Mendikbud: Policy of Schools Opening Five days Strengthens Students’ Characters

The Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) will promptly apply the policy of eight hours study at school and schools open five days a week in academic year 2017/2018. This policy is part of the implementation of Strengthening the Character Education (PPK) program prioritizing five main values: religion, nationalism, community work (gotong royong), independence, and integrity.

The Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud), Muhadjir Effendy at Kemendikbud Office in Jakarta on Sunday (11/6) said that the regulation relating to this policy would soon be released and socialized. Muhadjir explained that such character strengthening did not mean students would just study eight hours in classes every day. In reality, students will be supported in undertaking activities that pertain to ethical values and competences relevant in the 21st century. Learning resources are not only to be found in schools, but also in other environments such as museums, cultural parks, art studios, and even places like football fields for instance.

He continued that educating by the teacher lecturing in front of the class should be decreased and moves made to more positive activities, such as taking Islamic primary education for Moslem students. Teachers should be cognizant of the place and manner in which students undertake religious lessons as part of strengthening religious values. Teachers are also required to monitor their students in order to prevent them from absorbing misguided views or l intolerance.

Muhadjir suggested that the fears expressed by several parties about studying eight hours a day at school being able to eliminate the existence of Islamic primary education had no foundation. This is because, the more time students have to study, the more Islamic primary education can be integrated into character building. Islamic primary education will actually benefit because it will develop as one of study places able to synergize with school in strengthening religious character values.

Muhadjir appealed to headmasters who joined the Principal Consultative Work (MKKS) to promptly coordinate with Education Board in mapping the schools so that they are ready to implement this policy. Moreover, it is the duty of teachers and MMKS to ensure that the unique qualities in local areas are well preserved.


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