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Critics of the Indonesian National Examination, by Irfan Rusmar

Critics of the Indonesian National Examination, by Irfan Rusmar

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Published by Ipan Ivanov
Irfan Rusmar
Deakin University, Australia
Irfan Rusmar
Deakin University, Australia

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Published by: Ipan Ivanov on Feb 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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CRITICS OF NATIONAL EXAMINATION POLICY IN INDONESIA
By
Irfan Rusmar211076913EXE 733 Assessing Learning1.
 
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 12.
 
A Brief History about National Testing in Indonesia ........................................................... 23.
 
The Purposes and the Important Features of National Examination .................................. 3a.
 
The Purposes of National Examination......................................................................... 3b.
 
The Important Features of Current National Examination ........................................... 34.
 
Negative Impacts of National Examination......................................................................... 4a.
 
Teachers “Teach to the Test”
....................................................................................... 4b.
 
Willing to Engage in Cheating ....................................................................................... 5c.
 
Only Measures the Cognitive Aspects of Students ....................................................... 6d.
 
Feeling Stressed and Under pressured ......................................................................... 65.
 
Suggestions for UN Policy ................................................................................................... 76.
 
Conclusion .......................................................................................................................... 8References ................................................................................................................................ 9Appendix 1 ................................................................................................................................ 12Appendix 2 ................................................................................................................................ 13
 
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CRITICS OF NATIONAL EXAMINATION POLICY IN INDONESIA1.
 
Introduction
Nowadays, the main issue of tests and examinations in Indonesia is to understand the effect of testingon students and the learning process, in the face of unavoidable movement toward a nationalexamination policy for national standardized testing. The discussion of this policy also has been anintriguing topic among the public since the beginning of the 2003/2004 academic year. It has become anational debate which seems to be impasse because there is no common ground.1 Those who resist it give their opinion that the policy is considered an important decision for studen
ts’
life future. This is in line with Tilaar (2011) explanations, which state that, national examination (UN),based on the law No.20/2003 on National Examination System (Sisdiknas), determine that stud
ents’
 final evaluation is depending on teachers and schools decisions. This means that the UN is merely acomplement to help teachers and schools, not to judge students to raise the quality of education. Theyalso believe that UN has brought about many considerably negative effects on teachers, students,parents, schools administrators and curriculum.On the other hand, the government states that UN is essential as a benchmark to evaluate the teachingand learning process based on the national standard. Moreover, the government also uses the results asfeedback to formulate other programs for the advancement of the national education.Have looked at this seemingly appalling for national debate, it is urgent and necessary to offer somesuggestions to find out a solution for a more adequate format of the national examination. This paperwill review a brief history of the national standardized testing in Indonesia and discusses some of theimportant aspects of national examination. It argues the negative impact of the national examinationand offers some ideas that might be useful for a better format of the UN. 
 
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2.
 
 A Brief History of National Testing in Indonesia
Historically, at the elementary and secondary levels, the national testing in Indonesia has undergoneseveral changes and improvement since it began in the period 1965
 –
1971 (Kemdiknas, 2010). It wasnamed Ujian Negara (State exam), where the practice was performed for almost all subjects for studentsat the end of the academic school year. The implementation included each level school in Indonesia,namely elementary, lower secondary and higher secondary level (Syahril, 2007; Afrianto, n.d). For thenext seven years (1972
 –
1979), Kemdiknas (2010) states that, a non-standardized testing 2 wasimplemented, and called Ujian Sekolah (School Examination). In this test, every school was given theauthority to design and hold the final exam.However, in 1980, the government went back to a centralized system, with the aims toimprove and organize the quality of education as well as obtaining the values that have a sense of equality and can be compared between schools. This examination was called The
Evaluasi Belajar Tahap Akhir National,
commonly shortened as Ebtanas, where the development of questions centered on thecentral government. In addition, the Ebtanas also was the longest period of national testing. It survivedfor almost twenty-one years in the national education system (1980
 –
2000).Starting from the year 2003, the new form of standardized national examination called Ujian AkhirNasional (National Final Examination), or well known with the acronym UAN, has been introduced by theIndonesian ministry of education. Only three subjects were tested, namely Indonesian language, Englishand Mathematics. Sin
ce this year, students’ graduation
was determined by the value of individualsubjects tested in the national final examination.In 2005, the new Ministry of Education decided to conduct a similar pattern of national testing, whichhas introduced in 2003
 –
2004. Nevertheless, the test used a new name, which is popular until this yearthat called Ujian Nasional (National Examination) or well known as UN. This test also adopted the sameformat on the subject tested, testing three subjects, Indonesian language, English and Mathematics. 3Since the year, 2008 until 2010, Nashir.tk (2010) states that, the subjects tested have dramaticallychanged, from three different subjects to be six different subjects. However, this test received muchcriticism from many educational experts and the public. Therefore, based on this criticism for theprevious UN, the new format of UN was
introduced in 2011, where the students’ graduation is
not onlydependent on the score from six different subjects, but also from the process of learning during the

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