National

Teachers want competence
tests ended

Teachers’ organizations have called on the Education and Culture Ministry to cancel the nationwide teachers’ competence test (UKG), saying the test was poorly implemented and the results would not reflect the actual quality of teachers around the country.

Retno Listyarti, chair of the Jakarta Teachers Discussion Forum (FSGI), said it was unlikely that the test, which comprised multiple-choice questions, would adequately measure teacher quality. The FSGI also complained about the technical difficulties encountered during the test.

“A lot of teachers couldn’t even log on to the website, while some junior high school teachers were given the test for high school teachers. This proves that the ministry did not prepare the test well,” Retno said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Retno also questioned why the government had introduced the test.

“We are starting to question the motive behind the test. It appears that for the government, this test is very urgent when, in fact, it is not. We want the government to abort it,” she added.

The Education and Culture Ministry introduced the online test, which went live on Monday, for more than 1 million teachers nationwide free of charge. It is due to run through Aug. 12.

Technical glitches have marred the launch, however, prompting the cancellation of the test in some areas.

Emanuel Srijoko, a teacher from Marsudirini Junior High School in Bekasi, expressed his disappointment after failing to finish the test due to technical problems.

“I was given a question sheet which was apparently for high school teachers. That was confusing, but I decided to do the test anyway. But then, just before finishing it, I couldn’t proceed to the next step and the committee told me to just leave it like that,” Emanuel said.

“What should I think about a test that was supposed to measure my competence, which I couldn’t finish due to technical problems? The test was not even meant for junior high school teachers,” he added.

Longga Rajagukguk, a teacher from SMP 26 Junior High School in Jatinegara, East Jakarta, said she decided to abandon the test due to doubts about the reasoning behind the test.

“During my 20 years as a teacher, I have never had a visit from the school’s principal when I was in class, and now all of a sudden we have to face this test,” said Longgan.

He suggested the government take a more comprehensive approach in its efforts to improve the quality among teachers.

“The ministry has to oversee our teaching practice first. The quality of teaching should not be based solely on our pedagogical knowledge and professionalism,” she added.

The education ministry requires all certified teachers in the country to complete the teachers’ competency test to produce a map on the quality of teachers nationwide.

The ministry said the test was aimed at reviewing the quality of all certified teachers, eligible for an additional month’s salary on a quarterly basis. (nad)

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