Story of the 3rd IJSO in Sao Paulo-Brazil

The 3rd IJSO was held in Sao Paulo-Brazil from Dec 3rd-12th, 2006 chaired by Prof. Ozimar Da Silva Pereira. Thirty countries were finally came to joint the competition. Most of delegation came on Dec 3rd, but some countries were arrived one day earlier.

All delegations were happy to come to Sao Paulo, and never expected that they will not meet any LOC members at the Guaralhos Airport. Since most of them who came for the 1st and 2nd IJSO in Indonesia (Jakarta and Yogyakarta) experienced that they all took a good care by the LOC.

At the 3rd IJSO in Sao Paulo, many delegations were stranded for 3 to 6 hours at the Airport, and no LOC member appeared. They knew on the website of 3rd IJSO, that the students will be placed at Ibis hotel. So, one country such as South Korea sent their students to that hotel by taxi from the air port. But, they are so surprised, because Ibis Hotel do not reserved for the IJSO’s delegation. They returned to Air Port to meet their team leaders, and then together went to Cadoro hotel, where all team leaders and observers were placed by Prof. Pereira (or LOC?).

Without any noticed to all of team leaders, actually Prof. Ozimar Da Silva Pereira changed the hotels from Ibis into three hotels such as: Othon, Maraba and Braston. According to the Statues of IJSO, students must be stay in the same hotel.

Facing these facts, many leaders were complaining, but not knowing to whom they must complain. All responsibilities then put on the shoulders of Executive Committee members. The LOC that was written on the website of the 3rd IJSO seems not exist at all. It was very-very unusual IJSO. There is no table for LOC Secretariat at the Hotels, no Banners, and no registration on the arrival, No Name Tag for all delegations, No Programs booklet (for four days), NOTHING. It is just like we came as a tourist, and stay in the hotel.

The 3rd IJSO was held by Prof. Ozimar Da Silva Pereira and his team, which was not clear to us, who they are. Due to this situation, then the President of IJSO, Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting (Indonesia, who came two days prior to the date of event) and his Vice President from Asia, Prof. Dr. Sang Chun Lee (South Korea) took immediate action, and acted as the LOC by themselves, and working directly to make all delegations understand the real situation of 3rd IJSO, and try to accept what we have, and try to help each other so that 3rd IJSO will be still successful.

The welcome party of the 3rd IJSO with Brazilian special BBQ was held at Diadema City (Prof. Ozimar Da Silva Pereira home town), hosted by Lions International Club. The party was good enough, but some leaders were so worry about their students, since they were arrived very late at the party. Prof. Ozimar Da Silva Pereira said it was happened due to two students were slept in their rooms, and took very long time to wake them up.

The opening Ceremony was held on December 4th at Anhembi Convention Center. The program was very simple, compare to what we did at the 1st and 2nd IJSO. There is no a VIP who represented the Brazilian Government, such as from the Ministry of Education. The speeches started by Prof. Ozimar Da Silva Pereira as the chairman of 3rd IJSO, followed by long speech of Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting as the President of IJSO, and other persons. In between speeches, the choir of  K School sang a few songs. Then officially, the 3rd IJSO declared to be opened by one of the Sao Paulo State congressman Dr. Aldo Demarchi. Before the end of the opening ceremony, all delegation was entertained by the performance of Brazilian Culture shows that was performed by one of the dancer group.

Normally at the IJSO, the problems discussion was lead by the Chairman of the Scientific Committee (SC) provided by the host country. However, as the LOC is not exist (at least they are not introduced to us until the 3rd IJSO is over, and till today), the problems discussion lead by Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting and Prof. Dr. Sang Chun Lee. However, the first and third presentation of the problems was made by Prof. Otavio Henrique Thiemann of Instituto de Fisica de Sao Carlos (IFSC). Prof.┬áThiemann himself explained that He actually refused to joint the IJSO, since he was really tied up with his works at his Institute. But Prof. Ozimar told him, if he would not joint the IJSO, then Prof. Ozimar would cancel IJSO in Brazil, and tell to people due to IFSC do not want to help. Prof. Thiemann thinks his Institute Reputation is very important, so he has no choice except to joint IJSO and prepared problems for IJSO competition with his team. However, he clearly said to Prof. Ozimar, that he and his team will not be able to grade all the students’ results, and have very limited time in the discussion room. So on each problems discussion, he arrived at Sao Paulo at 3 pm, and left around 8 pm. So, all responsibilities of the problems discussion left on the shoulder of Prof. Masno Ginting and Prof. Sang Chun Lee. That happened for all three problems discussion.

