Ministry to increase school hours despite objections

The Jakarta Post, page 3, Saturday, June 17

The Cultural and Education Minister will continue with its plan to implement a five-day school week in July despite an order from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to delay the plan. Culture and Education Minister Muhadjir Effendy saying he had not heard about the President’s order and the program will be implemented gradually.

Muhadjir signed a ministerial decree in June on the extension of school hours, from five to eight hours, and the reduction of the number of school days, from six to five days a week. The new policy will be implemented at all education levels, except kindergartens and religious schools.

The ministry’s director general of elementary and secondary education, Hamid Muhammad, said they had not received an official letter from president on postponing the implementation of the program, hence the decision to implement it. He added that if it turns out the President officially requested the suspension of the program, Kemendikbud will do as the President are told.

Around 9,380 schoools across Indonesia will implement the policy at the start of the new academic year in july, Hamid said, adding that the schools implementing the changes needed to have an adequate number of teachers and facilities.

The ministry also planned to implement government regulation (PP) No. 19/2017, which would increase teachers working hours to 40 hours per week.

Under the new regulation teachers will be not required to teach for 24 hours within the confines of classroom. Instead, teachers can move lessons outside the classroom or go on field trips.

The ministry’s director General for teachers, Sumarna Surapranata, said to fulfill the demand, teachers would have to grade their student’s work, plan syllabi and carry out other tasks, such as those relating to extracurricular activitie, at school.

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