Favored Schools may Lack Students

Suara Pembaruan, page 16, Friday 30 June

In 2017, the Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud), Muhadjir Effendy, is implementing educational reformation. One of these reforms is New Student Admission (PPDB) in state schools being zoning-based. This is to be applied at all levels excluding Vocational High Schools (SMK).

The provision of this zoning system was contained in Permendikbud 17/2018 concerning PPDB. According to Article 90, a minimum of 90 percent of the new student quota is to be filled by students from the closest radius. However, according to the reports concerning the zoning system, several favored schools that usually accept students in large numbers are complaining about a lack of students.

Therefore, Muhadjir has already instructed all heads of education boards (Kadisdik) and implemented work deliberation of headmasters in every zone to regulate the distribution and allocation of new students fairly and proportionally. To ease the coordination system, government has already released the guidance.

Meanwhile, in the view of Expert Staff of National Education System, Andreas Tambah, the zoning system was necessary to upgrade the quality and equalize the education as well as eliminate parents’ impressions of nearby schools. Therefore, before implementing the system, the government should be concerned the competence and abilities of headmasters, school management and competence of the teachers.

In line with such a view, the General Secretary of Federation of Indonesian Teachers Union (FSGI), Retno Lestyarti, stated that the zoning system benefited all parties. Besides meaning that students will be closer to school, this system will help alleviate traffic jams. Moreover, bright students will be spread across various schools and not concentrated in a favored few schools.




Governor to Reassign Teachers Involved in Illegal Charges


Gorontalo Governor Rusli Habibie confirmed that he would immediately reassign teachers who were proven to impose illegal levies on primary to senior high school students. The move, said the Governor in Gorontalo, should be done because the provincial administration through the flagship program has eliminated tuition fees. He asked parents to report directly to him, if they found cases of illegal levies in their respective schools.

The report may be submitted in person by going to the governor’s official home and private home, or via a short message on his personal contact number.  Rusli said if the data is complete and proven, he will not hesitate to immediately reassign the teacher to a remote place like Pohuwato Regency.

According to him, the education sector is foremost because Gorontalo is unlike other areas rich in natural resources (SDA) for the welfare of its people. Rusli emphasized that Gorontalo’s wealth is only in human resources (HR), and this must be improved, through school education it is expected that teachers work sincerely and provide the best for improving the quality of human resources in the region.

To compensate for all that, he continued, the government will not close its eyes by continuing to pay attention to the welfare of teachers, and claimed to have ordered the Head of the Education Agency to provide salaries of temporary teachers at least equivalent to the Gorontalo Provincial Minimum Wage (UMP). In addition, the Governor asserted himself to provide scholarships to higher education for students who are smart and achievers but underprivileged.

Link: http://www.antaranews.com/berita/637903/gubernur-akan-memutasi-guru-terlibat-pungli 

PGRI: Pemda Better Understands the Education System for Students


Acting (Plt) Chairperson of the Indonesia Teachers Association (PGRI), Unifah Rasidi said that the central government should consider the local policy related to the five-day school program (LHS). Because a number of regional administrations (Pemda) have their own educational programs and systems tailored to the needs of the community.

Unifah asked that the central government not arrange in detail the program. She fears the program would actually conflict with the character education programs that have already been established in the respective regions. The central government should only prepare guide lines and the regions would translate them.

According to her, in some schools in the regions there are still many that set the schooling until noon at 12.00. After that students are encouraged to follow religious lessons until the afternoon.

While in many other schools that apply schooling until Saturday; on that day students would get additional lessons such as English or other extracurricular subjects.

Link: http://www.republika.co.id/berita/pendidikan/eduaction/17/06/28/os9dfn430-pgri-pemda-lebih-paham-sistem-pendidikan-untuk-pelajar

Character Education Must be Supported by Qualified Teachers


The Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) is preparing a five-day school program (LHS). This is done so that on the weekend students could be together with family for recreation. The program is also aimed at building students’ character education.

According to the Secretary General of the Federation of Indonesian Teachers’ Union (FSGI), Retno Listyarti, character education is not merely formed by longer hours of schooling. Character education should be supported by the quality of teachers when teaching. Facilities and infrastructure must be adequate in building students’ character.  She said that the program may work well if it is implemented in certain schools that are adequate in facilities such as playground, place of worship, and rest area.

Related to the five-day school program, Retno said that this program is suitable to accommodate students in urban areas. Because, many students who are in the regions must go home from school quicker because the children there should help their parents work in the fields, for example.

In addition, Retno continued that in the regions means of transportation is fairly limited. There is a city or regency whose transportation operates until 15:00hrs/3.00 pm.

If the child is in school for eight hours and maybe go home later than that, then they will have trouble coming home. School hours that are too long will also hinder children’s play activities with friends around the house which is their main environment.

