form and was primarily derived respective of what the building’s uses would be, then in accordance with the structural factors that would have to be considered to deliver it. Another unique feature of the design is a sky terrace, roughly 30 meters (98 feet) in diameter, at level 157. It is an outdoor amenity space intended for use by the penthouse floor.


The Kingdom Tower Waterfront District

The area surrounding Kingdom Tower is known as the Kingdom Tower Waterfront District. Designed by AS+GG, the 23-hectare Waterfront District provides a cohesive and pedestrian-friendly setting for the magnificent Kingdom Tower while creating a pleasant neighborhood experience nestled along the Kingdom City lakefront. The Kingdom Tower Waterfront District encompasses a high-end shopping mall and additional development parcels that accommodate commercial and high-density residential uses, offices, two luxury hotels and high-quality open spaces, including the central Tower Plaza. A serene waterfront promenade connects Kingdom Tower, the various development parcels, the open space areas and the mall together. The result is an exciting mixed-use area that offers a concentrated and comprehensive experience including vibrant shopping, entertainment and open-space amenities. The Waterfront District also provides an array of connections to other areas within Kingdom City’s overall master plan, designed by HOK Architects. The Waterfront District is subdivided into 13 development parcels, the largest of which are the Kingdom Tower parcel of about 90,000 square meters and the mall parcel of about 65,000 sm. Smaller mixed-use parcels of between 5,000 sm and 10,000 sm are arranged in two development precincts, North and South, each with its own unifying palette of materials. The parcel sizes vary depending on the density of each site; the larger sites are farther away from Kingdom Tower, with the smaller sites stepping closer to the tower, creating the effect of an architectural amphitheater around the structure. Views of Kingdom Tower from throughout the District—including the sensitively designed 20- to 60-story buildings around the tower—are spectacular. The buildings closest to the tower are of lower heights, ensuring that the outer buildings also have access to views of Kingdom Tower.



While the official construction estimate is five years and three months (63 months), others calculate that it will take significantly longer, over seven years, based on the duration of Burj Khalifa’s construction, which was over six years. Geotechnical investigation (soil testing) took place in 2008. Work on the foundation was scheduled to begin towards the end of 2012. However, statements that construction will begin soon have been made since 2008, but have been postponed each time. In August 2011, the start of construction was slated as “no later than December,” with some saying “immediately,” and that construction is imminent. This meant the tower was expected to be completed in 2017, though at that time it was also possible that it could still have been completed by the date the media continued to publish, which was the prior estimate of late 2016. Only if construction had begun promptly and went smoothly could a late 2016 completion be achieved. Designs for the foundation were in place by early August 2011 and the contract for the piling was being tendered. On 16 August 2011, Langan International officially announced their involvement and that the foundation and piling had to be uniquely designed to overcome subsurface issues such as soft bedrock and porous coral rock, which normally could not support a skyscraper without settling. The foundation will be similar to that of the Burj Khalifa, but larger. It is expected to be around 60 metres (197 ft) deep with a concrete pad of around 7,500 m2 (80,729 sq ft). The concrete will have to have low permeability to keep out corrosive salt water from the Red Sea. Its depth and size is also considered to be an indicator of what the tower’s final height will be. The piles will be up to 200 metres (656 ft) deep and the pad over 90 metres (295 ft) across, yet even still the building, which will weigh over 900,000 tons, is expected to settle. The idea is that it settles evenly enough so that the building doesn’t tip or put undue stress on the superstructure. Computer modeling programs performed tests at the site to confirm that the foundation design would work. A later design for the foundation, to be constructed by Bauer in 2013, calls for 270 bored piles up to 110 metres (361 ft) deep which have to be installed into the difficult ground conditions. Some materials needed for the structure are 500,000 cubic meters of concrete and 80,000 tons of steel. Construction of the building will rely on cutting edge technology, including the high-strength reinforced concrete and the pumps used to elevate it to record heights, similar to what was used during Burj Khalifa’s construction. Bob Sinn, principal of Thornton Tomasetti states, “Concrete quality is getting better and better, as is pumping technology. There have been very strong advances in reinforced concrete over the last 20 years.” He continued, “Kingdom Tower is certainly feasible. It’s not a structural challenge. Technically I think a 2 km (6,562 ft)-tall tower could be done, but I don’t think it will be done anytime soon.

KingdomTower_Ext-CanopiesFromWater_(c)ASGG pic6



Official Name                        Kingdom Tower

Type                                          building

Status                                       Under Construction

Country                                   Saudi Arabia

City                                            Jeddah

Street Address                      Kingdom City (Map)

Building Function                serviced apartments / residential / hotel / office

Structural Material             concrete

Proposed                                  2011

Start of Construction           2013

Completion                               2019

Companies Involved

Owners                                     Jeddah Economic Company; Kingdom Holding Company

Developers                             Jeddah Economic Company; Kingdom Holding Company


• Design                                     Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

• Architect of Record            Dar al-Handasah Shair & Partners

Structural Engineer              Thornton Tomasetti

MEP Engineer                          Environmental Systems Design, Inc.

Project Managers                 EC Harris; Mace

Main Contractor                    Saudi Bin Laden Group

Other Consultant

• Wind                                   RWDI

Material Supplier

• Elevator                             KON


 Height: Architectural            1000.0 meter / 3281 feet

Height: To Tip                            1000.0 meter / 3281 feet

Height: Observatory              502.0 meter / 1647 feet

Floors Above Ground            167

Floors Below Ground             4

# of Elevators                           57

Top Elevator Speed               10 m/s

Tower GFA                                258,000 m² / 2,777,089 ft²

Development GFA                  8,127,000 m² / 87,478,300 ft²

# of Apartments                     530

# of Hotel Rooms                   200

# of Parking Spaces                    3190


Baduy Tribe


The Baduy (or Badui), tribe is a group of indigenous people in the Sundanese  sub – ethnic in  Lebak, are a traditional community living in the western part of the Indonesian province of Banten, near Rangkasbitung. They also have some taboos such as being photographed, especially those who belong to Badui Dalam or Inner Baduy cluster.


The term possibly the name originated from some Dutch researchers who seem to equate them with the Arabic Bedouin tribe who are known to be nomadic, another possibility because there are Baduy River and Baduy Mountain in the northern part of the region. The tribe prefers to call themselves as “urang Kanekes”, Urang – means people and Kanekes – is the name of the area where they live. Their population of 11,700 is centered in the Kendeng mountains at an elevation of 300–500 meters (975′-1,625′) above sea level. Their homeland in Banten, Java is contained in just 50 km2 (19 sq mi) of hilly forest area 120 km (75 mi) from Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. Baduy people are divided into two groups, namely the Baduy Dalam or Inner Baduy and Baduy Luar or Outer Baduy. They split up not because of a dispute but because of beliefs and customs that apply in each group. The characteristics of the Inner Baduy among others, dressed in a white shirt called Sangsang, because it is  only sangsang or attached to the body, there are no  buttons nor pockets.  They also wear a white headband, dark blue sarong up over the knee. All shirts are handmade, because sewing machine, or any machine for that matter, is forbidden here. The material comes from cotton thread woven using traditional looms. Similar material is used for the bottom side of their dress, which is actually a sarong with blue-black color, worn just wrapped around the waist. To prevent it from being loose and falling down, a long black piece of cloth   is used to tie it as a belt. The Inner Baduys rarely speak, only as needed. But they are highly trustworthy, though   strongly abide by the customary law, and is not easily affected  by any outside influences.


