Mr. IGAK Satrya Wibawa, Education and Culture Attaché, discusses his role in strengthening the educational and cultural collaboration between Singapore and Indonesia.

Singapore, 11 June 2024 – In this exclusive interview with Sun Media, Mr. IGAK Satrya Wibawa, the Education and Culture Attaché at the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore, shared insights into his role and the ongoing efforts to strengthen educational and cultural ties between Singapore and Indonesia.

Q: We want to know more about you, your department, and the collaboration between Singapore and Indonesia. You have been here for almost two years now. How have you settled in Singapore?

A: I joined about two years ago, and my family is here with me. My wife and two daughters are studying in Singapore. The first one is in primary school and will soon be in high school. We came from Bali, which is a special place for us.

Q: Tell us about your career path and your role in the embassy.

A: I was a lecturer at a public university in Indonesia, teaching and working on various projects. When this position opened in 2021, I saw it as an opportunity to face new challenges and explore new opportunities. Here in Singapore, I lead several programs to enhance collaboration between our two countries.

Q: What are your thoughts on the education system in Indonesia, and how do you see collaboration with Singapore?

A: Under the leadership of our Minister, Nadine, we promote innovative and motivating educational practices. Our goal is to tailor education to different contexts, like those in Jakarta and Papua. We emphasize project-based learning and encourage students to explore and enjoy the learning process. Singapore’s education system serves as a benchmark for us, and we aim to learn from their experiences while considering our cultural context.

Q: How are job opportunities for students back in Indonesia?

A: The job market is evolving rapidly, and it’s essential to provide students with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to prepare for future opportunities. The government is working to ensure that education is accessible and free, especially in state schools. We face challenges due to our diverse geography, but we strive to provide the necessary resources and support.

Q: Could you update us on the recent visit of your minister and its significance?

A: In 2021, we agreed to enhance our efforts in various programs, including student exchanges and research collaborations. We’ve opened a research center facilitated by NUS, and we are working on more initiatives to strengthen our educational ties.

Q: How do you engage with the Indonesian student community in Singapore?

A: We have around 8,000 to 10,000 Indonesian students in Singapore, from primary school to post-doctoral studies. Singapore offers a conducive environment for our students, with its strong education system and cultural similarities. Many students seek job opportunities in Singapore after graduation, but we also encourage them to return to Indonesia and contribute to our development.

Q: What are some of your cultural initiatives in Singapore?

A: We support various cultural programs and collaborations with local art schools. We have upcoming events and performances planned to promote Indonesian culture in Singapore. Our embassy maintains an open and friendly environment, welcoming everyone as friends rather than guests.

Q: You have a significant role in education and culture. How do you manage it all?

A: It’s not just a job; it’s something I love. Connecting with people and promoting our culture is a passion of mine. The embassy operates on the principle that everyone who visits is a friend, and we strive to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Q: What changes do you anticipate with the new government in Indonesia?

A: The new government will continue building on our current foundation. We may revise some aspects to better align with global trends, but the core principles will remain the same. We are also looking at potential collaborations with foreign universities, including those from Singapore, to further enhance our education system.

Q: How can Singaporeans engage with the Indonesian education system through your office?

Mr. IGAK Satrya: Singaporeans interested in collaborating on educational initiatives can contact me. Whether it’s for student exchanges, school partnerships, or other educational projects, we are open to discussions and collaborations.

Q: Finally, what do you enjoy most about living in Singapore?
A: I enjoy the diverse lifestyle and the variety of food. Singapore offers a unique blend of cultures and experiences. I recommend trying the diverse Indonesian cuisine, especially the different types of Soto. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, and I look forward to continued success in our collaboration.