Sri Mulyani reprimands teachers association over 'complacency'
The Jakarta Post
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has admonished the Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI), saying the quality of education had not improved, although teachers were receiving better pay through the government’s certification program.
“I initiated the teacher certification program and I’m glad it happened. [But] It turns out that those certificates mean nothing. It’s just a formal procedure to receive extra pay,” Sri Mulyani said as quoted by tempo.co in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The 2007 Teacher Certification Program was implemented to improve the quality of 3 million Indonesian teachers by offering incentives for teachers to undergo a comprehensive evaluation.
The program evaluates a teacher's academic performance, personality, pedagogical skills and emotional well-being. The teachers that pass the evaluation will receive double their previous salary and higher allowances toward professional development.
However, the teachers often used their extra income to buy more goods instead of developing their teaching skills.
Sri Mulyani also urged teachers to be more proactive in advising how the annual education budget should be spent to improve the quality of national education.
According to existing laws, at least 20 percent of the state budget must be allocated to education. The annual education budget has been rising steadily from Rp 160 trillion (US$11.1 billion) in 2009 to Rp 444 trillion ($31 billion) this year.
“I knew that this (fixed percentage) system would be dangerous because it makes us passive in managing the annual budget,” said Sri Mulyani.
She said the PGRI should strive to improve education in Indonesia and not just focus its attention on protecting the teachers' welfare. (nor/ebf)
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