Since I first became a teacher in 2016, until now 2020, education policies in Indonesia have been through several changes. Some policies that I think should be frowned upon are the national exam, the mandatory lesson plan, and the pay difference between civil servant teachers and contract teachers.
Policies applied in each school vary; some come from the central government, some from regional government (local education agencies), and some are produced by the school (endorsed by the school components). All policies are binding, meaning all school personnel must carry them out.
I have become a primary school teacher since 2014. There have been a lot of policies or rules, both made by the central government and the school, which I found in need of improvements. Sometimes, such policies or rules become a hurdle for teachers in pursuing their career.
If I were given the opportunity to transform regulations or policies in the field of education, I would change the way of assessing knowledge, which has been in the form of conventional questions (multiple choices, short entries, descriptions, and others). The existing mode is all right but does not fully measure the breadth of student knowledge, how well their problem-solving skills are, and how creative they are in answering questions or solving problems.
Throughout this semester, I've been through many incidents and felt various emotions. I like the 2013 curriculum (K-13), but as time goes by, I feel there are things to improve in a bid to avoid confusion during the primary school final exam.
The latest educational policy enacted by the government is the Learning from Home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I think the policy is good enough for a time like this, but the system to control and evaluate students must be improved to maintain their character and integrity. The Learning from Home policy should continue, but it needs to also include in-person learning at the schoolyard with a strict health protocol at least once a week.
In my opinion, only certified teachers should be allowed to apply as civil servant. If this policy applies, improvement in both learning and student quality will be quicker. Judging by the number of universities offering the Teacher Professional Education (PPG) programme as well as the number of its graduates, I think this policy is not difficult to apply.
According to the rules, a professional teacher has to master four competencies: pedagogical competence, social competence, professional competence, and personality competence. Proof that a teacher has mastered the four competencies is to have a teaching certificate that matches their teaching field. I am a qualified teacher as I have met the mentioned criteria, yet I still face challenges in my role as a professional teacher.
At the end of 2019, the civil servant enrolment was opened. Being a non-permanent teacher, I was excited about the news, especially because I already obtained my teaching certificate. The selection test was scheduled to begin in 2020. I prepared for the test by meeting the administrative requirements and buying books to study.
Being a teacher in a national plus school (a school that offers education beyond the minimum requirements of the national Indonesian accreditation authorities) requires extra energy physically, in teaching, in behaving, and in understanding each student's character. It is not surprising that teachers in national plus schools face more pressure than teachers in government-funded schools.