Since, Prof.┬áThiemann and his team did not able to grade the students’ works, then Prof. Pereira, recruited 6 PhD Students to do that job. Again this is against IJSO’s Statutes. However, with many difficulties and problems, and the hard works of Prof. Masno Ginting, Prof. Sang Chun Lee and all other Executive Committee members of IJSO, finally all moderation for the students’ results was able to be fulfilled. The recipients of medals and other awards were finally able to be decided by the IOC members. This really makes that the 3rd IJSO is still EXIST.

At the night when we had an International Organization Committee (IOC) Meeting to decide the medals and awards recipients which was on December 10th, Prof. Pereira was still with us until all works were finalized around 2 am. All files were given to him, so he could print the Certificates for all delegations according to their achievements. He was showing us that he was no sign of bad intention to the 3rd IJSO. We IOC members even asked him where are the Medals and other awards that he supposed to bring to the last IOC meeting, and showed to all IOC members. But He said, Don’t worry; you will see it tomorrow at the Closing Ceremony’. We took his words as a guaranty, even we all already had a big suspicious on him, since he already did so many bad things to all of us, leaders and students. For examples, He changed the programs by himself. He canceled many sight seeing programs. We were locked out about three hours by the hotel manager. We once had No Lunch, and no Dinner. The same things happen to the students which were staying at Othon’s hotel.

The program for leaders on December 11th was sight seeing to Santos city. Prof. Pereira told the leaders to be at the hotel’s lobby at 6:30 am. Many of leaders could not wake up, since we all went to sleep at around 2:30 am. Prof. Masno Ginting and Prof. Sang Chun Lee decided not to joint the sight seeing program to Santos City that morning. They wanted to make sure that there will be the Closing Ceremony for 3rd IJSO, where all students will also appear, and listen for the announcement of the Medals and awards recipient. It was planned that the Closing Ceremony to be held at Theater Room of UNIP. Around 3 pm, Prof. Masno Ginting and Prof. Sang Chun Lee went there, and checked how the preparation for Closing Ceremony was. At that time they found out everything was running normal.

Around 6 pm all leaders, observes and visitors with very formal dresses at Cadoro Hotel, and students with their national uniforms (were ready to make a special performances from their countries) at all three other hotels were ready to go to UNIP to attend the closing Ceremony. Not only that. The ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia already arrived from Brasilia at Cadoro Hotel, and wanted to attend the Closing Ceremony and wanted to cheer up Indonesian Students and their leaders, who were not successful in defending their superiority being as the IJSO’s Champion this year.

Around 6:30 pm, it was really shock news to all of us, when we heard from the Consulate General of Germany that already arrived at UNIP. She told us that Prof. Pereira had officially canceled the Closing Ceremony for 3rd IJSO. We all so panic. Again, not only the news of Closing Ceremony Cancellation. We were told that all students at Braston’s hotel were not allowed to leave hotel, because Prof. Pereira has not pay even a cent to the hotel. The same thing happens to the students at Maraba’s hotel. Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting made a quick decision, and told leaders to be calm down, and asked one of the team leader from each country went to hotel where their students were staying, and take a good care of them. Then we all EC members work with other leaders to find a solution. Prof. Masno Ginting and Prof. Sang Chun Lee went immediately to Othon Hotel, talked to the manager privately. It was found out that, Othon Hotel was paid by the Brazilian Minister of Education office. We event asked a letter of guaranty from the hotel manager. Then we went to Maraba Hotel. We found out from the Hotel Manager that Prof. Pereira only told him that the students will stay there, and will pay the bill when they checked out. THIS IS REALLY UNBELIEVEBLE. It meant that from the beginning, Prof. Pereira was really had a bad intention for the 3rd IJSO. There at Maraba Hotel, we met with the leaders of Ireland team Dr. Michael A Cotter which came with the person from his embassy. They made long discussion with the manager. Finally with a little bit of hassle, the Ireland students were able to be freed from Maraba Hotel. But, soon afterwards, the hotel called the Police and Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting almost arrested by the police. However, Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting explained to them through the hotel’s manager, that he is trying to solve the problems with all other team leaders at Cadoro hotel. So, the police let Prof. Masno Ginting and Prof. Lee left Maraba Hotel.