Link: http://www.republika.co.id/berita/pendidikan/eduaction/17/06/29/osb7bf430-pendidikan-karakter-harus-ditunjang-kualitas-guru 

Student activists enlisted to fight radicalism on campus

The Jakarta Post, page 3, Thursday, June 29

For decades, the government has had a rocky relationship with student organizations, which were often viewed with suspicion by past regimes. In 1978 the New Order government issued the controversial Normalization of Campus Life (NKK) policy to ‘sterilize’ campuses from any kind of political activities.

In 2002, the Education Ministry issued a decree that strengthened the NKK policy, taking into account the need to ensure a “condusive” environment on campuses that is free from “political clashes.”

But the President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo administration, which is facing a growing threat of radicalism on campuses, is ready to roll back the policy, as it believes that student organizations could help it quell the threat.

In an unprecedented move, Research, Technology and Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir gathered representatives of student organizations at his office last Wednesday, which has been claimed to be the first formal gathering between the two parties since the implementation of the decades-old NKK policy.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Association of Islamic Students (HMI), the National Indonesian Student Movement (GMNI), the Indonesian Christian Students Movement (GMKI) and the Catholic Students Union (PMKRI) and touched on numerous current issues: radicalism, nationalism, terrorism and drugs.

Nasir highlighted that student organizations were “partners” of the government in countering radicalism, an issue that has somewhat become a focus of the Jokowi administration amid a rise in sectarian politics triggered by the blasphemy case against former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.

The minister further added that more forums were needed to set out how student organizations could be involved in anti-radicalism efforts, but saying that he was open to numerous options, such as revoking the 2002 decree.

Student organization representatives attending the meeting said they welcomed the proposal by the government to involve them in its anti-radicalism campaign, hailing the forum as a “momentum” to foster communication between them and the government.

Mulyadi Tamsir, chairman of the HMI, which has about 600,000 members and was a political training ground for Vice President Jusuf Kalla and former vice president Hamzah Haz, said that HMI has not been given enough space for years. If the government supports them, they will help it [curb radicalism].

While Chrisman Damanik, chairman of the GMNI, whose former members include the late People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) speaker Taufik Kiemas, praised the move by Nasir to invite them to help curb radicalism, saying upholding Pancasila was also a mission of his organization.

6,296 Teachers being Sent to 3T Areas in 2017

Suara Pembaruan, page 17, Friday 30 June

A lack of teachers in the frontier, outermost, and underdeveloped (3T) areas often occurs. This was stated by the Director General of Teacher and Education Personnel (Dirjen GTK) of the Minister of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) Sumarna Surapranata. To address the lack of teacher in 3T areas, the government sends teachers to such areas every year. He continued that there were 6,296 Front Line Teachers (GGD) especially being sent to teach in 3T areas in 2017.

Pranata explained that such teachers would be placed in 183 regencies/cities of 3T areas all over Indonesia. The GGD selection already ran last year, however the result has only just been announced because the adjustment to Law Number 23 Year 2014 concerning Local Government. GGD selection was taken by 6,315 participants of 6,348 registrants implemented in 107 competency test places (TUK) across Indonesia.

The General Secretary of Kemendikbud, Didik Suhardi, said that the placement was the last process of GGD selection. Therefore, filling and verification were not necessary. He expected that all GGD would be able to work smoothly and feel at home living in 3T areas.

Meanwhile, the General Head of Indonesian Teacher’s Association (PGRI), Unifah Rosyidi, said that lack of teachers often occurred in the local areas, because of the difference in teacher number data owned by government. The other reason is the fate of honorary teachers, which rarely receives any attention. She expected that the government should provide a chance for honorary teachers who have already met state civil apparatus’ (ASN) qualification to be appointed.

Creating a School as Being a Second Home

Kompas, page 1, Wednesday, June 28

Reformation of educational system at a school should be implemented to create a school as being a second home. Schools should be safe and fun, thus schools really become a good place to develop and protect children from various physical, psychic, verbal, and social threats. The expectation of this path is the birth of a future generation that are bright and with strong character.

The educational psychologist of Surabaya University, Anindito Aditom, said that actually a school should be child-friendly. Sadly, however, it’s a fact that a number of schools are not able to provide safety for their students.

Welcoming the new academic year, government has come back to socialize the movement of child-friendly schools. Before Eid holiday, the Minister of Education and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy, invited local government to create schools as a second home for students.

Child-unfriendly behavior often found in schools is discrimination towards children because of their ethnicity, religion, and belief, as well as their parents’ social-economic status.

