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Education Problem:
Certifying Indonesia To Have Certificated Education
Titin Setyorini
Sebelas Maret University of Surakarta

Indonesian education boards again launched a new curriculum in 2013 to be
applied in the new academic year starts on July 15, 2013. The new curriculum, in
fact, arouses some contras. Despite the aim of making Indonesian education
better, the new curriculum has created discrimination since it is going to be
applied only in certain pilot schools appointed by the government. I believe,
changing curriculum is not the best answer to improve education quality in
Indonesia. Governments need to do some reformation on teacher recruitment and
rewarding system. Japan can be a good reference for its education system. The
education system in Japan leads teachers into competitive situations, rewards and
punishments are given fairly, and it is only those who are capable and qualified
can survive in this profession. After Indonesia has qualified teachers, then it is
curriculum and other teaching preparation stuff t need to be set. Shortly, Indonesia
needs to first certify that education in Indonesia is certificated before some other
policies over education is taken.
Key words
Education problems, Certificated Education.

A. Introduction

The Jakarta Post recently reported that the Monitoring Report 2011 ranked
Indonesia 69th out of 127 countries surveyed, with an education development
index rate of 0.934 or still below the minimum standard of 0.95-1 required to
make progress. The report means that Indonesias education is even though not
really at the bottom is not satisfactory either. Compared to some countries in
South East Asia like Malaysia, and Singapore, education in Indonesia is quite left
behind. The problems are quite varied, starts from the lack of quality of the
teachers, teachers who are not well distributed across the regions, until the less
proper curriculum that needs to be revised all over again.
The lack of the teacher quality is trying to be solved by what so called PKG.
PKG provides some tests which one of them is termed as UKG (Teacher
Competency Test) and some other tests named PKG. PKG requires teachers to
always update their competency through some workshops and training, and also
peer test done by the co-workers and principal at the schools, and education
supervisor. UKG and PKG are not only used to measure teachers qualification but

also to map out the teachers based on their educational background, and to
distribute them fairly based on each part of Indonesia needs. The other thing the
government does to repair education is by changing curriculum that now it comes
to what is termed by 2013 curriculum. This curriculum is claimed to work better
on giving each school authority to dig their potential. Unfortunately, this
curriculum cannot be applied by all schools in Indonesia at the same time and
even creates gaps between well facilitated schools and regular schools. The
problems appear along with the launching of 2013 curriculum show that 2013
curriculum will not lead to the solutions of the decerease of Indonesian education

B. 2013 Curriculum and Its Weaknesses

Looking back at how many times Indonesian government changing the
curriculum it can be said that Indonesia has been trying to find the best way to
educate the nation. There have been some curriculums come and go: 1947
(Rentjana Pembelajaran), 1952 (Rentjana Pelajaran), 1964 (Rentjana Pendidikan,
1968 (Correlated Subject Curriculum), 1975 (Prosedur Pengembangan Sistem
Instruksional (PPSI)), 1984 (Content Based Curriculum), 1994 (Objective Based
Curriculum), 2004 (Competency Based Curriculum), 2006 (lndividual
Competency Curriculum (KTSP)), and in 2013 a new curriculum popular with
what so called 2013 curriculum is again introduced. A new curriculum replaced
the old one is assumed that it is better than the previous so we can question Is
2013 curriculum the best answer to solve problems in education?

As a matter of fact, 2013 curriculum has aroused another problem for

education. Quoted from The Jakarta Post Ibnu Hamad, Education and Culture
Ministry spokesperson, said that Only 6,401 schools would implement the new
curriculum on a trial basis when the new school year started on July 15. It is said
that 2013 curriculum will be implemented at only former RSBI (International-
Standard Pilot Project) schools and schools with good accreditation. Shortly, the
pilot program would only involve schools adhering to high standards or with
superior performance. The Government policy over the implementation of 2013
curriculum, according to Retno Listyarti, the secretary-general of the Indonesian
Teachers Union Federation (FSGI), this policy again discriminates schools in
remote areas and fails to give priority to schools that lack a sufficient number of
teachers and acceptable infrastructure. Further, Retno argues that what should be

done first is ensuring that all provinces have an even distribution of good quality
teachers and facilities and not changing the curriculum. I agree with Retnos
statements. Changing curriculum is not the best answer. Curriculum can be set
after the teachers are well prepared.

