Teachers Object to Certification Standards

Koran Sindo, page 2

The plan to increase the passing standard of test certification test has reaped tough reaction from teachers associations in Indonesia. They said that the policy seems to be premature and cause more burdens to teachers. Actually, the passing standard will be increased from 40 to 80 in the range of 1-100 this year.

This increase is part of the efforts to improve the quality of teachers who have passed certification tests. In fact, a research conducted by the World Bank found that there is no significant difference between teachers who have passed and who haven’t passed certification tests. The Ministry of National Education and Cultures believe that this policy will not be burdensome because it has been disseminated since last year.

Chairman of Board of the Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI), Unifah Rasyidi, said in Jakarta, yesterday (09/19), that the 100% increase of passing standard is illogical. According to her, the 80 figure that certification test participants should reach will be only a mental pressure for teachers. She urged the Minister to make logical requirements which meet the academic principles.

Unifah added that PGRI has long urged the Ministry of improve the quality of teacher certification tests by, among others, applying tougher verification of the certification test requirements. But, in fact, the Ministry increases the passing standard. She urged the Ministry to improve the quality of teacher development system. Yet, the improvement should provide positive stimulation for teachers to compete in improving their achievements.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Indonesian Teacher Association Federation (FSGI) Retno Listyarti questioned the dissemination process of the passing standard increase. According to her, the increase is too high and premature. She also questioned the policy with regard to the current fact of insufficient number of teaches. She added that if teacher candidates fail the certification tests, teaching permits will not be issued.

According to Retno, to improve the quality of teachers, increasing the passing standard and teacher competence test (UKG) are not sufficient. It needs a well-planned and sustainable teacher training program which meets teachers’ needs. Such trainings should not focus merely on curriculum changes. They should be more comprehensive so that they meet what teachers actually need.

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