Meanwhile, the Outer Baduy people usually dressed in black, with pockets and  buttons like other people outside the Baduy area. The material is not necessarily of pure cotton yarn. They wear  a dark blue batik headband and also  carry a  traditional plaited  bags. They are allowed to   travel  by motor vehicles, to open a new field for farming from one place to another, and  to  work as farm laborer. They are easier to talk to but remain affected by the customary law because they still have to comply with and obey the law of their ancestors. There is a little leeway in the way Outer Baduy dress when compared to the Inner Baduy. It can be seen from the colors, models, motif or fashion style, showing that their lives have been influenced by foreign cultures. Clothing for men among the Baduys is very important. Another accessories is a big dagger or cleaver. Bothe the Inner or Outer Baduy man, whenever he wants to travel us cloth usually always carries  a cleaver tucked in  the waist and a Koja or bag made of  cloth or bags on his shoulder.



Ethnically the Baduys belong to the Sundanese ethnic group. Their racial, physical and linguistic traits bear much resemblance to the rest of the Sundanese people; however, the difference is in their way of life. Baduy people resist foreign influences and vigorously preserve their ancient way of life, while modern Sundanese are more open to foreign influences and a majority are Muslims. The Baduy are divided into two sub-groups; the Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy), and the Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy). No foreigners were allowed to meet the Inner Baduy, though the Outer Baduy do foster some limited contacts with the outside world. The origin of the word Baduy may come from the term “Bedouin”, although other sources claim the source is a name of a local river.

Language & Hood


The Baduy speak a dialect derived from archaic Sundanese. However, modern Sundanese and Javanese influences in their archaic dialect can be heard in their speech. Baduy houses are uniformly simple, constructed only of natural materials, such as bamboo and palm thatching, without windows, and are devoid of any furniture, chairs, tables or other furnishings. They use no modern utensils, mechanized equipment, or manufactured materials, such as glass or plastic, and no modern device or even domestic animal is used in their traditional Sweden rice farming techniques. Within the Baduy territory, there is no electricity or other modern conveniences, and no electronic equipment, motor vehicles or other instruments of the outside world are permitted to enter. Thus, many an anachronism in today’s rapidly industrializing Indonesia, rejecting all forms of modernization, and still following unique cultural and religious practices as defined by the Baduy adat law systems handed down by their ancestors more than four hundred years ago perceive the Baduy community.

Baduy Dalam & Baduy Luar


Inhabiting a special reserve of some 5,200 hectares set aside for the Baduy people by the Indonesian Government, the population of about 7,200 people live in two separate clans. The Inner Baduy (Baduy Dalam), numbering only 350 in three villages (kampung) in the core area, are the strictest adherents to Baduy spiritual belief, while the remaining population live in the Outer Baduy (Baduy Luar) area. The Baduy Dalam is the centre point of culture and religious following and the focus of rituals and sacred sites within the Baduy territory. Symbolically, the Baduy Dalam clan members may wear white with the black traditional clothing, while the Baduy Luar clan members are characteristically dressed in black or dark blue. The Baduy Luar serves as a buffer zone between the Baduy Dalam and the outside world with members of the outer clan acting as intermediaries for the more pure members of the inner clan.


Religion and Beliefs

The religion of the Baduy is known as Agama Sunda Wiwitan, a combination of traditional beliefs and Hinduism. However, due to lack of interaction with the outside world, their religion is more related to Kejawen Animism, though they still retain many elements of Hindu-Buddhist religion influences, like the terms they use to define things and objects, and the rituals in their religious activities.

According to kokolot (elder) of Cikeusik village, Kanekes people is not adherent of Hinduism or Buddhism, they follow animism, the belief that venerated and worshiped the spirit of ancestors. However in its development this faith is influenced and incorporated Hindu, and to some extent, Islamic elements.

A certain amount of Islamic influence has also penetrated into the religion of a few of the Baduy Luar in recent years (especially in Cicakal Girang village), with some original ideas thrown in for good measure. The ultimate authority is vested in Gusti Nu Maha Suci, who according to the Baduy sent Adam into the world to lead the life of a Baduy.


The Baduy also observe many mystical taboos. They are forbidden to kill, steal, lie, commit adultery, get drunk, eat food at night, take any form of conveyance, wear flowers or perfumes, accept gold or silver, touch money, or cut their hair. Other taboos relate to defending Baduy lands against invasion: they may not grow sawah (wet rice), use fertilizers, raise cash crops, use modern tools for working ladang soil, or keep large domestic animals.

There is evidence that they were originally influenced by Hindu, but retain much of their native animism ancestral veneration beliefs. They have adopted this many centuries before foreign influence including Arab (Islam), European (Christianity) etc.


The Baduy believe in one central deity, whom they call Batara Tunggal, and regard themselves as the descendents of seven minor deities sent to earth by Batara Tunggal at the beginning of humankind on the planet. The Baduy hold as most sacred a remote place near the centre of Baduy territory, known as Sasaka Domasa, where this event is said to have occurred and where the spirits of their ancestors are protected and revered. However, all Baduy territory is regarded as protected and sacred, particularly the most significant forest areas, which are not, permitted to be disturbed or altered. Consequently, these forests comprise a valuable environmental reserve and a perpetual resource for sustainable use by the community.


Social Classes


Generally, the Baduy are divided into two groups: The Baduy Dalam and The Baduy Luar. The community of villages in which they live are considered mandalas, derived from the Hindu/Buddhist concept but referring in the Indonesian context to places where religion is the central aspect of life. The population of about 400 Baduy Dalam consists of 40 families Kajeroan who live in the three villages of Cibeo, Cikertawana, and Cikeusik in Tanah Larangan (forbidden territory) where no stranger is permitted to spend the night. They are probably the purest Baduy stock. The Dalam follow the rigid buyut taboo system very strictly,(see Religion and Beliefs for more information about their taboos) and thus they have made very few contacts with the outside world as they are considered as “People of the sacred inner circle”. The Dalam are the only one of these two major clans that have the Pu’un, the spiritual priest of the Baduy. The Pu’un are the only people that visit the most hallowed and sacred ground of the Baduy which lies on Gunung Kendeng, in a place called Arca Domas. Unlike the Luar, the Dalams are hardly influenced by Islam.


The Baduy Luar make up the remainder of the Baduy population, living in 22 villages and acting as a barrier to stop visitors from entering the Sacred Inner circle. They do follow the rigid taboo system but not as strictly as the Dalam, and they are more willing to accept modern influence into their daily lives. For example, some Luar people now proudly sport the colorful sarongs and shirts favored by their Sundanese neighbours. In the past the Baduy Luar only wore only their homespun blue-black cloth, and were forbidden to wear trousers. Other elements of civilization (toys, money, batteries) are rapidly infiltrating especially in the villages to the north, and it is no longer unusual for an outer Baduy to make a journey to Jakarta, or even to work outside as a hired hand during the rice planting and reaping seasons. Some even work in big towns and cities like Jakarta, Bogor and Bandung. Animal meat is eaten in some of the outer villages where dogs are trained for hunting, though animal husbandry is still forbidden.




Some people believe that the Baduy are the descendants of the aristocracy of the Sunda Kingdom of Pajajaran who lived near Batutulis in the hills around Bogor but there is no strong evidence to support this belief yet; their domestic architecture follows most closely the traditional Sundanese architecture. Pakuwan Pajajaran port known as Sunda Kelapa, was destroyed by invading Faletehan (Fatahillah) Muslim soldiers in 1579, Dayeuh Pakuan the capital of Pajajaran, was invaded by Banten Sultanate some time later. Another theory suggests that they originate in northern Banten; pockets of people in the northern hills still speak the archaic dialect of Sunda that the Baduy use.

