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Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests,

On behalf of DET Master Scholar awardees, I am honored to speak in front of you at the very end of DET program granted by DSF World Bank and its partners.

It has been a long journey for us and also a very short experience at the same time. A long journey of doing our assignments, writing dissertation and dealing with university stuff. But also a too short period to explore everything about Britain, including its beautiful places, kindly people, fascinating history, public facilities (and off course the great boxing days J).

Ladies and gentlemen,

Being DET scholars give an important meaning for us. We have experienced many things since the first time we arrived in the UK. The first lesson we learnt was the UK learning system. Most of universities combine theory and case study in their lectures. This is a good point for us because we may apply our job experiences within the framework which is taught in the class session. On the other hand, the universities may enrich their scientific study with our real case study.

As a representative from local government, I learned how to analyze socio-economic development project in global lenses that may support strategic decision in local government, specifically for province outside Java. I also learned that decentralization should be supported by many aspects, including technology. For example, information technology may be applied as an important means in delivering information from government to public, as well as between central and local government in order to achieve the goal of good governance. At the same time, technology may also strengthen decentralization program, even though there is a need to review the concept of decentralization itself in Indonesia for more comprehensive and on the right target. This is the second lesson that I got.

 Your Excellencies,

Another important aspect of a nation development is gender equality. I have learnt this fact when I studied gender and development course unit. It has been proved that gender is a key point of development growth. Unfortunately, Indonesia Gender Inequality Index is still low, which ranks hundredth out of a hundred and forty six countries surveyed. This can also be seen from the percentage of DET scholars which is only thirty percent women, or seven out of twenty four scholars. This aspect may have to be reconsidered by the scholarship organizer to add more chance for women education.

The last lesson, and the most enjoyable one, was traveling around the UK. At least there are four states we could visit without applying for a visa, that is England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Most of the places are interesting to visit: the historical buildings, castles, rivers, the universities, and its beautiful landscapes. And I finally found out that Stonehenge is not as big as I have imagined before. During my travel, there is a lesson that might be applied in my own country. It is how tourism can be explored and promoted to attract more tourists to come.

Besides that, there are lots of experience we might never get before: have a sleepless nights, or spend many nights with the laptop, until one night I found my laptop was broken down because I kicked it when I slept. Or, how we were freezing in bus stop waiting for the bus in the very cold winter. That was the worst winter I ever had.. (actually because it was the only winter I have, until now I mean, but I do hope to have another winter in the UK or other countries – bisik2). But meeting friends from different countries was also amazing. We could tell stories of our country, to let them know about how beautiful Indonesia is. And having native friends was also good to proofread your essays, even this script was also proofread by some of my friends. The most interesting thing is we suddenly become a great chef since we need to cook our meals by ourselves. We cannot easily find any Warung Tegal or Nasi Padang in Piccadilly Gardens or Trafford Centre.

It was really an incredible experience..

Ladies and gentlemen,

The end of our study is marked by the announcement of our final results and graduation. It certainly is a wonderful achievement for us. So I would like to conclude my remarks by showing my gratitude to DSF, World Bank, British Council, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, Bappenas, and all parties who already made our dreams came true. And the last but not least, special thank goes for all DSF scholars, for our friendships and our moment of togetherness. It is time for us to give the real contribution for our institution and community, to be the real agent of change, to build and develop our beloved Indonesia.

Thank you very much.

Me with Stefan G. Koeberle

*)My first formal English speech in front of DSF Manager for Indonesia, the World Bank Director for Indonesia, UK Deputy Ambassador, British Council and DSF scholarship recipients at DSF Welcome Back Reception in Hotel Mandarin, 22 Feb 2011 (a day before my 28th).