This paper examines educational practices that can encourage self-reliance activities and projects in Tompo Bulu, a rural community in South Sulawesi province, eastern Indonesia. This is action research utilizing interview, field observation and an extensive literature review.

Forty-seven research participants were selected using purposeful sampling strategy to elicit their perceptions on the following: learning, schooling processes, content and organization of formal education, learning spaces in rural community, vision on education and to identify the existence of self reliant practices in Tompo Bulu village. Revealing their perceptions on the previous issues will elucidate the necessary changes toward educational practices pertinent to self-reliant activities.

This study concluded that education and development so far have merely served as means of pauperization among the poorest of the poor, and have been deliberately exploited by the ruling class to maintain the status quo. Development with excessive emphasize on economic growth has in fact destroyed the physical environment and demolished the spirit of self-reliance of the rural community. Educational institutions (i.e. schooling) have altered the world view of the rural community and imposed the so-called “modern values”. The schools have exterminated the ethic of the rural community, from communal to individualistic values. The highly competitive learning atmosphere that school propagated in its pedagogical practices is one of the fundamental causes of this evolving societal change.


Economics | Education | Growth and Development