The Jakarta Post
The Culture and Elementary and Secondary Education Minister Anies Baswedan has decided to drop the much-criticized 2013 national curriculum and has ordered schools in the country to revert to the 2006 curriculum.
Anies said the decision was made after a thorough review of the 2013 curriculum conducted by a team that he commissioned.
Anies also decided that 6,221 schools that have implemented the curriculum for the past three semesters could continue according to new guidelines, while more than 100,000 schools were required to return to the 2006 curriculum instead.
'As a follow up on the team's review, I have made the decision and sent letters to schools to use the 2006 curriculum and they can start it next semester,' Anies told reporters at the ministry's office on Friday night.
Last week, Anies set up a team tasked with revising the problematic 2013 curriculum led by the ministry's former director general of primary and secondary education, Suyanto, consisting of 11 education experts and academics to identify problems with the new curriculum.
In Friday's conference, Anies said the curriculum would need a tremendous amount of improvement, especially concerning the compatibility of the curriculum's objectives with school textbooks.
'There are a number of areas that needed to be fixed, for example the objectives it sought to achieve with the textbooks and also the schools' and teachers' readiness to implement the curriculum,' he said.
The 2013 curriculum, first implemented by Anies' predecessor, Mohammad Nuh, has drawn harsh criticism for creating confusion among students, parents and teachers, who have complained about the extra work it demanded.
While imposing many changes in the learning process from the previous curriculum, the government implemented it after only a one-year trial.
Starting next semester, Anies said the 6,221 schools would be pilot schools for the improved version of the curriculum and they should get ready for intensive guidance from the ministry.
Teachers at the 6,221 schools, he said, would receive intensive training because they would be the backbone of the curriculum's implementation.
'However, if some of the schools aren't ready yet, we will be lenient and they can stick to the 2006 curriculum,' Anies said.
Education expert from Paramadina University Mohammad Abduhzen said the ministry had made the right decision by dropping the curriculum and to start making improvements first in selected schools.
'The 2013 curriculum has many problems and terminating it is the wisest choice. However, the public is still in the dark about what the plan will be for the future,' Abduhzen told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.
He further said that by implementing the curriculum in a limited number of schools, the ministry should also consider substantially reducing the amount of textbooks used or it would risk indulging in wasteful spending.
Meanwhile, a former teacher and education expert, Darmaningtyas, lauded Anies' decision, saying that although the 2013 curriculum had the noble goal of imparting real-life knowledge to students it was a total failure in its implementation.
"It just needed more time to do it, while schools only have a limited amount of resources. Also the student-assessment system that forced teachers to constantly supervise all their students [was a problem]," he said.