Minister mulls longer school hours to protect children
Education and Culture Minister Muhammad Nuh. (JP/R Berto Wedhatama)
Can longer school hours protect children? The Education and Culture Ministry thinks so, and plans to extend school hours, similar to the practice of several private schools.
“The outside world potentially introduces children to negative things that eventually damage educational values instilled in school,” Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh said on Tuesday in Jakarta, as quoted by kompas.com.
Pointing out that students were left unsupervised by busy parents, he said classes at public elementary schools would be extended from 26 to 30 hours per week.
The nation’s public schools implement shorter school days compared to several private institutions.
To accommodate the new school hours, the ministry is drafting a revised curriculum to implemented in 2013.
Education expert Arief Rahman supported the plan, saying that additional courses would “protect some children from falling prey to bad influences.”
“However, the extra courses have to keep children happy, otherwise it will be a counterproductive policy,” he told The Jakarta Post Digital on Wednesday.
Raihan Iskandar, a member of the House of Representatives’ Commission X on education and youth affairs, suggested the minister improve the quality of educators before implementing the plan.
“The program will be useless if it is not supported with improvements in the quality of teachers,” he said. (yps/iwa)