THE Indonesian government says it wants to bring changes to its education system by learning from Finland, known to have one of the world’s best teaching and learning systems.
Despite the obvious differences between the education systems of both countries, Ainun Naim, Indonesia’s Education and Culture Ministry secretary-general said that the ministry hoped the cooperation would assist in the reform of its domestic system.
“We are hoping to set a new benchmark for education. However, we must acknowledge that we both have different social conditions, which means that an education system that works perfectly for one country may not translate perfectly for another. We have to take in other considerations,” Ainun said at a recent Finnish-Indonesian Symposium on “Education and The Role of Teachers” in Jakarta.
Ainun said that the cooperation would involve the exchange of knowledge through forums and seminars, as well as intern programmes for Indonesian teachers, academics and students in Finland and vice-versa, following the visit by Finland’s Education Minister Krista Kiuru to Indonesia in August.
During the symposium, Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg said that Finland’s education system featured a systematic focus on equity.
“Equity means that the system has to be designed in a way that will help, with a particular focus on children who come from families or backgrounds that do not support their learning,” Sahlberg said.
“Equity means that the school system must endeavour to compensate for those things,” he said. Schools with more students from deprived backgrounds should receive more financial support than other schools.
Finland, did not recognise national-standardised exams. The only standardised examination, he said, was conducted at the end of high school, when students were about 18 years old.
Speaking at the symposium, Eero Ropo, professor of education at Finland’s University of Tampere said that the elimination of a national examination had been proven to improve teachers’ performance.
“Since we have no national tests, teachers are more engaged with their work and focus on educating students, not test scores,” Ropo said.
“The role of the teacher is not about testing or scoring. They are there for their students,” he added.
Education and Culture Ministry director-general for secondary education Hamid Muhammad said the ministry had tried to improve its system of education through teacher competence tests and the development of a new curriculum.
“The new curriculum is part of our response to the low PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) results,” Hamid said.
Indonesia has had low PISA rankings in recent years. — The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network
Source: The Star