Lower Grade Students are the Most to Repeat

Kompas, page 12, Saturday, June 3

The success of lower grade students in primary school, namely grades I-III, to follow learning well still experiences constraints. In the last two years, there had been recorded 300,000-400,000 primary school students per year were forced to repeat a grade or not continuing to the next grade level.   Actually, in 2013, the Ministry of Education and Culture has issued a policy for primary students not to stay behind a grade.

Based on Education Data Overview 2016/2017 issued by Kemdikbud, the number of elementary students who repeated totaled 361,215 children out of a total of 25.6 million elementary school students. In the previous year’s data, students who got left behind reached 422,082 children. In grade I, students who repeated totaled 149,972 children, grade II numbered 76,816 children, and grade III as many as 63,396 children.

Lecturer of SD Teachers Education Program of Atma Jaya Catholic University Jakarta, Murniati Agustin, said that a lower grade class with more than 30 students should require team teaching. However, this method has not been rooted in SD in Indonesia. She said that if there is team teaching in the lower grades, one teacher could focus on helping students who still have learning difficulties, while the other can serve students who are ready with the set material.

In addition, schools and teachers should be able to map students’ initial knowledge. If there is a test in the primary school, not for admissions or not to enter the school, but as an attempt to map.  Hence, since the beginning teachers know the diversity of students’ abilities so as to design fun learning.

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