A most extraordinary aspect of Baduy society is the origin of this tribal group, which today remains shrouded in mystery. According to one legend, when Muslim forces began to spread the Islamic religion through western Java and other parts of the archipelago in the early part of the 16th century, an ascetic group of people said to have originated within the ancient Hindu Kingdom of Pajajaran refused to embrace the new religion. Instead, these people fled to the upper regions of a nearby mountain range (Kendeng Mountains), forming their own religious clan based on strict adherence to unique religious beliefs; perhaps influenced in some ways by the Hindu religion of the Kingdom of Pajajaran before it fell to the Muslim invaders.



Formal education for the children of Baduy is against their traditional customs. They reject government proposal to build educational facilities in the villages. Even today, despite the ways that Suharto tried to force them to change their lives and build modern schools in their territory, the Baduy still strongly opposed the government. As a result, very few Baduy are able to read or write.


Baduy – 21 century


Today, the Baduy people exist as an isolated, small-scale traditional community surrounded by mainstream Indonesian society, which in western Java alone is comprised of some 40 million followers of the Islamic faith. In spite of the external forces of modernization and the pressure for this small community to assimilate within modern Indonesian society, the Baduy tribe still controls its mountain stronghold where religious and cultural practices have remained largely unchanged until very recent times.

Today, a burgeoning Baduy population and increasing contacts with the outside world, have led to the development of a more market-based village economy dependent on cash crops and sale of handicrafts. In recent years, the Baduy have placed an increasing emphasis on agro-forestry production, such as the timber plantation Albizia tree, fruit, palm sugar and other products grown almost exclusively for sale on local markets, rather than the formerly self-sustaining cultivation of hill rice (ladang).


These changes have begun to cause some cultural, social, and environmental impacts, which are most evident in the increasing use of non-traditional, western-style clothing, consumption of packaged fast foods and use of other manufactured goods that are purchased with money obtained through growing cash crops. Although prohibited by Baduy adat law, some other modern articles imported from outside the Baduy territory, such as thermos bottles, radios and even the mobile phone, are becoming increasingly commonplace in Baduy homes.

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Bajau Laut – sea gypsies


The Bajau Laut, also spelled Badjao, Bajaw, Bajao, Bajo, Badjau, or Badjaw), and also known as Sama or Samal, are a Moro indigenous ethnic group of Maritime Southeast Asia. The Bajau live a seaborne lifestyle, and use small wooden sailing vessels such as the perahu and vinta.

The Bajau are traditionally from the many islands of the Sulu Archipelago in the Philippines, as well as parts of the coastal areas of Mindanao and northern Borneo. In the last 50 years, many of the Filipino Bajau have migrated to neighbouring Malaysia and the northern islands of the Philippines, due to the conflict in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. As of 2007, they were the second-largest ethnic group in the Malaysian state of Sabah, making up 13.4% of the total population. Groups of Bajau have also migrated to Sulawesi and North Kalimantan in Indonesia, although their exact population is unknown.

Bajau have sometimes been called the “Sea Gypsies”, a term that has also been used for non-related ethnic groups with similar traditional lifestyles, such as the Moken of the Burmese-Thai Mergui Archipelago and the Orang Laut of southeastern Sumatra and the Riau Islands of Indonesia. The modern outward spread of the Bajau from older inhabited areas seems to have been associated with the development of sea trade in sea cucumber (trepang).



Like the term Kadazan-dusun, Bajau is a collective term, used to describe several closely related indigenous groups. These Bajau groups also blend culturally with the Sama groups into what is most properly called the Sama–Bajau people. Historically the term “Sama” was used to describe the more land-oriented and settled Sama–Bajau groups, while “Bajau” was used to describe the more sea-oriented, boat-dwelling, nomadic groups. Even these distinctions are fading as the majority of Bajaus have long since abandoned boat living, most for Sama–style piling houses in the coastal shallows. Today, the greatest feature distinguishing the “Bajau” from the “Sama” is their poverty. The Sama–Bajau peoples speak some ten languages of the Sama–Bajau subgroup of the Western Malayo-Polynesian language family.


 Life Style 

While most Bajau have begun to live in houses built on stilts in shallow water, some Bajau are boat dwellers. Among the Bajau boat dwellers, local communities consist of scattered moorage groups made up of families whose members regularly return, between intervals of fishing, to a common anchorage site. Two to six families will group together in an alliance to regularly fish and anchor together, often sharing food, nets and gear and pooling labor. The marine life exploited by the Bajau fishermen is diverse, including over 200 species of fish. Fishing activity varies with the tides, monsoonal and local winds, currents, migrations of pelagic fish and the monthly lunar cycle. During moonless nights, fishing is often done with lanterns, using spears and hand lines. Today, fishing is primarily for market sale. Most fish are preserved by salting or drying. In some cases turtles are caught and kept under the house until an appropriate feasting time (such as the marriage of a son) – to the chagrin of marine conservationists. The boats that are used as family dwellings vary in size and construction. In Indonesia and Malaysia, boats average 10 meters in length and 2 meters in width. They are plank construction with solid keel and bow sections. All are equipped with a roofed living area made of poles and straw matting and a portable earthenware hearth, usually carried near the stern, used for preparing family meals. The boat-dwelling Bajau (in contrast to their neighbors) see themselves as non-aggressive people who prefer flight to physical confrontation. As a consequence, the politically dominant groups of the region have historically viewed the Bajau with disdain as timid, unreliable subjects.



The exact origin of the word “Bajau” is unclear. It is generally accepted that these groups of people can be termed Bajau, though they never call themselves Bajau. Instead, they call themselves with the names of their tribes, usually the place they live or place of origin. They accept the term Bajau because they realise that they share some vocabulary and general genetic characteristic.

British administrators in Sabah classified the Sama as “Bajau” and labelled them as such in their birth certificates. During their time in Malaysia, some have started labelling themselves as their ancestors called themselves, such as Simunul. For political reasons and to ensure easy access to the special privileges granted to ethnic Malays, many have started calling themselves Malay. This is especially true for recent Moro Filipino migrants.

For most of their history, the Bajau have been a nomadic, seafaring people, living off the sea by trading and subsistence fishing. The boat dwelling Bajau see themselves as non-aggressive people. They kept close to the shore by erecting houses on stilts, and traveled using lepa-lepa, handmade boats which many lived in. Although historically originating from the southern Philippine coasts, Sabahan Sama legend narrates that they are descended from members of the royal guard of the Johor Sultanate, after the fall of the Malacca Empire, who settled along the east coast of Borneo after being driven there by storms. Another version goes that a Johorean princess was washed away by a flood. In his grief her father ordered his subjects to sea to return only when they had found his daughter.


However, there are traces that Sama people came from Riau Archipelago especially Lingga Island more than 300 years ago. It is believed by some that the migration process of Samah to North West Borneo took place more than 100 years earlier, starting from trade with the Empire of Brunei (the Johorean princess who in the origin myth was a royal bride being sent to Sulu but was kidnapped by the Prince of Brunei). With the overthrow of the legitimate Sultan of Johor by Bugis conquerors, the Sama people fled to the western coast of North Borneo, where they felt safe to live under the protection of the Brunei Sultanate. That is why native Kadazan-Dusun call Sama people as “tuhun” or “tulun Sama (“people of Sama”) in their dialects, the form of recognition before the arrival of westerners. It was believed that Sama people are not from the royalty of the Sultanate, but loyal workers, craftsmen, boat builders and farmers that fled from cruelty of ethnic cleansing in chaotic Johor during aggression of the Bugis taking over the throne of Johor.

