Inforial (The Jakarta Post)
Sat 14 May 2022
Nineteen episodes of Merdeka Learning have been made so far which address the different aspects of transforming education to ensure that all Indonesians have access to proper education. The Merdeka Learning program was first launched during the pandemic by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology to help the general public benefit from government programs and policies.
“We all have the right to a quality education. This is the goal of Merdeka Learning, which is now our collective movement,” Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology Nadiem Anwar Makarim said Friday during his eponymous event #enterclass broadcast live on the ministry’s YouTube channel, Education TV, and Indonesiana.TV.
The program is considered the Ministry of Education’s first and most essential breakthrough because of its parallel with improvements in the quality of education, measured by national assessments, the Merdeka program and the report card platform. school. Financial aid programs, such as the School Operating System (BOS), have also received attention.
“With this breakthrough, learning in schools is now more focused on the essential things, namely literacy, numeracy and character building skills, so they are much more relevant,” Nadiem said.
He explained that the Merdeka program was an option and not something that would have to be implemented by force in every school. However, he hopes educators see the curriculum for the potential of its benefits and for the educational recovery of the country as a whole.
“We believe that it is the teacher who best understands the needs and potential of their students. Therefore, we give them much more flexibility to develop learning by favoring project-based learning. The Merdeka Curriculum promotes much more liberating, fun, in-depth and relevant learning for students,” said Nadiem.
Currently, the Indonesian educational ecosystem does not have to worry about final exams that determine whether a student graduates. Indeed, the national assessment, as a substitute for the national exam, was created in 2020 and has been taken by more than 6.5 million students and 3 million educators, focusing on the development and improving learning outcomes and the school environment. The results are also easily accessible through the Educational Report Card platform.
In addition to presenting a platform that helps teachers learn, teach and work, the Ministry of Education is also prioritizing the selection of civil servants (ASN) and government employees with employment contracts. (PPPK) in order to overcome the social challenges faced by contract workers. teachers so far.
“Over 300,000 teachers have passed ASN PPPK Teacher Selection and earned a much more decent income. We will continue this program to ensure that our teachers receive fair compensation for their services,” Nadiem said, adding that teachers were at the forefront in determining the direction and future of Indonesian education.
The ministry also transformed the funding policy for schools, from kindergarten to high school, which had previously been deemed ineffective and ineffective. Prior to the new policy, the funds allocated to each student across Indonesia were the same, but are now adjusted to regional costs. With this change in Compound BOS policy, many schools located in border, remote and disadvantaged (3T) areas have seen more than double the increase in operational assistance funds.
“School operating aid funds are now also paid directly into school accounts and their use is much more flexible so that school needs can be met immediately. It is our effort to ensure that improving the quality of education happens all over Indonesia, from Sabang [Aceh] in Merauke [Papua]“, said Nadim.
Nadiem also credited the spirit of the students for encouraging more groundbreaking programs in the future. He noted that visiting students and seeing their enthusiasm for learning has become his biggest inspiration.
“One of the most memorable moments of a working visit for me was when the president came into the classroom to talk with the students and even challenged them,” Nadiem said of his travels to various regions to obtain input on various Ministry of Education programs.
The ministry has reason to believe that breakthroughs, such as the Freedom to Learn – Free Campus (MBKM) program, which was created to enable students to continue learning outside of school, have been successful in advancing student life skills. University graduates will be much better prepared and trained to face future challenges, as proven by the hundreds of thousands of students across the country who have reported gaining valuable experiences through the program.
In addition, the MBKM program has strengthened the research ecosystem in universities so that they can continue to produce useful and solution-based innovations. This is why the Ministry of Education has launched a matchmaking platform, Kedaireka, for universities and industries, where selected joint project proposals will be supported by a matching fund scheme. The government will match every rupee donated to a university by a company for each collaborative project.
The Ministry has also issued Ministerial Regulation No. 31/2021 on the prevention and treatment of sexual violence in higher education to ensure the safety of all students so that they can learn in a safe and comfortable environment. without fear of violence inside and outside the classroom.
“This is an important and bold step we are taking to protect all campus residents from sexual violence by prioritizing the victim’s perspective. I am sure that with the Freedom to Learning – Free Campus program, our university graduates will become the next generation with lifelong learning characters who are ready to lead Indonesia’s progress in the future,” Nadiem said optimistically.
“The breakthroughs we present will only have an impact if we all continue to move forward simultaneously on the same path towards one goal, namely quality education for all Indonesians.”