By: Dwi Erianto/Kompas R&D
Translated from Kompas article dated 13 May 2013
Commitment towards students, innovation and teacher’s creativity are the major supporting factors in the education process. Catharina (48) a teacher in a private SD in Medan having more than 20-year teaching experience admitted that she often has to be creative by making learning tools for her students.
“I duplicate all pictures related to the teaching material from newspapers and books in order for students to easily understand the materials being taught,” Catharina said.
Ani Kurniati (38), a teacher from a state SD in Yogyakarta, does the same thing. She tries to create a relaxed and fun environment every time she delivers teaching materials by positioning herself as a mother taking care of her children. It’s not rare for her to guide her students to understand the materials by doing practice outside the classroom.
Both examples describe teachers’ struggle. Ideally, a teacher not only teaches, but also becomes an educator for their students. By being a teacher, a teacher “only” teaches knowledge to the students. Whereas educating means that teachers are involved in the whole learning process and motivates the students to move forward.
According to Dedi Supriadi in the Educational Leadership Journal in 1993, the five measures of teacher professionalism are commitment to students and learning process, in-depth mastery of subjects and teaching methods, supervising learning results by using various methods of evaluation, systematic thinking and learning from experience, and becoming part of the professional community.
Of the various ideal criteria, it seems not all requirements can be met by teachers. From the survey result it can be seen that in general there is quite a strong commitment of teachers to their profession. The spirit of their calling to become educators for the country’s children is also implied. Nonetheless, various weaknesses related to teaching methods, ways of looking at things, or teaching facilities become barriers.
The efforts to enhance professional competency of teachers are mainly conducted among teachers who teach in “A” or “B” accredited schools. As for teachers from “C” accredited schools, they tend to apply conventional teaching methods. Forty percent of teachers teaching in “C” accredited schools admitted that they rarely use learning kits while teaching their students.
There are still plenty of teachers, who opt to stay in the “convenient zone” of teaching by solely referring to textbooks. This survey shows that the majority of teachers (70 percent) still rely on teaching materials recommended by the Ministry of Education and Culture and materials from book publishers as source for teaching information. In other words, enriching materials is still at a minimum. More than half of the responsdents (61 percent) admitted rarely use the newspapers or works of literature as media for developing teaching innovation.
Types of Teachers
The ideal type of teacher may grow from a teacher who is typically moderate or open. In this survey, the indicator for a moderate teacher is having a more open perspective, such as agreeing that the learning process between teacher and students is like a dialog, the learning process is not confined in a classroom and knowledge competency of teachers is more important than others like certification. Teachers, who are typically conservative, tend to have the opposite view.
This survey finds that more than half of the respondents (57.5 percent) are closer to the moderate or open type. The restis conservative. Moderate types are usually seen in young teachers with teaching experience of less than 15 years. As for conservative teachers, they tend to have more than 15-year teaching experience.
Moderate teachers tend to make the effort to enhance their competencies compared to conservative teachers. In preparing their lesson plan, for example 31 percent moderate teachers do this daily, while 29 percent conservative teachers do the same.
The majority of teachers that take this survey admitted they rarely take part in education and training to enhance their competency. This mostly happens to teachers from “C” accredited schools. Two third of the respondents from this group says that they rarely or never attended competency oriented education and training. The opposite happens to 43 percent of teachers from “B” accredited schools and 38 percent of teachers from “A” accredited schools. They attend education and training to increase their competency.
It can’t be denied that teacher certification that have been conducted for the several past years is the first step for the government to acknowledge teacher professionalism. However, of the total number of teachers in Indonesia in 2011, which is 2.92 million, only 2.06 million teachers (70.5 percent) meet the certification requirements. Based on the data from the Ministry of Education and Culture, 1.1 million teachers are certified, of which only 731.000 receive certification allowance.
From this survey, almost all teachers consider the certification program as very important. In addition to being considered as professional acknowledgement, certification also means additional income. Two third of the respondents, who are certified, said that the income they receive is adequate compared to the teaching load, even 11 percent considered it more than enough compared to the teaching load. Meanwhile, more than half of the respondents that have not receive teacher certification admitted their income is smaller compared to their work load.
This shows that teacher certification program increase teachers’ welfare. Improved teacher’s welfare however does not necessarily mean improved quality of national education. Half of the teachers said that the quality of education is presently the same, while 15 percent said that it is worse compared to five years ago. Extra efforts must be made to improve national education without reducing teachers’ right.
How satisfied are you on your achievement as a teacher?
Adequacy of income with Teaching Load
Teachers’ experience in maintaining class dynamics (in percent)
Teachers’ freedom to make decision (in percent)
The survey was conducted from 24 March to 7 April 2013. As many as 512 teacher respondents were selected from 64 SD and 64 SMP from the cities of Medan, Palembang, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Makassar and Kupang. The selection of state/private SD and SMP were systematic after having grouped schools with “B” accreditation (55%), “A” accreditation (30%) and “C” accreditation (15%). The teacher respondents are form teachers from grades 1 and 4 at the SD level and from grade 7 at the SMP level with a 5-year minimum teaching experience. The heterogeneity of teachers and areas could probably cause error outside the sample selection. The result of this survey is not intended to depict the opinion of all teachers in Indonesia.
Source: Kompas R&D