Today the number of Bajau who are born and live primarily at sea is diminishing, partially due to hotly debated government programs which have moved Bajau on to the mainland. Currently, there exists a huge settlement of Filipino Bajau in Pulau Gaya, off the Sabah coast. Many of them are illegal immigrants on the Malaysian island. With the island as a base, they frequently enter Sabah and find jobs as manual labourers.


Discrimination of Bajau (particularly from the dominant Tausūg people, who have historically viewed them as ‘inferior’, and less specifically from the majority Christian Filipinos) and the continuing violence in Muslim Mindanao, have driven many Bajau to begging, or to emigrate. They usually resettle in Malaysia and Indonesia, where they are less discriminated against.

A large part of Bajau history and tradition is captured in their folklore. One ancient story tells of a very large man, named Bajau himself. His people used to follow him into rivers because whenever he went there the river was so overflowed by his body mass that they could easily collect dead fish! They eventually came to call on his service just to help harvest fish.  Other tribes in the area soon learned of his reputation and, being envious of the advantage he bestowed on his people, plotted to kill him.  But their efforts came to no avail and he survived the poisoned arrows they fired at him. His epitaph today is a stone which he carried to his own burial place — a stone that no other man could lift. Some Bajau — and other local indigenous peoples — still fear his stone and his reputation to this day.


 Bajau Today

The Bajau, like any distinct group, have already lost some of their heritage as some of their stories were never re-told to the next generation. The Bajau are also beginning to lose something of their identity as they integrate with their adopted, land-based communities. Even the most traditional, seafaring Bajau are losing their boat-building craft as they replace their hand-made lipa-lipa boats with commercially built, mass-produced ones. On Sabah’s southeastern-most coast these lipa-lipa boats are a feature of the annual Semporna festival,  for which the boats are colorfully decorated and raced against each other in a celebration of Bajau culture. It is uncertain how long this festival might be able to continue.

Despite these changes, the richness of Bajau heritage is starting to be recognized as worthy of preservation. In addition to anthropological works (see Books/Articles below), organizations like the Sabah Bajau Arts and Cultural Association and the Centre for Borneo Studies sponsor various events that spotlight Bajau life.


What are Bajau people’s needs?

At this time, the Bajau need infrastructure development and renovations in the areas of health and education. Medical workers, facilities and services in their communities are very inadequate. In the area of education, partially due to their nomadic lifestyle, many Bajau people are illiterate.


Demographics and religion

The various Bajau sub-groups vary culturally, linguistically, and religiously. Religion can vary from a strict adherence to Sunni Islam, forms of folk Islam, to animistic beliefs in spirits and ancestor worship. There is a small minority of Catholics.


Commonly, many sub-groups of Badjao are named after the place or island they live-in for many years. Even though they are called Bajau, each sub-groups has their own unique language, cultures and tradition. However, certain sub-groups are able to understand the languages of other sub-groups. For example, some Bajau understand the Bajau Ubian language, and the Bajau Ubian and Simunul in Sabah are able to understand and speak the Tausug language called the Suluk language in Sabah. The general terms for the native languages of the Bajau is Вahasa Вajau or Sinama.

Lists of Bajau sub-groups:

  • 1.   Ubian – Originate from the island South Ubian in Tawi-Tawi, Philippines and make up the largest Bajau sub-group in Sabah. They reside in sizable minorities living around the towns of Kudat and Semporna in Sabah, Malaysia.

    2.       Bannaran – Another subgroup of Bajau originated from Bannaran Island in Tawi-Tawi. Mostly found in Kudat, Kunak, Semporna and Tawau.

    3.       Sama – Commonly known as Bajau Kota Belud, because most of them live in or near area of Kota Belud, Sabah. This is actually a misnomer as they can be found all over the west coast of the state, and not just in Kota Belud. They call themselves Sama, not Bajau and their neighbours, the Dusuns also call them Sama, not Bajau. British administrators originally defined them as Bajau.

    4.       Samah/Sama Sulawesi Selatan’ (Malaysia)

    5.       Colorful non-traditional designs on the vinta boats of the Samal people from Samal Island, Philippines. Traditionally, vintas feature distinctive vertical bands and triangles of bright colors

    6.       Simunul – Simunul people can be found at Kampung Bokara, Sandakan, Semporna and Lahad Datu Towns. Simunul is an island in Tawi-Tawi where many Sama Simunul are still found and are the majority there. They are known among the Bajau group for having fair skin.

    7.       Samal (Philippines, Malaysia) – A group native to the Philippines, a large number are now residing around the coasts of northern Sabah, though many have also migrated north to the seas around the Visayas and southern Luzon. The Samal are sometimes considered distinct from the other Bajau. They are the largest single group of Bajau.

    8.       Bajau Suluk – This sub-group, of mixed heritage Bajau and Tausug, live mostly in Kudat, and have origins in the Philippines, hence, although living among Malay peoples for a substantial part of their history, are also able to converse in the Tausug and Samal languages.

    9.       Tando’ Bas – This sub-group was rarely found in Sabah before the 1970s. They had recently migrated to Sabah from a place called Tando Bas in the Sulu Archipelago.

    10.   Ungus Matata – This sub-group was rarely found in Sabah before the 1970s. They had recently migrated to Sabah from a place called Ungus Matata in the Sulu Archipelago.

    11.   Tolen – This sub-group was found only at Bum-bum island, in Semporna, Sabah. No trace of them anywhere else even in the Sulu Archipelago.

    12.   Pala’u or Bajau Laut – The word Pala’u in Bajau means boat-dwelling, but is by many Bajau Laut considered derogatory, why they prefer the term Bajau Laut. This sub-group originally lived on boats all the time but almost all have taken to living on land in the Philippines. In Malaysia the boat-dwelling culture has been retained by some, but many others have built homes on land. 

    13.   Tabawan (Sulu, Malaysia) – This sub-group was rarely found in Sabah before the 1970s. They have recently migrated to Sabah from an island called Tabawan, Tawi-tawi, Philippines. They are now numerous in Sabah.

    14.   Banguingui or Balangingi Samal (Philippines, Malaysia) – Native to the Philippines, where the majority still live. This sub-group was rarely found in Sabah before the 1970s. Some have recently migrated to Sabah. The Balanguingui were once slavers and pirates during the 16th to 19th centuries, capturing people from other nearby ethnic groups and often integrating them into their own culture.

    15.   Sikubung – People from this sub-group were rare in Sabah before the 1970s. They have recently migrated to Sabah.

  • The obvious migration pattern after 1970 is the obvious fallout of the armed fighting between major Moro groups and Settler militia and Philippine Navy disrupting the traditional sea routes of the sea loving Badjau.



Claims to religious piety and learning are an important source of individual prestige among the coastal Bajau. Some of the Bajau lack mosques and must rely on the shore-based communities such as those of the more Islamized or Malay peoples. The Ubian Bajau, due to their nomadic marine lifestyle, are much less adherent to orthodox Islam, and practice more of a syncretic folk hybrid, revering local sea spirits, known in Islamic terminology as Jinn. Almost all Bajau today claim to be Sunni Muslim. They believe that among their people are direct descendants of the prophet Mohammed. Yet many — predominantly the seafaring, nomadic Bajau — retain spiritually based religious practices that pre-date any major religion. In their religion designated spirit mediums communicate with the spirit world in  ritual ceremonies of celebration, worship and exorcism — in which, for example, spirit boats are sailed into the open seas to cast the offending spirit away from their community. They also worship the God of the sea, Omboh Dilaut.



