Kompas, page 12, Friday, June 23
Strengthening character education needs to be synchronized with the nation’s cultural roots. It is time for the millennial generation to be prepared for the demographic bonus together with the commitment to make culture as the course of national development.
Vice Chairman of House Commission X (education and culture) Ferdiansyah said that the Ministry of Education and Culture should actively familiarize the vision of character strengthening. A number of basic matters need to be explained, ranging from terminology, scope, classification, purpose/objectives, benefits, methods of transformation, up to monitoring/evaluation. Considering character is inseparable from cultural aspects, Ferdiansyah suggests that all of the issues be synchronized with Law No. 5/2017 on Cultural Advancement.
Ferdiasnyah said that tens of millions of currently primary and junior high school students would tread productive age in the next 5-10 years in line with the peak demographic bonus. If the millennial generation that grows in the digital era is not equipped with cultural-based character, we can imagine this nation’s existence in the future.
Meanwhile, a teacher of SMPN 1 Sebatik Tengah, Nunukan, North Kalimantan, Andi Jamaluddin said that the application of five day schooling which is now packaged with character building program requires preparation. Teachers are still inadequate in terms of quantity and quality. So too are the facilities, including cafeteria, bathroom, and prayer facilities. Not to mention the many children living on the borders who must be ensured of transport services when going home later in the afternoon.