Back at Cadoro hotel, we had an urgent IOC meeting to solve all hotels’ problems. Team task force for solving Braston Hotel, reported that the students who stayed there only need to pay US$ 50 per room, for one night stay, since there seems to be a contract between one companies with Hotel manager to let students stay. This was found out by the UK Embassy person. About Cadoro hotel, Prof. Pereira only paid US$ 30.000, after we all were locked out, and owe US$ 20.000 more. The rest of US$ 20.000 was finally paid by UNIP, after Prof. Ronaldo Fogo which is a very good friend of Prof. Masno Ginting talk to the high rank person at UNIP.┬áThen the only problem left was for the students at Maraba Hotel. At the emergency IOC meeting finally we unanimously agree that we have to take the responsibility together as a family. All countries contribute, by giving a minimal donation of US$ 250. Finally, the treasure of IJSO received more than what we need to pay the students’ hotel bill at Maraba.

President of IJSO, Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting was not able to hold his feeling, he was speechless, a tear flowing from his eyes on his cheeks, after all what leaders of all delegations showed hands in hands to solve the problems. We took all responsibilities altogether. For sure, IJSO becomes stronger after all of unexpected cases occur.

Prof. Ronaldo Fogo, who came to the Emergency IOC meeting, was also showed how disappointed he was, for what Prof. Pereira did. Prof. Pereira disappeared from public like A GHOST. No words, no apologies, NOTHING. JUST ABONDENED US ALL.

Although finally all hotels problems were solved, but leaders were still confused. How will they return home, and tell the people in their countries? They won Medals or awards, but there were no Certificates and no medals hanging on the students necks when they step their foot on their home countries. EC Members could only promised at that moment, that all certificates and medals will be made in Indonesia, and will be mailed no more than two months after the end of 3rd IJSO. We have no other choice at that time. Although we all in a very big confusion of how we can handle our reporters, students’ parents, our government officials, etc, in our countries.

To our surprised, when Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting ready to check out from Cadoro Hotel, at 7 am on December 12th, the lady who was on duty at the receptionist called him, and told him that there is a package for him left by some one. Prof. Masno Ginting looked and observed the box. It was sealed neatly, and also quite heavy. He looked for the sender, not known by him. It was impossible for him to carry the box with him, since his luggage was already over weight. So, Prof. Masno Ginting decided not to carry it, but he wanted to make sure what the content of the package is. He asked the lady opened it, and IT WAS A VERY SURPRISED MIXED WITH HAPPINESS TO HIM. THE CONTENT OF THE BOX IS MEDALS AND OTHER PLACKET FOR SPECIAL AWARDS. Prof. Masno Ginting then Called Prof. Sang Chun Lee, and asked receptionist to wake all leaders up, and took related medals and award that their students eligible for. It was Mr. Wu, the secretary of Prof. Sang Chun Lee then who took over the responsibility for the medals and awards distribution.

Finally, Prof. Masno Ginting and Prof. Sang Chun Lee left the Cadoro Hotel, with a much lighter burden. Since what will Prof. Masno Ginting need to prepare in Indonesia is only the Certificates for the students and leaders and send them all as soon as all ready. As he Promised, It will be no more than three weeks.

That is all the Story of the 3rd IJSO in Sao Paulo-Brazil. Bravo IJSO and we all leaders will see again each other in Taipei-Taiwan with the new experience in December 2007.

Jakarta, December 2006.
On Behalf of the EC Members,

Prof. Dr. Masno Ginting
President of IJSO.

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