Driving Change through Teachers Reinforcement
The education system consists of various stakeholders, i.e., the government as the policy- makers, the teachers as the agents, and the students as the recipients. During an exclusive interview with Dr. Iwan Syahril, Ph. D., Director-General of Teachers and Education Personnel of Kementerian Pendidikan, Kebudayaan, Riset, dan Teknologi Indonesia (The Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology), or Kemendikbudristek for short, he highlighted the three priority objectives of the “Merdeka Belajar” vision (lit: Freedom of Learning), which are students, students, and students. This showed the urgency to revolutionize the education personnel to develop a new generation full of excellent independent learners. Hence, the development of the “Guru Penggerak” program (lit: Activator Teachers), was launched in July 2020.
The primary motivation of the “Guru Penggerak” program is that the teachers needed now are leaders that not only driven to teach the students within the school but are also eager to help develop the community.
The teachers, which Dr. Iwan met during a visit to West Papua in February 2021 with the Minister for Education, Culture, Research and Technology Nadiem Makarim, are conclusive evidence that inspired and convinced the Kemendikbudristek that there are passionate and problem-solver leaders all over Indonesia, even in areas that the education infrastructure is not well performed.
During the time of the interview, Kemendikbudristek is in the process of running the fourth batch of the “Guru Penggerak” program. Dr. Iwan finds that two conditions challenge the implementation of the program. First, the new regulation states that now, to qualify to become a headmaster, a teacher must be a participant in the “Guru Penggerak” program and have completed all the training, whereas not all participants want to be a headmaster eventually. This might act as a threat because all the teachers in the first batch participated because they were enthusiastic about learning and sincerely curious about the program, not driven by the desire to get a promotion.
Second, the fluctuating situation in the frontier and remote (FAR) areas has delayed the program before, for instance, there was once a security issue in Papua that resulted in postponing the participant assessment stage. Furthermore, most schools in the FAR areas are inadequate to accommodate the “Guru Penggerak” program; hence, borrowing some houses of worship to conduct the series of events of the program.
“We are hoping to develop a generation that consists of lifelong learners, who have high curiosity, dare to experiment and take risks, see diversity as a strength and as part of the strength of the nation and the world, and have a sense of empathy and responsibility not only for themselves but also for the community.”
-Dr. Iwan Syahril, Ph. D., Director-General of Teachers and Education Personnel of Kemdikbudristek
As mentioned earlier, the main purpose of the “Guru Penggerak” program is to create a whole new generation of exceptional students nationally, who reflect the “Pelajar Pancasila” profile: believe in God Almighty and have noble characters, honor global diversity, believe in communal effort, independent, critical thinker, and creative. However, Dr. Iwan understands that first there is a need to assess whether the six dimensions of the “Pelajar Pancasila” profile exist in the teachers themselves, as it is easier for the young generation to learn if such qualities are practiced by the adults. Therefore, despite the existing challenges, Dr. Iwan is confident that the “Guru Penggerak” program is the right tool to generate teachers that are passionate learners and dedicated to education. (RDW)
Read the last article by Daya Dimensi Indonesia here.