Saturday, November 22, 2008
We believe that improving the quality of Teaching and Learning Activities (TLA) is the most important issue related to achieving quality education in Indonesia. However, before we discuss specific TLA issues we need to discuss some general issues and define some specific issues that determine the quality of education.
Is the objective of Teaching and Learning Activities to deliver/transfer some specific information or knowledge, or to teach a specific skill or competency to the learner? Or are there broder objectives to be achieved?
We can still remember when Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) emerged formally in Indonesia. Many teachers in the field were quite confused. This was due to a number of issues including the fact that many competencies itemized in the curriculum were not clear competencies, and they would be very difficult to assess. Another reason for the confusion was that teachers didn't believe that they would have enough time to teach and assess each of the competencies, as there were so many of them.
However, this is not a problem because we don't need to teach each of the competencies individually. In one lesson we can teach and assess many competencies simultaneously.
In fact in every class we are obliged to teach as many competencies as we can whether we use CBC or not.
What is Quality Education?
There are many definitions for quality education but we feel that this definition from UNICEF (below) is complete enough:
• Learners who are healthy, well-nourished and ready to participate and learn, and supported in learning by their families and communities;
• Environments that are healthy, safe, protective and gender-sensitive, and provide adequate resources and facilities;
• Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life, and knowledge in such areas as gender, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace;
• Processes through which trained teachers use child-centred teaching approaches in well-managed classrooms and schools and skilful assessment to facilitate learning and reduce disparities;
• Outcomes that encompass knowledge, skills and attitudes, and are linked to national goals for education and positive participation in society.
How can we implement quality education in Indonesia?
"Learners who are healthy" Firstly we need to be aware that health and well-being are education issues. For instance when I mentioned at an education seminar recently that 5,000 children under 5 die each day in Indonesia because of diarrhea the reaction was one of silence, the relevance perhaps wasn't clear. This is why our Education Network has a specific news section "Education & Poverty" because poverty and health are two factors that significantly effect education (for all) here.
"Environments that are healthy" Tens of thousands of schools in Indonesia are either damaged, collapsed, or collapsing. If we are serious about achieving quality education "for all" this must be the main priority for achieving basic education equity in Indonesia. Even though learning resources and facilities are very important issues, all students (and teachers) have the right to be able to access a school without fear for personal safety.
"Content that is reflected in relevant curricula and materials for the acquisition of basic skills, especially in the areas of literacy, numeracy and skills for life". Curriculum needs to go through constant review and update according to the changing environment and needs of our students so that they can face the future confidently and creatively.
There are usually three versions/variations of curriculum that we need to address; the National Curriculum, Regional Curriculum (perhaps includes some local language content), and the School Curriculum (reflects the desires and needs of the school community including the general local community and industry). Local school curriculum is very important and can take the form of extra-curricular activities for addressing specific issues like religion, social skills, independency skills, skills associated with local industry needs (vocational), etc. Local school curriculum can be very helpful for improving the quality of human resource outcomes at the local level.
"Processes through which trained teachers use child-centred teaching approaches"
What do we mean by "child centered"? Child centered learning is a system of learning in which the focus for the learning is upon the learner, not the teacher. The teacher assumes a role as more of a facilitator or manager of the learning process. For instance in kindergartens the teachers often teach the children through their participation in games. In the game there will be learning activities which facilitate various types of learning for instance; social skills and resolution of problems, counting and numeracy, drawing, motor skills, telling stories in their own words, general creativity skills, etc.
At the Primary and Junior Secondary levels (Basic Education) there are already many fine examples which prove the benefits and gains from "Child Centered Learning". In Indonesia it is called Learning that is Active, Creative, Effective and Enjoyable (PAKEM) or Contextual Learning and you can find many examples at Basic Education (MBE).
At the Senior High School lever (SMU/A/K) we can still see many learning activities in the schools that are not yet Student Centered. Maybe because there are still many teachers that aren't familiar with the process, or as we sometimes hear, the teachers are still doubtful that they can finish the curriculum on time using PAKEM methodology. However, by utilizing the PAKEM L/T process the students can learn very quickly and enjoy the learning experience while gaining other forms of learning i.e. life skills, self-mangement, independence, research, etc, while they are learning the main or primary topic#.