C. Indonesian Government Policies over Education Problems

Indonesian government has done some breakthroughs to repair education

esteem, but their actions remain undone. The PKG (Teachers Qualification
Assessment) program for example, gets no longer follow up after this program
was held. No penalty for those who are in fact unqualified. It is even a shame
when the result of PKG shows that the teachers average score for PKG is only
44.55 of 70 as minimum score achievement required. This situation is a proof that
teachers quality in Indonesia is still low. Any kinds of curriculum offered will not
work if the teacher qualifications are not solved yet.

In my opinion, good qualified dedicated teachers are what Indonesia needs.

What so called good teachers are not those who are certified as certificated
teachers because in fact there are some illegal practices done by many teachers
just to get a certificated license. Many teachers copy others work when they are
asked to make some academic writing, journal or any writing to be published.
Besides, some certificates they get do not mean they have finished doing some
trainings or following some workshop but certificates can be bought. Certification
program also opens gaps among teachers who think they all deserve to get
certificated. Most of teachers motivation behind the certification program is not
that they are qualified but it is all about the money. That is why, it is not strange to
find a cold war among teachers because they want to have 24 hour of teaching so
they can meet the minimum teaching hour requirement to be a certificated
teachers while the teaching hours are insufficient to be distributed equally among

Government tries to develop PKG (Teacher Performance Appraisal) to

increase and sustain teacher qualification, but I doubt it will run well since
coalition and bribing are already rooted in Indonesia. There will be no fair
judgment in PKG I supposed. Some teachers usually prepare the teaching
materials including lesson plan, syllabus, teaching media, and material to be
taught when they are about to assessed. Anyone can just grab others teaching

materials. Shortly, any teaching preparation can be made up for the sake of PKG. I
would say PKG will not reflect teachers competency either.

D. Reformation on Teacher Recruitment System

I proposed that what Indonesian government should do first to make

education quality better is by reforming the teacher recruitment system. Good
qualified dedicated teachers cannot be gotten through some trainings, seminar,
workshops etc to the existed teachers nowadays. It sounds pessimistic but it is true
that the teachers exist now cannot be renewed by such ways of trainings.
Indonesia used to recruit teachers not because of their qualification. Some
teachers were recruited since they had had a quite long period voluntary teaching
at some schools. When they were successfully teaching as volunteers it was not
because of their qualification but nepotism. This kind of system occurs a long the
way education is run. Since the beginning the quality of teachers are questioned
that is why no matter how hard some enrichment and enlightment given to them,
they will not work. Just like a computer with low specification, it cannot be used
to work some higher programs.

Indonesia must dare to do a clean teacher recruitment which gives no way to

any bribing. To be honest, when Civil Government Recruitment is about to come I
feel like saying: okay, those who have 120 million rupiahs win. This kind of
feeling comes up since bribing is already like viruses that are hard to cure. The
result of this practice is that, someone accepted to be a teacher, lets say, not
because of their capability but money. As a result, teachers do not capable enough
when they go to the real teaching world and students become the victims of
which. Another thing that the government should repair in teacher recruiting
system is the enrolment test. So far the test given to any applicants with different
background of majors are the same. This situation is actually ridiculous since the
test will not show the ability of someone at their specialty. The tests given
generally cover, civic education test, scholastic, verbal, logical and numerical test.
I positively say that the test applied right now is ridiculous since it cannot be done
to see the ability of the applicants who apply for English, religion, local language,
and art teachers. Besides, once the applicants are said to pass the test, there is no
further test to screen the number. One time test is just too easy to be at the vital
position of educating the nation. Recruitment test must resemble the major
background of applicants. English applicants must be tested written and spoken

English, for example. Macro and micro teaching test are needed to be held, too,
since it will show the ability of someone to handle the class and weather they are
ready to face studnets mentally and physically.

