The Jakarta Post
A speech by Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim, which is slated to be read on National Teacher’s Day on Monday, has created social media buzz over the weekend, with many praising the non-traditional language used to address complex problems faced by the country’s education system.
In the speech text published on the ministry’s website and Instagram account, Nadiem starts his speech by apologizing for not being able to share inspirational words or rhetoric. He continues by asking teachers to begin “small changes” in their classrooms.
The former CEO of Gojek, one of the country's largest tech companies, asked teachers to engage their students in discussion rather than telling them to listen, to give students a chance to try teaching in class, to initiate a social program that could be participated in by the students and to help students who lacked confidence to find their talents, as well as to offer help to other teachers who were in need.
"I won't make promises I cannot keep. Change is a difficult thing and full of discomfort. However, one thing that I can be sure of is that I will fight for the freedom of education in Indonesia," he said.
His speech, which was uploaded on the ministry's website and its Instagram handle @kemdikbud.ri, has been reposted by thousands of Twitter users. This resulted in Nadiem's name becoming a Twitter top trending topic under "Pak Nadiem”.
Many Twitter users claimed to have restored their faith in Indonesian education after reading Nadiem's speech.
"Although I'm not a teacher, but reading the ministry's speech allowed me to get a glimpse of light at the end of a dark tunnel," Indonesian writer Clara Ng said on her Twitter handle @clara_ng.
Walaupun bukan guru, tp membaca pidato menteri pendidikan dan kebudayaan membuatku melihat secercah cahaya di ujung lorong yg sangat, sangat, sangat gelap. pic.twitter.com/xAhobSZLVt— Clara Ng (@clara_ng) 22 November 2019
"Pak Nadiem I love you 6000," said @Annidannz, in a direct reference to a popular quote from the Avengers: Endgame movie.
Pak Nadiem I love you 6000❤ pic.twitter.com/z8BczwYdNU— Annidannz (@Annidannz1) 23 November 2019
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo appointed the 35-year-old entrepreneur as education minister for his second term in office, breaking the tradition of placing academics to lead the ministry. Jokowi said he expected Nadiem to make breakthroughs that could improve the struggling education system to improve human resources.