The Causes of the Declining in Reading and Writing Culture of Indonesian Students

The Causes of the Declining in Reading and Writing Culture of Indonesian Students

Students as agent of change and iron stock are claimed to act and behave critically and analytically. For instance, by developing the reading and writing culture. However, most Indonesian students are declining that culture. It seems there’s a lack of them as intellectual actors in this country. The reasons of the declining in reading and writing culture of Indonesian students are that they don’t have enough motivation and work ethos, that’s not being part of their life style, the rareness of the library, and as victims of the television programs.

First, the declining in reading and writing of Indonesian students is caused by their lack motivation and work ethos. Marjiono (2007) argues that the reading and writing culture was still supposed as burden by most primary school students until high school students ( While, Sugiantoro (2008) argues that the declining reading and writing culture was not only happened to school students, teacher, and lecturer, but also it is happening to the high school students who was called as intellectual actors ( Most Indonesian students tend to wanted a result of learning process instantly. Take the case of examination, they tend to try to master their lesson by learning it only in a night. Whereas, they just wasted their time prior to the examination days. It’s okay if they were really clever students. But, how if they didn’t have such capability or weak in short-time learning. So, that learning method would not give a maximum result at all for them. Consequently, at the examination day, they would try to use every ways to pass their examinations, including did it dishonestly. That’s why cheating has become a strong culture among that students. Another example that is in doing home work or any assignments which was given by their lecturer. It’s only a few students who did it by themselves, meanwhile the others just preferred to cheat it. Even, in the worst case, only one student that accomplished the home work or assignment by himself or herself.

Sugiantoro (2009) in his article states that :

“Bahkan, tugas paper yang dibuat pun tinggal copy-paste tanpa analisis kritis dan penuangan pemikiran orisinal mahasiswa. Bisa dikatakan mahasiswa zaman sekarang seakan-akan malas menulis. Membaca pun malas. Lagi-lagi karena ada mid semester dan ujian akhir, mahasiswa bersedia membaca. Bahkan, mahasiswa menyempatkan diri ke perpustakaan jika ada tugas-tugas kuliah. Lebih dari itu, budaya contek-mencontek telah mengakar kuat setiap kali ujian tiba.” (

Second, the reading and writing culture is not being a part of Indonesian’s students life style. They seem have a wrong perception of reading where they suppose that reading is not an effective work and just wasting time. They are liking talking and gossiping something unclear in a long time. In some certain groups, they even ridicule them whose habit to read. We are so seldom to see or find students who are enjoying his free time to read in front of public area such as in bus halte, in cafe, on bus, etc. This fact is so different with the progressing country, which they will use their free time effectively to read anywhere and anytime. They do it with undisputable feeling with the others because they aware the need to read each other. Meanwhile Sugiantoro (2008) asserts that the writing culture is so weak among the Indonesian students. It’s only a few activist who were writing whether published it on mass media or made it in book form. (

Ironically, the developing culture among Indonesian students that is liking to show their strenght in materi. In certain high school or university, we can see many of the students like to show off their individual physical assets such as beauty, handsome, wealth, personal accessories, etc. It’s okay if they have something to be rightfully proud of thought or creation side – that’s cool. However, many of them went to campus just for showing those individual physical assets with no clear direction in pursuing knowledge. This has also created their own poor quality in work field later.

Third, the rareness of the library has obstacled the reading and writing culture of Indonesian students. We can see it in not so well developed-district or area. Basically, the motivation for reading and writing is depend on each individual characteristic. But, the rareness of the library has encouraged many students to be lazy to read or write something. For instance, many Indonesian students are from a small village. Actually, they are active to write during their education time in campus. However, after they finish their education and back to their village, they don’t have something valuable to read because of the rareness of the library. To find the reading materi in the town, they must spend much time and cost. This fact has obstacled their willing for always reading and writing.

Last, the increasing of TV’s programs has also decreased the reading and writing culture of Indonesian students. Most of them tend to spend their time for watching TV. Moreover, the television programs are so in great quatities now. The television broadcaster seem to compete to offer their most interesting programs. However, most of their TV programs are only about entertainments such as sinetrons, telenovela, cartoons, continuing film, etc. It’s only  a few TV’s programs that raising education programs.

Iman (2006) concludes that:

“Banyak masyarakat kita yang menonton televisi hanya untuk pleasure, menghibur diri. Apalagi kaum pria, yang kebanyakan menonton hanya untuk menghibur mata — selain mencari informasi dan tayangan olahraga (sepakbola)” (

Based on Iman’s opinion, we can conclude that Indonesian people and Indonesian students watch television just for finding a pleasure and entertainment. Most of them spend their time to watch than reading or writing.

So, in conclusion, the declining in reading and writing culture of Indonesian students are happening because their lack motivation and work ethos, not being part of their life style, the rareness of library, and as the victims of television programs. This is a phenomenom that must be changed by Indonesian students because we have been left by our neighbor states. Further, the reading and writing culture must be improved to strenghten our generation with the knowledge. And it could improving our state education development.



Iman, N. (December 27th, 2006). Sinetron Indonesia dan Pembodohan [online]. Available:

Marjiono. (December 29th, 2007). Budaya Membaca dan Menulis Masih Minim Di Sekolah [online]. Availble:

Sugiantoro, H. (May 4th, 2008). Miskinnya Budaya Intelektual Mahasiswa [online]. Available:



One Response to “The Causes of the Declining in Reading and Writing Culture of Indonesian Students”

  1. […] The Causes of the Declining in Reading and Writing Culture of Indonesian Students ( […]

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