Many Bajaus of the east coast retain their seaborne lifestyle, together with remnants of traditional pre-Islamic beliefs. Traditional Bajau communities may have a dukun (i.e. a shaman) and may adhere to taboos concerning the treatment of the sea and other cultural aspects. An example of this is the offering of thanks to the Omboh Dilaut, the God of the Sea, whenever a particularly large catch is brought in. The east coast Sabah Bajau are also famous for the annual Semporna Regatta.


Among the boat-dwellers in particular, community spirit mediums are consulted at least once a year for a public séance and nightly trance dancing. In times of epidemics, the mediums are also called upon to remove illness causing spirits from the community. They do this by setting a “spirit boat” adrift in the open sea beyond the village or anchorage.

It has been suggested by some researchers that Bajau people’s visits to Arnhem Land gave rise to the accounts of the mysterious Baijini|Jinn people in the myths of Australia’s Yolngu Aboriginals.

Bajau fishermen make use of wooden sailing vessels known as perahu lambo for voyages as far as Timor and Arafura seas. The construction and launch of these craft are ritualized, and the vessels are believed to have a spirit (Sumanga’). Under a 1974 Memorandum of Understanding, “Indonesian traditional fishermen” are allowed to fish within the Exclusive Economic Zone of Australia, which includes traditional fishing grounds of Bajau fishers. However, illegal fishing encroachment of Corporate Sea Trawlers in these areas has led to concern about overfishing and destruction of Bajau vessels.

Bajaus are also noted for their exceptional abilities in free-diving, with physical adaptations that enable them to see better and dive longer underwater. Divers work long days with the “greatest daily apnea diving time reported in humans” of greater than 5 hours per day submerged. Some Bajau intentionally rupture their eardrums at an early age in order to facilitate diving and hunting at sea. Many older Bajau are therefore hard of hearing.

The West Coast Bajau are expert equestrians – this is their main claim to fame in Malaysia, where horse riding has never been widespread anywhere else. Bajau people are also well known for weaving and needlework skills.

Bajau have a unique type of dance called the Pangigal. It is common in wedding ceremonies for native communities throughout Malaysia and the Sulu Archipelago. This dance is most famously danced to the music Dayang-dayang. Numerous Music Videos of the Pangigal songs and dances have been produced in Malaysia and distributed throughout Sabah and in the Sulu Archipelago.


Notable Bajau

  • ·         Mat Salleh (Datu Muhammad Salleh) – Sabah warrior from Inanam during the British administration of North Borneo.

    ·         Tun Datu Mustapha (Tun Datu Mustapha bin Datu Harun) – First Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sabah and third Chief Minister of Sabah.

    ·         Tun Said Keruak (Tun Datu Mohamad Said Keruak) – Former Chief Minister of Sabah and Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sabah from Kota Belud.

    ·         Datuk Seri Panglima Salleh Said Keruak (Datu Mohd Salleh bin Tun Mohd Said Keruak) – Former Chief Minister of Sabah from Kota Belud.

    ·         Tun Sakaran Dandai – Former Chief Minister of Sabah and Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sabah from Semporna.

    ·         Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah – Ninth Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sabah from Inanam

    ·         Dato’ Mohd Nasir Tun Sakaran (Dato’ Mohd Nasir bin Tun Sakaran Dandai) – Sabah politician from Semporna.

    ·         Datuk Seri Hj Mohd Shafie Bin Apdal (Dato’ Seri Hj Mohd Shafie Bin Apdal) – Malaysian minister.

    ·         Osu Sukam (Datu Seri Panglima Osu bin Sukam) – Former Chief Minister of Sabah from Papar.

    ·         Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia – Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Parliament of Malaysia

    ·         Askalani Abdul Rahim (Datuk Askalani Bin Abdul Rahim) – Former Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Semporna.

    ·         Adam AF2 (Aizam Mat Saman) – Malaysian singer and actor, grandson of Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah.

    ·         Norayu (Ayu) Damit – Malaysian singer and One in a Million (Season 2) champion.

    ·         Yanie (Siti Suriane Julkarim) – Malaysian singer in the popular TV shows of Mentor on TV3.

    ·         Wawa Zainal Abidin – Malaysian actress.

    ·         Matlan Marjan – Former Malaysian football player and the former Sabah FA captain

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“This country, the Republic of Indonesia, does not belong to any group, nor to any religion, nor to any ethnic group, nor to any group with customs and traditions, but the property of all of us from Sabang to Merauke!” ― Sukarno, Speech in Bangkok, 24 September 1955.



Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 17,508 islands. It encompasses 35 provinces with over 238 million people, making it the world’s fourth most populous country. Indonesia constitution (1945 constitution) assigns the government to give equal opportunities for all citizen in education Act no 20/2003 on national education system: -”every citizen has equal rights to obtain quality education” (chapter 5 article 1).

            Indonesia has a 6-3-3 formal education structure. Primary school has an official entry age of seven and duration of six grades. Secondary school is divided into two cycles: lower secondary consists of grades 7 – 9, and upper secondary consists of grades 10 – 12. Basic education consists of primary and lower secondary school. In principle, public school is free and basic education is compulsory. Students sit for the lower secondary school certificate examination at the end of grade 9, and the senior secondary certificate at the end of grade 12.The academic year is broken down into two semesters and lasts approximately 38 weeks.

From the age of 2, some children in Indonesia attend pre-school playgroup, known as PAUD (Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini). From the age of 4, they attend kindergarten (Taman Kanak-Kanak). This education is not compulsory for Indonesian citizens, as it is aimed to prepare them for Primary Schooling. Of the 49,000 kindergartens in Indonesia, 99.35% of them are privately operated schools. The kindergarten years are usually divided into “Class A” and “Class B” students spending a year in each class.

Indonesians are required to attend nine years of school. They can choose between state-run, nonsectarian public schools supervised by the Ministry of National Education (Mendiknas) or private or semiprivate religious (usually Islamic) schools supervised and financed by the Ministry of Religious Affairs. However, although 86.1 percent of the Indonesian population is registered as Muslim, according to the 2000 census only 15 percent of school-age individuals attended religious schools. Overall enrollment figures are slightly higher for girls than boys and much higher in Java than the rest of Indonesia.


A central goal of the national education system is not merely to impart secular wisdom about the world but also to instruct children in the principles of participation in the modern nation-state, its bureaucracies, and its moral and ideological foundations. Beginning under Guided Democracy (1959–65) and strengthened in the New Order after 1966, a key feature of the national curriculum—as was the case for other national institutions—has been instruction in the Pancasila. Children age six and older learned by rote its five principles—belief in one God, humanitarianism, national unity, democracy, and social justice—and were instructed daily to apply the meanings of this key national symbol to their lives. But with the end of the New Order in 1998 and the beginning of the campaign to decentralize the national government, provincial and district-level administrators obtained increasing autonomy in determining the content of schooling.

