Grade I Students Need not Be Able to Read-Write-Count

Kompas, page 12

Curriculum 2013 for grade I SD does not require students to already be able to read, write, and count or calistung. Instead, the curriculum prepares grade I students to begin learning about letters and numbers. It was conveyed by Head of Research and Development Agency of the Ministry of Education and Culture Totok Suprayitno when asked for an explanation related to the new student admissions time this June.

Totok said it would be a mistake to think that newly enrolled children are required to read, write, and basic counting. Clearly it was arranged that while learning in PAUD-Kindergarten, children should only be educated with games that develop character and motor skills. The conventional calistung learning may only be taught when the child is in first grade. In the demands of grade I basic competencies, it is written that at that stage, the child is just starting to learn calistung preparation.

Dean of the Faculty of Education, Jakarta State University Sofia Hartati criticized the explanation contained in the teachers’ handbook. The definition of children’s basic ability is to know facts based on the activities of seeing, listening, feeling, and reading. This is what makes teachers to be misguided and think the children should be capable of calistung. He said, for this case, the solution is to conduct familiarizing and training to PAUD, kindergarten and primary teachers so that they have the same perception of the curriculum.

Even so, Sofia emphasized the importance of bringing children from early on closer to letters and numbers. Only, the way is not by memorizing or ordering children to write. It should be, since in the early childhood (PAUD) the classroom is filled with various images with words.

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