#Remember we said above: "In fact in every class we are obliged to teach as many competencies as we can whether we use CBC or not"
Contextual learning is one of the issues that often signifies the differences in the quality of learning between national and international schools. However, several national schools have been using contextual learning for some time for instance Madania in Parung, Bogor, West Java.
It's in Higher Education where we can witness teaching and learning practices in most classes that are very passive. The learning process is usually very 'lecturer centered' with the students tending to "sit sweetly", and they are rarely involved actively in the learning process.
Does it have to be like this? Certainly not!
Lecturers, like teachers in schools, are responsible for making the learning experiences of our students as active, time-effective and as meaningful as possible. We need to be creative and utilize strategies, even though our classes may be quite large, whereby our students are as active as possible during the learning process.
A few years ago when I was working in a very well known Australian university I needed to improve my knowledge of anatomy for a professional massage course that I was undertaking. I asked some physiology students for recommendations about basic anatomy classes that would be useful. Their recommendation shocked me because they said that I would be better off just buying the anotomy textbook and reading it because that is all the lecturers do, they work their way through the textbook. As a teacher I found this revelation to be apalling.
For those lecturers that may be reading this, have you ever attended a series of semiars based mainly upon oration or speeches for a whole day? Were you longing to go home or go to sleep? Now most presenters use laptops and data projectors. Is it really any different? After two or three presentations aren't you still longing to go home or go to sleep? It's just the same, isn't it?
Sometimes the poor utilization of technology makes the situation even worse because if you are sitting at the rear of the room you may not be able read what is on the screen, and you feel that you are not even included because you can not access to the information.
The one issue that will most significantly raise the quality of education in Indonesia (and elsewhere in universities) is the activation of our learners in the learning and teaching process (LTA) at all levels of education, not issues like technology.
Education technology is only an "array of tools that might prove useful" for where they can improve the learning and teaching process, but the technology must be appropriate and doesn't need to be highly sophisticated. If we frequently use the same technologies, even the most hi-tech, our students can quickly become bored. Often the simplest form of technology can provide the greatest assistance to our teaching and learning activities (TLA).
An Effective Schools Perspective
source Educational Technology
Every human needs of education, until when and wherever it is locatedEducation is very important, because without education would be difficult to develop and will even backward. Thus education should be really directed to the human quality and can compete, in addition to have a good nature that noble and moral good.
Everyone monolingual gives fast. Then, the process tends to ignore, but want to get results immediately. Moreover, in countries with low work ethics, such as Indonesia. As a result, the culture of instant entry to the start of each life. Living in the modern era, like today, anything we can get the easy, practical and fast. Technological advances we have humor. 'd Like to chat with colleagues or relatives living in other parts of the world, live lift the phone or open the Internet. Want to shopping or eating in restaurants but lazy out, live a message by phone or buy through the site. Transaction-like transfer money, pay the electricity, credit cards, buy credits do not need to hard-hard-to-bank or ATM. All can be done via mobile phone. For the girls who want long hair does not need to wait until speaking month. Simply waiting ½ hour technique only with the hair extensions, hair length according to desire.
Understandably, people become increasingly busy. Lazy according ribet matters. Completely free instant. Take a it, as long as the law of nature, self-IM is valid only legitimate. "Life is good and successful life that is in accordance with the natural process." Up to a certain level of technology we can use to speed things that can be accelerated according to the law of nature. Advances in technology and demand period, it allows us to get something completely quickly. Advances in technology and demand period, it allows us to get something completely quickly. But not fast origin. Quality must remain intact. "Rice 100 days the new harvest is good." But remember that there can accelerated. Apparently, the result should be better. So, quick, good quality and must be held together.
Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened. Getting something easily make people reluctant strain. I want to go through the process. It is lazy. What is important is fast. Qualified or not, it matters later. Oriented only on the results. The process is not important. And, "virus" that has spread to various aspects of life. Want instant success with the method. Be, many people of corruption, have a false degree, buy a script, a degree asphalt, the original pass, rich quick through the multiplication of money and so forth. If the heavy, boring and missed the era of why we need quality? If there is a quick way to give results, why not try? Furthermore, now is the shift in the value of the community. People tend to be more individualist and harassing the rights of others. To pursue success, people do not hesitate to give up other people.
