The forthcoming academic year 2017/2018 will see drastic changes in the educational system at Elementary School (SD) level. Although teachers and students will now be at schools for 8 hours a day, the teaching system will not solely be filled with the delivering of subjects in class, however. The Minister of Education and Culture, Muhadjir Effendi, revealed that the subjects the teachers deliver to the class will be a maximum of three subjects a day, with three times 45 minutes duration. After this, the learning activity will be filled by activities focused on strengthening the student’s character.
According to Mendikbud, with the obligation of 8-hour learning activity each day, Saturday and Sunday will thus be holidays for students and teachers, except for extracurricular activity on a Saturday.
With school activities running for eight hours, the learning activity will start at 07.00 and finished at 15.00. This stipulation is to be applied for all elementary schools in Indonesia, both state and private schools.
In regard to such change of learning activity, Mendikbud admitted that they had sent a circular letter to all the local governments. This change is aimed solely at upgrading the portion devoted to strengthening the character education of students. Based on the circular letter, the learning activity in SD and SMP will be significantly changed. In primary education, the learning activity should be 70 percent emphasis on character education and 30 percent on science. At SMP level, meanwhile, the split between character education and science will be 60/40.
Mendikbud also stated that teachers of SD and SMP should be able to change the learning activity at schools to become both enjoyable and educational. This meant no more of the monotonous system whereby teachers stood and delivered in front of the class, so that students of SD and SMP will no longer become bored. According to Mendikbud, such changes have been implemented in developed countries such as Japan. The change has even seen students reluctant to go home, because they felt so comfortable at schools.