Children aged 6–11 attend primary school, called Sekolah Dasar (SD). Most elementary schools are government-operated public schools, accounting for nearly 93% of all elementary schools in Indonesia (Depdiknas, 2004-2005). Students spend six years in primary school, though some schools offer an accelerated learning program in which students that perform well can complete the level in five years. Three years of middle school (Sekolah Menengah Pertama, or SMP) follow elementary school. After completion of the six-year primary-school program, three years of junior secondary school (Sekolah Menengah Pertama, or SMP), and then may be followed by three years of senior secondary school (Sekolah Menengah Atas or SMA.); or students can choose among a variety of vocational and pre-professional senior secondary schools (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan or SMK), each level of which requires three years of study. There are academic and vocational high schools that lead to senior-level diplomas. There are also “domestic science” high schools for girls. At the senior high school level, three-year agricultural, veterinary, and forestry schools are open to students who have graduated from an academic junior high school. Students with disabilities/special needs may alternately opt to be enrolled in a separate school from the mainstream called Sekolah Luar Biasa, school for children with special needs (lit. Special Education School).


Indonesian schools (from kindergarten to university) are divided in public (negeri) and private (swasta) schools. The demand for schools is higher than the supply and the number of both types of schools has been growing rapidly in recent decades. The public schools are fully government owned, meaning the land, buildings and facilities are fully subsidized. School teachers and staff are civil servants, which gives them status, a relatively reasonable wage and a pension scheme. Like public schools, private schools receive an amount of money per student. However they do have to find their own sources of money for land, buildings, facilities and wages. Because of this, and contrary to most countries, public schools are generally of better quality. Their facilities are more complete and the teachers are of better quality. The elite schools are the oldest schools, mostly built before independence. Both public and private (often catholic) elite schools charge high fees to be able to provide high quality and status.

Basic education offered in primary schools aims to provide the ability to read, write, and do arithmetic, and to instill primary knowledge and skills that are useful for pupils in line with their development levels, as well as to prepare students to attend education in lower secondary school. Basic education is also carried out in lower secondary schools and is aimed at expanding the knowledge and improvement of skills obtained in primary schools that are useful for students to develop their lives as individuals, members of society, and citizens. Article 39, Clause 3, Law No. 2 /1989 and Article 14, Clause 2, Government Regulation No. 28 of 1990, and the February 25, 1993 decree of the Ministry of Education and Culture No. 060/U/1993 prescribe the education program for primary schools. The curriculum content of compulsory primary education consists of subject matter covering Pancasila education, religious education, citizenship education, Indonesian language, reading and writing, mathematics, introduction to science and technology, geography, national and general history, handicrafts and art, physical education and health, drawing, and the English language. And after announcing Indonesian new Curriculum 2013, there some changes have been made, such as number of subjects are reduced and the number of hours have increased.



During the period of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC), the educational effort was rather minuscule. Whatever happened was done by the VOC in cooperation with the state church in agreement with the principle regnant at that time of the oneness between church and school, the unity between church and state. However, with the exception of the area of the Moluccas, in general the pupils were Dutch and Indo (children of Dutch and Indonesian parents), or non- Indonesian Asians. In this connection, Governor General Daendels who assumed office in 1807 took a beginning step. In 1808, he directed several regents in Java to organize schools for indigenous children with a curriculum, which included Javanese culture and religion so that the children would grow up to become good Javanese. He also initiated the opening of several vocational schools. This idea grew; it seems, out of the enthusiasm generated by the Enlightenment. Because of its influence in the Netherlands, people began to hear the slogan, “national education,” or “universal education”. England, which exercised temporary authority (in all of the Dutch East Indies from 1811- 1816, and in Sumatra until 1825) through Lieutenant Governor General Thomas Stamford Raffles, also exhibited the enthusiasm of the Enlightenment. These included the organization of two types of schools: one using western language (Europeesche scholen) both at the elementary and secondary levels, and the other using the regional language(inlandsche scholen) limited to the elementary level. Indigenous children from the upper classes were permitted to attend the European school.

After 1848, thanks to their efforts, the Indies government itself became more serious about offering educational opportunities to Indonesians, instead of handing schooling over to others, including missionaries. This endeavor was parallel to the Gouvernements-cultures program, or as it was more familiarly known cultuurstelsel, which needed the services of educated Indonesians. Thus after 1848, there were various new decisions to expand school opportunities for Indonesians, including organizing of teacher-training facilities.

The new policy taken in 1863 by Fransen van de Putte, the Minister for Colonies, encouraged the mobilization of government funds for education without requiring the financial support of the indigenous community, and was a reflection of the politics of liberal education. Here it was evident that the government-sponsored education was no longer directed towards the production of governmental employees, but was directed towards the aim of developing indigenous communities. Thorbecke, the Dutch prime minister in 1849-1853 and 1862-1866, first promulgated this liberal conception of education. He emphasized, “It is our task, our responsibility, to enlighten the East Indies through liberal education.” As a result of this new policy, the total number of schools increased rapidly, especially in Java. Administrative organization was also undertaken with more seriousness, for example the office of inspector for indigenous education was established, and after January 1, 1867 a Department of Education, Religion and Industry (Departement van Onderwijs, Eeredienst en Nijverheid), was also formed. However, the more important development occurred during the 1870s and was characterized by the promulgation of a whole new series of regulations.10 In these regulations were included the following: (a) Standardization of all East Indies elementary schools; (b) Utilization of the regional language or Malay as the medium of instruction; (c) Prohibition of religious instruction for Indonesians studying in government schools (both for elementary schools as well as teacher-training schools) and also in private schools subsidized by the government during curriculum hours. In other words, the government followed a policy of neutrality in religious matters; (d) Mandatory payment of tuition as an indication of participation by the local community. All of these indicated the increasing liberal influence in the educational policy of the Indies government, as made clear by Brugmans: “Liberalism, with its strong rationalistic bent, followed the slogan “knowledge is power”. Because it was evident that Europe had become great thanks to Western knowledge, there was no need in principle to raise objections to the spread of knowledge in indigenous societies. Emphasis on Dutch elements in education formed the clearest indication of this view.”


Since the establishment of the above-mentioned regulations, government schools increased rapidly at first, especially so after special schools were founded for the children of nobility (Hoofdenscholen). But after the beginning of the 1880s there was a marked slowing down in the rate of developing new government schools.

During the years 1905-1907, several officials from both the Dutch government and the colonial government of the Indies enunciated this new policy. The most important element of the new policy as included in the Staatsblad 1906, no. 241 and 242 consisted of the organizing of schools in all the villages, especially on the island of Java. According to the new regulations, the village was responsible for erecting and furnishing the school building, while the Indies government or regional government’s treasury would pay the teachers’ salaries according to the prevailing standard for village employees. In other words, the government moved towards a policy of decentralization and the cultivation of community participation. Because the main objective for village schools involved little more than the abolition of illiteracy, it was considered sufficient to teach the children reading, writing and arithmetic. This limited objective could be attained in three years. Initially, this policy resulted in a rapid increase in the number of schools. However, not all private schools founded after the 1920s were labeled ‘unauthorized’. In addition to Protestant and Catholic mission schools receiving recognition and subsidies were those sponsored by the Muhammadiyah movement. However, the Taman Siswa schools founded in 1922 by Ki Hadjar Dewantara (original name Soewardi Soerjaningrat) were originally considered unauthorized but gradually they became recognized even though the schools rejected all government subsidies. Furthermore, MULO using Javanese founded in 1939 as a Taman Siswa idea was praised by the government in 1940 as exemplary for its contribution to the educational system. Unfortunately, it never had an opportunity to provide concrete evidence of its achievement because the authority of the Dutch East Indies government ended at the beginning of 1942. From the perspective of quality, government schools, especially those organized along western lines: ELS, HIS, MULO, HBS, AMS, and vocational schools such as OSVIA, STOVIA and NIAS, produced a new ‘functional elite’.

