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Jakarta Post

Listen up, students: Nadiem wants to do away with national exam

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, December 12, 2019   /   01:14 pm
Listen up, students: Nadiem wants to do away with national exam Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim speaks at the House of Representatives in Jakarta. (Antara/Indrianto Eko Suwarso)

The government plans to scrap the nationwide exam dreaded by students across the country and replace it with a very different kind of educational assessment.

“In 2021, the national exam will be replaced with a minimum competency assessment and a character survey,” Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim said in Jakarta on Wednesday.

He explained that the minimum competency assessment referred to a test that would mainly evaluate students’ literacy and numerical competence.

“Literacy is not only about reading capability, but the ability to analyze reading materials and understand the concepts behind the words,” the Gojek founder said.

Numerical competence, meanwhile, was related to students’ ability in numerical analysis.

The assessment, therefore, would not test students based on the subjects taught at school but rather assess their mastery of words and numbers.

“This [assessment] is still based on the minimum competency and basic competency required for students to learn regardless of the subjects,” he added as quoted by kompas.com.

The new educational assessment would not be held just before students are set to graduate. Instead, it would take place in the middle of each educational level, Nadiem said.

For instance, Nadiem said, the assessment would be held for students when they were in grade 4, grade 8 or grade 11. That way, it would give teachers, schools and the students themselves the time to make improvements before the latter are set to graduate.

“This will be a formative assessment, which means it should be useful for teachers, schools and the students to make improvements.”

Meanwhile, the survey of students’ character refers to a test based on observations by teachers of their students’ behavior and attitude in accordance with values of the state ideology of Pancasila.

“The survey is set to serve as a benchmark to provide feedback for schools to create changes that will strive to make students happier and strengthen Pancasila values within the school environment,” he said.

Nadiem, who has served in the position of minister for less than three months, said the 2020 national exam would be the last nationwide exam required for graduation.

Plans to scrap or put a moratorium on national examinations have been previously put forth by Nadiem’s predecessors at the ministry, including Muhadjir Effendy. However, such plans have never materialized. (sau)