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Ki Hajar Dewantara is known as a hero of education being the founder of Taman Siswa educational institution. Born in 2 May 1899 as Raden Mas Soewardi Soerjaningrat, he was the grandson of Sri Paku Alam III. He set up Taman Siswa in 1923 in Yogyakarta, applying distinctive philosophical principles for teachers, i.e. ing ngarso sung tuladha (when in front of their pupils provide examples), ing madya mangun karsa (when among them provide initiatives and ideas), tut wuri handayani (when behind them provide guidance and motivation). During the Japanese occupation, Ki Hajar Dewantara along with Bung Karno, Bung Hatta, and K.H. Mas Mansyur led Putera (Pusat Tenaga Rakyat), a nationalist organization founded by the Japanese to gather people’s force in fighting the opposing allies. The four leaders were later known as Empat Serangkai (the Group of Four). Ki Hajar Dewantara was appointed Minister of Education in the first cabinet of Indonesian government. Gadjah Mada University once gave him the title Doctor Honoris Causa. His service for the country is nationally commemorated by making his birth date as the day of education. (From various sources)


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