Tend to be bisnis education .
The emergence of a variety of ways that lead to violations of academic ethics that made our universities to win the competition, now shows that education tends to be used as a place of business. Pattern campaign to provide convenience and It is vital It is vital prize is a picture that the university no innovation in terms of quality education. The trend will destroy the meducation world, because ultimately people are not studying to improve themselves, but only pursue a degree for the prestige. The condition of higher education today is quite alarming. There are private universities, which disregard the education process. Even private universities are the only printing money into the machine, not produce quality graduates. It makes the competition is becoming increasingly unhealthy.
Product graduates of higher education is the origin-asalan and even tricks, also tend to menghalalkan all the way to recruit prospective students as much as possible, with a campaign that sometimes trap with the prize It is vital It is vital that arouse. Is this the picture quality education. Even some private universities in Jakarta, which play a range of value for the students fail, because they are afraid, when completed the final examination (UTS / UAS) many students who do not pass the alias IP /IPK nasakom. So they passed with barely a number of actual students are not graduating. Kopertis, must behave firmly take Private Universities (PTS) and socialize in violation of the rules that should not be violated by private universities. Key supervision is gradually in the hands of the Head of Studies, Director, Dean, Rector and Chairman of the Foundation.
Challenges Graduates Bachelor in Information Era.
When the degree to use various arena working for the exchange offer their knowledge and a diploma, ad revenue is also nearly meet the new pages of newspapers. Ironically, these two phenomena. Universities campaign to criminalize prospective students as "vigorous" with the increase of unemployment graduates. On the other hand, need to be asked the question, whether actual qualifications required by employment seekers graduate degree in Higher this?
Answer the researchers generally is a mixture of quality personal and academic achievement. But the search for labor has never mengonkretkan, for example, how large they expect a specialization course in the universities. Qualifications such as numeric skills, problem-solving and communicative are often predictive of the managers of universities explicit statement of the employment search. The survey shows changes in the desire of the search for labor is qualified graduates in the universities of their requirement.
Not every qualification requirements that the ad was published in the same important job seekers for the value of labor. In practice, qualified as "the most sought after" by the search for labor are not always qualified to be the "most responsible" or not, received a graduate degree in a job.
Interestingly, the three qualification categories competencies personal, namely honesty, responsibility and initiative, to become the most important qualification, the most sought after, and most in determining the recruitment process. Interpersonal competence, such as equal and able to work flexible, deemed the most sought-after and most decide. However, although often listed in job ads, the cumulative performance index (IPK) as an indicator of academic excellence does not include the most important, most sought-after, or determine the most.
On the other hand, the reputation of institutions of Higher Education, which among other measured with the accreditation status of the course is not included in the list of the most important qualification, the most sought after, or determine the degree graduate recruitment process by seeking employment.
There is a trend seekers labor "ignore" field studies graduate degree In an interview, the head of a HRD of a bank in Cirebon asserts, the quality of personal rapport with the attributes of a field of more jobs or decide not received a graduate of Higher Education. For example, the position as a bank teller demanding speed, quickness, and accuracy. Head of the HRD said, "I never received his Bachelor's degree from Bogor Agriculture as a cashier at the bank and we reject the Bachelor in Economics from the management of Bandung which IPK is very good."
Qualifications required in the workplace is an important note by the universities to overcome not know it among universities with the world of work and graduate unemployment. If the issue is the selection of the new system is intended to filter according to the student competency Basically, the attention on the qualifications claimed the labor market as a benchmark processing the basic competence. For all that, working with universities and the world of work is necessary.
Tata Sutabri S. Kom, MM - Deputy Chairman of the nucleus STMIK INDONESIA, December IT Education, Jl. Arjuna North No.35 - Duri Kepa Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta 11510 Tel. 5654969, e-mail: @ tata.sutabri inti.ac.id.