Japans Soka University Awards Honorary Doctoral Degree to President SBY
For the umpteenth time, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) received an honorary (honoris causa) doctoral degree. This time, it was Japans Soka University which awarded the honorary doctoral degree to President SBY in educational and cultural fields. The honorary doctoral degree was awarded in the State Palace, Jakarta, on Tuesday (14/10).
Soka University Rector, Dr. Yoshihisa Baba, stated in his remarks that the honorary doctoral degree was awarded to President SBY for his valuable contributions, his thoughts, and his devotion to the peace of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) and the countries in Southeast Asia, and his significant roles in the restoration of security, the resolution of conflicts, and the improvements of state economy, which make Indonesia grow into a great and renowned economy in Southeast Asia.
Taking the consideration mentioned above into account, respectfully and proudly, we award this honorary doctoral degree in educational and cultural fields from Soka University to Mr. President, Dr. Yoshihisa said.
Dr. Yoshihisa also extended his deep gratitude to President SBY and Indonesian people who sincerely gave their assistance and support to Japanese people when the earthquake hit the region around Japans eastern waters three years ago.
President SBYs presence in the earthquake-hit areas in Japan gave extraordinary support and spirit to the victims, Dr. Yoshihisa stated.
According to the Rector of Soka University, the bestowal of the honorary doctoral degree was recommended by Daisaku Ikeda, the founder of Soka University, because they appreciate President SBYs achievements, services, and contributions to the public, and more specifically, because they respect President SBYs exemplary character.
Pillar of Progress
Meanwhile, President SBY in his remarks said that since the beginning of his presidency, education has been one of the main priorities. He mentioned that Indonesia operates one of the largest school systems in the world, serving more than fifty million students.
President SBY also expressed his happiness because during his presidency, the Government succeeded in making the best use of twenty percent of the state budget (APBN) allocated for education.
For years, Indonesia has implemented the nine-year compulsory education programs since 1989 which require Indonesian children to complete their education until the senior-high-school levels. Education is one of the most effective ways to eradicate poverty and thus, we make education one of our main priorities, President SBY said.
President SBY believes that holding university degrees, young people coming from disadvantaged families can improve their families living significantly.
According to President SBY, the Government has been so actively promoting its program called Bidik Misi (scholarship program for students coming from low-income families). The program provides free school tuition fees and pocket-money for students coming from low-income families.
So far, President SBY continued, 190,000 students have benefitted from the Bidik Misi program, and the Government has spared special funds for schools throughout Indonesia. The funds are specially allocated for improving the schools educational facilities in accordance with their respective needs.
The event was attended by, among others, First Lady Madam Ani Yudhoyono, Vice President Boediono and Madam Herawati Boediono, Minister of State Secretariat Sudi Silalahi, Minister of Education and Culture Muhammad Nuh, and other ministers of the United Indonesia Cabinet II (KIB II). (Humas Setkab/ES)