Indonesia lacks good teachers, says official
Less than half of Indonesia’s 2.7 million teachers meet minimum requirements, an official said in Denpasar on Monday.
A lack of qualified teachers has affected the quality of education in the country, said Suyanto, the Education Ministry’s director general of basic and middle education.
“Only one million of 2.7 million teachers meet qualifications, such as holding a bachelor’s degree or passing the certification test,” Suyanto said after opening the 2010 International Mathematics and Science Olympics (IMSO) in Denpasar.
He said 56 percent of elementary school teachers had not passed certification tests.
“Many of them are not capable enough. They lack creativity, innovation and expertise with technology, despite the challenges and demands facing them in the era of globalization.”
He said it was necessary for teachers to be computer literate, since computer education was part of the curriculum and was an important way for teachers to network with colleagues worldwide.
The ministry has run several programs to improve teachers’ competency, including through regular certification tests.
“We hold the certification test at least once every five years, and we have targeted to complete certifications by 2015. We hope teachers can continuously develop their expertise,” Suyanto said.
“After we complete the certification process, we will only recruit professional teachers, so that we can improve students’ quality.”
He said the ministry had also taken steps to motivate teachers, including increasing minimum monthly salaries for new teachers to Rp 2 million (US$224) and granting allowances for certified teachers.
The government has had to allocate more funds for teachers’ salaries and allowances, Suyanto said, adding that budget for the expenditures might reach Rp 70 trillion, an increase of 75 percent over current levels.
Teachers and students should also actively participate in various competitions, such as the IMSO, which has been conducted since 2003.
The competition, previously called AMSO, was inaugurated by Indonesia and was intended for ASEAN countries alone, but was expanded in 2004 due to interest from other countries.
IMSO organizing committee head Mudjito AK said the competition was held to develop student aptitude in mathematics and science, both indicators of national development in science and technology.
“We hope students can improve creativity, critical thinking and analytical thinking from their early years.”