In addition, violence experienced by students comes in the form of ridicule, unconcerned attitude, intimidation, even physical violence among students, teachers and educational personnel. Muhadjir said that student orientation should be far from initiation or violence. In the Socialization of Regulation/Policy of Primary and Secondary Education in Order to Early Preparation of Academic Year 2017/2018, Muhadjir said that student orientation should be led by deputy headmasters for student division, not by students. The content is introduction of a new learning environment and building of nationalism or love for the Motherland.

Muhadjir stated that to create a school as a second home for children, New Student Admission (PPDB) with zonal system was being applied. The purpose is to enable children to study in locations close to their homes. This effort is also to equalize the quality of educational services for the children of the nation, with schools no longer being labeled as favorite and non-favorite.


Mendikbud: The Government is Formulating the Presidential Regulation

Suara Pembaruan, page 17, Thursday 29 June

Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud) Muhadjir Effendy said the Five-Day School (LHS) policy is currently being formulated in the form of Presidential Regulation (Perpres) as the legal framework in supporting.

Permendikbud No. 23 of 2017 on School Days. His side, continued Muhadjir, is still awaiting the result of team work.

According to Muhadjir, in summary the presence of Perpres is to perfect the LHS policy.  The existence of this regulation, he added, is so that this LHS legal umbrella could oversee across ministries involved, namely Kemendikbud, Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag), Ministry of Home Affairs (Kemendagri), the Ministry of Finance (Kemenkeu), the Ministry of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform (Kemenpan- RB), Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (Kemenkumham) and the State Secretariat (Setneg).

Muhadir explained his party would also involve the regional administrations (pemda) because the school is the authority of the pemda.  In addition, there are some regional heads who reject this LHS policy, so there should be dialogue and dismissing the notion that the LHS policy is Javacentric and does not involve other regions especially the outermost, frontier, and disadvantaged regions (3T).

Meanwhile, the expert staff of Kemendikbud Character Education, Arie Budiman, said his party had invited all education agency heads of 34 provinces to conduct dialogue regarding the readiness of schools to run LHS.  He believes that no one will reject it after properly understanding the substance of the LHS provisions.

Classroom Management is the Key for Learning

Kompas, page 10, Friday, June 30

The standard curriculum achievement is not an obstacle for teachers to maximize learning for students. The classroom management system that emphasizes each student’s abilities will be the key to learning. Endah Priyati, a history teacher of SMAN 12 Bekasi City, West Java, said that every teacher must memorize the names of the students along with their uniqueness. Because, there are students who are strong in the visual, audio, motor, and cognitive side.

In addition, Endah also knows the background of each student’s parenting pattern. This is very helpful for communicating teaching materials to students and parents. The dialogues are sustainable with recorded developments.

Elanda Rosita, Deputy Principal of SDN 2 Pagi Lebak Bulus, Jakarta, said that with the primary school curriculum having thematic concept, teachers should be creative and think about new approaches in teaching. If the approach is monotonous, students cannot capture/absorb the materials taught.  In fact, students whose cognitive abilities are lacking are less likely to follow the lessons.

Elanda also regularly gathers parents to be provided direction, usually before each change of chapters in textbooks. Because students’ time in school is limited, the absorption of learning materials could optimally be done if students are also guided by parents at home.

Head of the Center for Books and Curriculum of Kemendikbud, Awaludin Tjalla, said that teachers as managers in the classrooms should be able to manage class, time, and determine the appropriate interventions in line with the characteristics of children.

Prioritize Appointment of Civil Servant Teachers

Kompas, page 10, Wednesday, June 28

The shortage of permanent teachers occurs in almost all regions, especially for primary school teachers. Therefore, the government is asked to immediately appoint teachers with the priority of the appointment of civil servant teachers. Chairperson of the Board of the Indonesian Teachers Association, UNIFAH Rosyidi said that for the 3T areas (frontier, remote, and disadvantaged), the government could appoint temporary teachers qualified to become civil servant (PNS) teachers or as P3K status teachers (government employee with employment agreement).

Unifah doubts the claim of the Ministry of Education and Culture that the number of teachers is actually excessive, but unevenly distributed. The reason is because the excess mentioned by the government also includes temporary teachers.

Separately, Director General of Teachers and Education Personnel, of Kemdikbud, Sumarna Surapranata said that the number of teachers is currently around 2.92 million. There are as many as 727,981 temporary teachers in state schools. He said that the condition of teachers in the regions there are those in shortage of teachers and there are also those in excess, but they are not evenly distributed.  The shortage of teachers will be filled with the appointment of P3K teachers.  Meeting the need for these teachers should be observed because based on the ratio of teachers and students nationally, Indonesia still has a surplus of teachers.

Head of the State Employment Agency, Bima H Wibisana in the Coordination Meeting for Assignment of Frontier Teachers for 2016, said that the appointment of teachers, would be prepared with government employees with employment agreement.   For 3T areas it would benefit the teachers so they do not easily move around.