The actual point of beginning mission schooling differed in each area, because the time of arrival of missionaries and the places of ministry of the various mission boards differed as well. For example, in the Moluccas, the NZG had an educational program since 1815, this was followed in Timor in 1819, and 1827 in Minahasa.36 After that, the Rhenish mission (RMG) founded schools in Kalimantan in 1835, and among the Bataks in 1861, and later in Nias and other islands along the west coast of Sumatera. The NZG was active in Java also since 1851 having succeeded in obtaining permission from the Dutch East Indies government.



Suharto and his advisors recognized the importance of agricultural production, they also recognized the importance of being able to provide people with the means to obtain food. To buy food, one must have a job. Creating jobs in Indonesia started with education. As he had done in agriculture, Suharto and the Indonesian government transformed the country’s education system. The state reformed the primary and secondary education systems, providing near universal enrollment for children between 8 to 11 years old. The illiteracy rate dropped to 18.4%, lower than that of neighboring Malaysia. While Indonesia still had a long way to go in terms of educationby the end of the Suharto regime, the fact remains that a large portion of the labor force received at least some education due to the government education system, which was virtually nonexistent under Sukarno’s presidency. In the1970s, Indonesia had a national program that increased elementary school enrollment form 69 to 83 percent. The current wages to the education in the region of birth of the wage earner and concludes that one extra school per 1000 children led to an increase in wage of 1.5 to 2.7 percent. This counters the general concern that the results of increasing quantity will be offset by reduced quality. Besides the quality of education, the quantity plays an important role too.                                                                            

The Indonesian school system, since the days of Soeharto, is based on the American school system. Six years of elementary school are followed by three years of junior high school, totaling nine years of compulsory education. After this, students choose a vocational school or senior high school, followed by university. There are several school standards: the national standard, national plus and international standard. The difference is in the quality and amount of English used in class.   


The Ministry of Religious Affairs is responsible for the Islamic preschools, primary schools, junior secondary schools, and senior secondary schools. Provision of higher education is managed by the Ministry of National Education and Culture through the directorate general of higher education, as well as by the Military Academy and the College for Civil Servants.Technically, the government is responsible for financing education. However, costs for education carried out by the community are recognized as the responsibility of those institutions. In some cases the government funding is limited to specific elements of compulsory education. The education programs funded by the government are mainly financed through the administration’s annual budget along with a separate development budget. Other funding sources are international aid (loans and grants) and assistance from regional governments and the private sector.

Primary school is free and theoretically requires no fees. Routine assistance for financing the middle and higher levels of education is the responsibility of the family in the form of a school fee paid to the state by each school to be reallocated back to the schools through an account known as the Education Funds Support. While the government offers subsidies to universities and among the various regions, it strongly encourages the participation of the local government, community and business in educational finance. Essentially each educational institution is expected to manage its own admission process and finances.

The Ministry of Education budget has expanded continuously over time. Within the first five-year development planning period or Repelita (1969-1973) the budget was 147 billion rupiah. There was a marked increase in monies appropriated in 1973 in support of the presidential decree launching the compulsory six years of primary school education. The budget increased to 12.9 trillion rupiah during the Fifth Repelita (1989-1993), and financial allocations for the first year of the Sixth Repelita (1994-1999) expanded to 4.6 trillion rupiah. The annual percentage of MOEC budget fluctuates in close proximity to the gross domestic product (GDP).


The Ministry of Education designs most education policy (the Ministry of Religion generally copies this) and is responsible for education policy and the distribution of funds. The policy and funds trickle down from the ministry to the provinces education authorities and from there to the municipalities and regional authorities (who have the same legal status). The regional authorities and municipalities distribute the money to the schools. The Bantuan Operasional Sekolah (BOS – Operational school help) is an amount per student per year for SD and SMP students. The money is intended to finance the operational costs of the compulsory education program and provided to both public and private schools. The amount for SMP students is higher than for SD students and the amount per student is higher in the city than in the rural areas. Besides the BOS, public schools are completely financed by the government and are not allowed to charge additional fees. An exception is made for schools that offer the higher educational standard (involving a partly English curriculum). The private schools have to find other sources of money (the BOS is not enough to completely finance a school) and private SMA schools do not receive any government funds at all. Non-formal schools are taken care of by the regional authority and municipality when it concerns permits and policy, but are dependent on the Ministry in Jakarta for funds. Each year they have to file a proposal and hope they are eligible for a one year block grant.

Indonesia is currently finalizing the implementation of its nine-year compulsory free education program. The focus now is on improving equality of learning opportunities, improving the quality of research and improving management through more local autonomy and decentralized education initiatives. The goal is that Indonesian learners must be smart and competitive by 2025 (Ministry of National Education, 2008). The vision of the Indonesian Departemen Pendidikan Nasional (Ministry of Education) is: “Bringing national education system as a strong and respected social institution to empower all citizens of Indonesia to become enlightened human beings who are able to keep abreast the challenges of the time.”  Its mission:

1. Expand educational access and better quality of education

2. Accommodate rights and needs of children

3. Improve accountability and professionalism of schools

4. Community participation based on decentralization.

Although the published education policy is ridden with politics and ambiguities, the accessibility and quality of education for all citizen of Indonesia clearly emerge as the main goals.



Republic of Indonesia, however, is running new prospective projects such as DBE (Decentralized Basic Education). This project focuses on improving the quality of basic education in primary and junior secondary schools, both public and private. The project has three main goals: (1) strengthening the capacity of local governments and communities to manage educational services (DBE1); (2) enhancing teaching and learning to improve student performance in key subjects such as science, math, and language (DBE2) and; (3) assisting Indonesian youth to gain more relevant life and work skills to better compete in a world economy (DBE3).

The DBE project was designed to be implemented in three phases or cohorts. In the first year of the project (cohort 1), DBE was to implement a project within 25 districts and 50 school clusters (there are 10 schools in a cluster), while in the second year of the program (cohort 2), DBE was to add 25 districts and 50 school clusters for a total of 50 districts and 100 clusters. Cohort 3, which was scheduled to start in late 2009, was eliminated from DBE contracts. Eventually, the DBE programs are expected to reach 9,000 public and private schools; 2.5 million students; 90,000 educators; and 1 million youth through replication. Currently, the DBE program works within 57 local district governments in seven provinces (East and Central Java, Banten, West Java, South Sulawesi, Aceh, and North Sumatra, as well as Jakarta) in three project components: district and school-based management and community participation; teacher training; and life-skills development.

            As part of the Australia-Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development the Australia-Indonesia Basic Education Program (AIBEP) was founded in 2006. (AusAID. 2010) The AUD$355 million project is the largest educational partnership between Australia and Indonesia. The program supports the Indonesian government in enhancing its educational system by improving accessibility and quality of basic education services and improving the governance of basic education services in disadvantaged areas. The objectives of the program are reflected in its four pillars; improved equitable access to basic education services, improved basic education quality, and internal efficiency, improved governance of basic education services and assurance of resource mobilization in the education sector. Since April 2006, the program constructed 2,074 schools creating more than 330,000 school places. A key target of the program is enhancing gender equality in education services for girls and women. The first pillar of the program stresses the importance of equitable access to education services and thus incorporates gender in its key objective. The Australian – Indonesia Partnership aims to implement gender in education by supporting the Indonesian government in developing gender parity policies and developing infrastructure to improve gender in lagging districts. The AIBEP Independent Completion Report indicates that approximately 80% of the schools surveyed in 2009 have implemented a Gender Policy and 66% of the schools implemented an Inclusive Education Policy. (AusAID Australia – Indonesia Partnership for Basic Education, Independent Completion Report, May 2010,)

The Decentralized Basic Education Project in Indonesia achieved mixed results in its gender assessment. On one hand, it requested the inclusion in the loan agreement of gender provisions such as scholarships for girls, women’s participation in school committees, equal access to in-service training for female teachers and delivered practical benefits to women and girls. In addition, by focusing on equity for poor students from the poorest areas, the project was able to achieve a positive impact for both boys and girls. On the other hand, the assessment found that had the project developed a stronger gender strategy and engaged a gender adviser, as well as undertaking greater analysis and monitoring of the barriers facing children attempting to access quality education, it could have been more effective. Whilst this assessment identified shortcomings in the programming of the ADB in Indonesia to deal with issues of gender, it does exhibit a commitment to gender that is likely to have positive impacts in the future.

