Gerakan Pramuka Day 2016Submited By Faris Hussain
Gerakan Pramuka is the national Scouting organization of Indonesia. Scouting was founded in the Dutch East Indies in 1912, and Indonesia became a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) in 1953. It has 8,103,835 members (as of 2008), making it the world’s largest Scout association. Each year August 14 is celebrated as Pramuka Day to honor the organization’s first public parade.
Its name Pramuka was derived from the abbreviation of “praja muda karana”, meaning “young people willing to work”.
Scouting came to Indonesia in 1912, as a branch of the Nederlandse Padvinders Organisatie (NPO, Netherlands Pathfinder Organisation). After 1916 it was called the Nederland Indische Padvinders Vereeniging (Netherlands Indies Scout Movement). Other Scouting organizations were established by the Indonesia Scouts in 1916. As the Dutch East Indies, Indonesia had been a branch of the Netherlands Scout Association, yet Scouting was very popular, and had achieved great numbers and standards.
When Indonesia became an independent country, there were more than 60 separate Boy Scout and Girl Guide organizations. Most were directly affiliated with some certain political parties or social groups. Attempts were made to unify all Scout organizations into one.
The thousands of islands made administration and supervision difficult, and the Japanese occupation caused some twenty separate Scout organizations to spring up, and it took time for them to coalesce. In September 1951 thirteen of the stronger Scout organizations met and decided to found a federating body to satisfy national and international needs. Ikatan Pandu Indonesia – Ipindo for short – came into being. Tuan Soemardjo was elected chief commissioner, and Dr. Bahder Djohan, an old Scout and Minister of Education, became honorary President. Government approval of Ipindo was granted on February 22, 1952, and President Sukarno consented to become patron of the unifying and correlating National Scout Council. Indonesia has been a member of WOSM since 1953.
This resulted in the establishment of a single Scout Movement in Indonesia called “Gerakan Pramuka”. In May 1961, the President of Indonesia signed a regulation making Gerakan Pramuka the official Scout organization in Indonesia.
Gerakan Pramuka is a former member of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, having left WAGGGS and joined WOSM also for the girls in 2002.
After Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, other Indonesian recipients of the Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, awarded by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting, include Abdul Azis Saleh in 1978, John Beng Kiat Liem in 1982 and retired Lieutenant General Mashudi in 1985.
The Indonesia Scout Movement incorporates both boys and girls. It is an educational movement through Scouting activities, the education being directed toward a new, just, peaceful and prosperous Indonesian community based on the national ideology. Activities of the boys and girls are conducted separately from one another. They have joint activities whenever possible and necessary. Management of the Scout Movement is carried out by the National Headquarters.
Education for young members is carried out through activities to achieve General Skill Requirements (GSR) and Special Skill Requirements (SSR) (merit badge system) towards achieving Garuda Scout.
To achieve the goals of Scouting, activities are carried out on the group and national level. Routine activities are focused on the development of character, patriotism, physical fitness, skill and intelligence of the Scouts themselves which are very important for their future life. Activities of the special troops are organized in order to develop specific personal interest and talent and enable them to serve the community with the knowledge, ability and skill he/she have learned.
The Scouts take an active part in community development service projects. They take an active part in combating illiteracy. The success of the campaign against illiteracy in one province, gained the Scouts worldwide recognition and won them a UNESCO award.
The Scouts also participate in the drive to improve health and nutrition in the community, especially children under five years of age. Acting as extension workers, they practice how to raise cattle, fish, breed hens and grow vegetables.
The Scout emblem incorporates the seed of the coconut palm, all parts of which are used in Indonesian everyday life, symbolizing the philosophy of a true Scout, who must make him or herself useful in all aspects of life. It represents the growing spirit, physical toughness, adaptability, and high aspiration of the Scout.
Gerakan Pramuka is divided in two major educational groups: the member section and the adult section. The first is divided in further age-groups with different educational systems, the second provides the leaders and supports the younger members.
The age-groups are:
Cub Scouts (Siaga) – ages 7 to 10
- Siaga Mula
- Siaga Bantu
- Siaga Tata
Scouts (Penggalang) – ages 11 to 15
- Penggalang Ramu
- Penggalang Rakit
- Penggalang Terap