By: M. Syahruzzaky Romadloni*
The first time I initially took part in teaching profession I found national education system grew rapidly. It was indicated by the dynamic educational policies released by National Education Ministry [NEM] which accommodated the spirit of advancement and innovation. It seemed that government wanted to pay their mistakes many years ago which subordinated the national education for their children. Teachers’ wealth increased. Schools’ budget overflew. Students got much better education than previous years.
One of many policies released by NEM which accommodated the spirit of advancement and innovation was curriculum implementation. Once in the Indonesian history the implemented curriculum changed rapidly in a very short time. In 2002 Indonesia implemented competence-based curriculum [KBK] and five years later it used institution-level curriculum [KTSP]. Now, all of the stakeholders of National Education are devoting all their efforts to socialize KTSP in school level.
I personally don’t refuse the emergence of this kind of curriculum. Having participated in some short-courses on KTSP, I appreciate the positive sides of this curriculum. It’s the most dynamic and flexible curriculum I’ve ever found. It gives the high freedom for the teachers to make their teaching more interesting and contextual. They have the big portion to develop and make their own curriculum which can accommodate students’ needs and interests.
What pleases me much is that the implementation of KTSP is supported by government’s effort to develop teachers’ professionalism by increasing their wealth. It’d been the public secret that teachers in previous years earned a very low salary. This negative stigma seems to be initially changed by the government by increasing teachers’ wealth step-by-step. Some subsidies are available for teaching profession from functional subsidy up to professional certification subsidy. Moreover, the latter is being the main issue of teachers’ daily talk as it will increase their salary more than 200 hundred percents!
Unfortunately, as well as other policy the implementation of KTSP remains some problems. The characteristic of KTSP which lets teachers make their own curriculum is too high to reach. The Indonesian teachers had been accustomed to using the instant curriculum developed by central developers. So, as soon as this task descends, the teachers find many troubles. Finally, most of them use the shortcut by using the strategy of ‘copy-paste’ when they ‘develop’ their curriculums. What a funny!
In addition, the implementation of KTSP which has a great purpose in making the teaching-learning process more interesting and contextual seems to be useless. The recent survey shows that the majority of Indonesian teachers don’t change their ways of teaching. KTSP doesn’t change their teaching methods and they still use as the same way as KTSP doesn’t appear yet. It seems that KTSP is only successful in making teachers change their teaching-administration’s cover from the modest one to the complex one!
The tragic situation can be worse due to the condition of private teachers. The story of private teachers still doesn’t change as well as the rapid changing of national education system. Their portraits are still the same as what Iwan Fals said in his well-known song entitled ‘Oemar Bakri’. They still earn low salary and live in poverty. Can you imagine someone who earns Rp. 100.000 a month as the charge of their profession in this modern era? How will they live? How will they school their children? How will they buy medicines if they’re sick? And it still exists till now in our ‘beloved’ country, you know!
It’s difficult to find out the rationale if this kind of teachers should do the difficult tasks of being present teachers; developing curriculum, conducting the interesting and contextual teaching, etc. Their time has been off spent for looking for other ways of making money. Unfortunately, this is what happens to most teachers in Indonesia.
This note isn’t intended to confront the government who has worked hard in making our educational system better than before. Moreover, it doesn’t mean that KTSP Implementation in Indonesia doesn’t succeed at all. It just tries to describe that the great goal of KTSP is too high to reach in the grass-root level as long as the government don’t strive to change teachers’ attitude.
Besides, this note tries to warn the government that as long as they don’t change teachers’ behavior and attitude all polices won’t reach their goals. The government should think how to make Indonesian teachers sincere and dedicated in doing their tasks. If so, wealthy teachers will thank what they get and do the best in their teaching. Meanwhile, the poor teachers will remain giving the best for their children despite of their limitations as they think that teaching profession is a kind of dedication to country and religion.
The Garden of Knowledge
July, 29, 2010
* a practitioner in teaching profession.