"Creating class freedom just by giving a speech is not sufficient, but Minister Nadien should take concrete actions," Retno Listyari, KPAI commissioner-in-charge of education, noted in a statement here on Monday.
Efforts to improve the teachers' capacity by organizing various trainings is paramount to realizing the minister's idea for freedom in study.
"Results of a study showed no changes were made in how teachers teach in classrooms over the last 25 years," she remarked.
Teacher training should not merely concern methods but should also entail other materials that can support freedom at schools, such as pertaining to the Child Right Convention and efforts to develop child-friendly schools.
"If the teachers are of quality, the students will also be of good quality. If the teachers and students are of quality, the schools will have good quality. If schools in a region are of quality, education in that region will certainly be of good quality. Hence, the point is that change in education must start from teachers," she stated.
Schools need teachers that are not restrained by curriculum and teaching administrative obligations.
Based on the 2017/2018 data of the Education and Culture Ministry, Indonesia had 307,655 schools comprising 148,244 elementary schools, 38,960 junior high schools, 13,495 senior high schools, and 13,710 vocational high schools. Of the total, 169,378 are state-run schools and 138,277 private schools.
She called for further development of high schools, so elementary school graduates will have greater access to continue their studies.
Makarim had earlier appealed to teachers to initiate small changes in their classrooms.
"Changes cannot be started from the top. It begins and ends in the teachers' hands. Do not wait for a command. Take the first step," Makarim noted in his speech at the commemoration of National Teachers' Day here on Monday.
The minister has urged teachers to encourage student engagement in discussions rather than being mere spectators and listeners, offer them an opportunity to teach in class, initiate a social program that involves all students, assist students with confidence issues discover their talents, and provide guidance to other teachers in need.
Through such small changes made by teachers, Indonesia will move forward, he remarked.
Makarim affirmed that teachers are keen to help slow learners stand at par with other students in the class but the main hurdle lay in time shortages owing to extensive administrative duties at hand.
Makarim vowed to not make promises he could not fulfill, but he ascertained that he would fight for the freedom of education in Indonesia. Related news: KPAI concerned about high school students' involvement in rallies
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