In Indonesia, the Early Childhood Education and Development (ECED) program, undertaken with the Ministry of National Education (MoNE), aims to reach 738,000 children in 50 districts over five years with the intention of improving children’s development and readiness for primary school by offering block grants to communities who decide best how to utilise them. To understand the impact of the project, MoNE is conducting an evaluation that tracks over 6,400 children aged 1 to 4 for a period of 3 years. However, in the project’s implementation status and results report there is no mention of children with disabilities. This lack of disaggregated data relating to marginalized groups neglects the needs of disabled children and continues to leave them in the margins of society.


Government of Indonesia is creating new policies and programs in Teacher Education in order to solve teacher competence and other problems. To address the poor performance of Indonesian students on international tests, the GOI enacted the Teacher Law in 2005 aimed at providing a much-needed incentive for teachers to improve their qualifications and professional skills. Essentially, the teacher law mandates a comprehensive package of reforms and applies them uniformly to the whole teaching service. Teachers are required to meet two conditions.  First, all teachers are required to have a minimum qualification of at least four years of post-secondary education or a S1 degree (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree). Second, having achieved the academic qualification, in-service teachers must pass a portfolio test. Pre-service teachers have to take one or two semesters of professional training and pass a certification exam. Certified teachers receive a professional allowance that doubles their salary, and certified teachers who are assigned to remote areas receive a special allowance, which is also equal to their base salary. The Teacher Law is an ambitious effort to upgrade the quality of Indonesian teachers and provides a type of quality control for students about to become practicing teachers (pre-service training) or for upgrading (in-service training) under-qualified teachers.

Teaching-learning methods in the new curriculum (Kurikulum Berbasis Kompetensi, “Competency Based Curriculum” in 2004) emphasize active, creative, effective, and joyful processes (in Indonesia it is called PAKEM: Pembelajaran Aktif, Kreatif, Efektif, dan Menyenangkan). In this way, the teacher assesses the basic competency of his students, helps to develop other competencies, and/or increases its capacity of existing competencies. PAKEM has been conducted through the implementation of School Based Management since 1999 in collaboration between UNESCO-UNICEF and the Department of National Education Affairs. The implementation of PAKEM is conducted in the Working Club of Teachers (KKG: Kelompok Kerja Guru) and the Working Club of Head of Schools. The former helps teachers in composing and developing teaching-learning subject matters and methods.



Indonesia has the fourth largest education system in the world yet in a landmark education report of 50 nations Indonesia ranked last. For a country that has been experiencing a stable 5 to 6 percent annual economic growth rate and is classed as a middle-income country by the World Bank, it is sad that it’s education system and thus its youth are not benefiting.

So why did it rank so poorly?The answer, as is often the case with developing countries still finding their feet as a democracy, appears to be corruption. The funding is there but it ends up in the pockets of corrupt civil servants and not in classrooms. East 101′s recent investigation highlighted some shocking facts about the Indonesian education system including:

  • Only a third of Indonesian students – in a country where 57 million attend school – complete basic schooling.
  • Education experts say less than half of the country’s teachers possess even the minimum qualifications to teach properly and teacher absenteeism hovers at around 20 percent. Many teachers in the public school system work outside of the classroom to improve their incomes.
  • Indonesian Corruption Watch claims there are very few schools in the country that are clean of graft, bribery, or embezzlement – with 40 percent of their budget siphoned off before it reaches the classroom.


One of the Indonesian government’s responses to these findings has been to restructure the Indonesian curriculum, including postponing teaching science, geography and ENGLISH until students attend secondary school. For a nation economically prospering, geographically located in a region that looks set to be at the forefront of world economics and politics it seems a bemusing choice to make. Moreover, the Indonesian education system does not encourage independent, creative thought but focuses more on learning by rote. Discipline is strict, commendation little and many students are expelled for what in the western world we would consider slight misbehavior. The future success of communities and thus nations depends on today’s youth and the education they access. Nowhere is education more important than in the world’s poorest communities. Many of the above facts characterize the education system in place in the Mentawais. Often schools are closed as there are no teachers to teach. Materials and equipment are lacking or at best basic. Technology non-existent. Teachers poorly qualified. At a Liquid Future, we are working hard to change that. A communications tower is being put in at a nearby town, which will provide internet access. Providing the youth of Katiet and the surrounding villages with access to knowledge and information will empower them to play a role in the many changes their area is going to see over the coming years. The local Mentawai government has already blue-printed extensive parts of the beach area here for tourist development. It would be a win-win situation for the local community, tourists and the environment if the upcoming local generation is informed, knowledgeable leaders able to be a part of it. Government announced a new Curriculum 2013, which costs 82.9 million USD in order to improve Education System, and an access to schools will be fixed in close future.



Indonesia is getting the education the lower the quality. Survey based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the quality of education in developing countries in Asia Pacific , Indonesia is ranked 10th out of 14 countries . As for the quality of teachers, quality located on level 14 of the 14 developing countries. There are few factors of low quality education in Indonesia: a) Fundamental Problems of Education in Indonesia b) Low Quality Physical Infrastructure c) Low Quality Teachers d) Low Teachers’ Welfare e) Low Student Achievement f) Equitable lack of education opportunities g) The low Relevance to Needs Education h) Costly Cost of Education.

To solve the problems, such as poor quality of infrastructure, poor quality of teachers , and others as described above , in general there are two solutions , namely :

  •  Systemic Solutions , the solutions by changing the social systems that deals with the education system. As we, all know the education system is closely linked to the economic system that is applied. The education system in Indonesia today, applied in the context of the economic system of capitalism, which among other principled minimize the role and responsibilities of the state in public affairs, including education funding.
  • Technical solutions, regarding technical matters directly related to education. The solutions to resolve problems such as teacher quality and student achievement.

Solutions to technical problems returned to the practical efforts to improve the quality of the education system. The low quality of teachers, for example, in addition to the given solution increased prosperity, is also given a solution to the financing of teachers continue to pursue higher education, and provide training to improve the quality of teachers. The low student achievement, for example, given a solution to improve the quality and quantity of learning materials , improve the tools and the means of education , and so on. So with the solutions of education in Indonesia is expected to rise from the ground, to create new generations of high School Based Management, Pancasila and dignified personality.

Indonesian Government is paying a huge attention on Education System, in this case, new Curriculum 2013 was introduced, Teacher Certification Programs, access to knowledge in every single part of country is being fixed. Speaking of the future, Indonesia will give a good quality Education to its citizens; I do believe the Future of Indonesia is bright and it is in the hands of young generation of Indonesia.