E. Japanese Education System: Teacher Recruitment and Appreciation

The next step to repair Indonesia education system comes to teachers

reward. I agree, teacher as a profession which becomes the nation backbones must
be appreciated professionally, but not through certificated program as has been
done nowadays. Once again, certification program just becomes means of
manipulation for teachers which through this program it cannot be seen clearly
who is really qualified and who is just made up their qualification. We can learn
from how developed countries reward their teachers. Japan, for instance, employs
teachers from all level of societies. It is not only those who studied in teacher
training program who can apply for a teacher, but civilians, and any scholars from
different disciplines are also entitled to apply. It is the test that decides whether
they deserve the position as teachers or not. The teacher recruitment policy does
not only stop there. Teacher is not a long live profession; any teachers will be
dismissed if they cannot pass the tests that they should do in the first, third, fifth
and tenth year of teaching. When teachers successfully pass the tenth year test
they get a teaching license certificate that lasts for ten years. For teachers who fail
on the test they consequently lose the job.

Another good thing about education in Japan is about how they reward
teachers based on their professionalism. Teacher professional improvement is
done through some programs such as: Teacher evaluations and personnel
management in order to promote construction of schools that can be trusted,
raising the qualities and abilities of teachers in accordance with their individual
skills and suitability, etc, effectively raising the disposition of teachers through
cooperative moves between boards of educations and universities. These kinds of
programs are actually similar with the programs Indonesian government have set,
the only different is Japanese government takes the follow up when teachers fail
in enhancing their performance by dismissing the teachers, cutting off their
salaries and displacing them. At a glance, we can see that there is a very high
challenge and resposibility to be teachers in Japan. Besides, this profession gives a
very competitive motivation for any teachers to survive in their place. But, anyone
who is certified qualified reaps their hard work. The Licensed Teachers

(successful teachers of the tenth year test) will be paid differently from the Special
Licensed Teacher (teachers with special skills), and the highest reward is given to
Pre Teacher (teacher with the longest period of teaching and with special skills).
The longer period of teacher teaching shows their professionalism since no
teacher in Japan can go to the next year of teaching if they are not able to pass a
It can be concluded that teacher profession in Japan is not a lifetime
profession, going on to the next year of teaching requires a test, salary increases
along with their professionalism, and punishment is also given as consequences of
failing in raising the performance quality. Those situation are really far different
from what happen in Indonesia in which teacher profession is attached once
someone is enrolled as the government officer unless they do something related to
law or some other crimes, the salary for any teachers will always surely increases,
teachers will stay to the place they want as long as they want to which causes
unequal number of teachers in some regions in Indonesia, the reward given to
professional teachers are given through certification program that slip from its
basis because eventually almost all teachers are rewarded this way regardless their
qualification. I would say that certification is even making those who are
professional and not professional absurd. PLPG program is later on will always
make anyone enroll in certification program. PKG said as a teacher mapping will
just stay at place since I bet, no once is willingly to be removed to a certain place.
There is a tendency in some teachers that the place the work is an eternal place for
them. They forget that they were taken a pledge once they were officially assigned
as government teachers. That is why I include dedicated teachers as one of the
requirements of becoming a teacher in Indonesia besides they must be good and

F. Conclusion
Education is the nation backbones that responsible on producing good
quality of its graduates, not only the quality of knowledge but more than that,
mental and physiological aspects also become the responsibilities of education. In
short, it is education that leads a nation to any kinds of futures. And good
education all starts from good qualified dedicated teachers. Teachers with these
special traits are not gotten by certification program that are based the thickness of
someones portfolio and made up files that are made all of a sudden when they are

needed. Good qualified dedicated teachers are gotten from the very beginning
how they are recruited, then how to increase, maintain and sustain their quality to
be professional teachers. After establishing good qualified dedicated teachers then
curriculum and any teaching preparation stuff can be proposed.
Let the government first certify that education in Indonesia is certified as
certificated education as assurance for public before some other length of time and
efforts are launched by the government for a better education in Indonesian.


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