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Having a new curriculum? No way! I do not like any change in the curriculum. Why? In my mind, any change in the curriculum is a mere political interest. So the slogan “new the minister, new the policy, new the curriculum” is my point of view about how a change in the curriculum occurs. The mindset of “political interest” continues to rage in my mind to raise my negative comments on curriculum changes made by the government.

Similarly, it occurred at the end of 2012, when I and the people of Indonesia got shocked by the reports about changes in the curriculum to be applied in 2013. The changes were made without proper preparation and a short time later became a headline in education column in media, as well as a source of many negative comments about the curriculum changes. Moreover, the reports state that the curriculum content would be much different from those currently used. The differences include an addition in number of learning hours, elimination of ICT subject, and elimination of English subject and integration of science and social studies lessons into Indonesian lesson for elementary school (SD).

The reports on the new curriculum have an impact on parents’ objections to over elimination of English in the elementary curriculum. The ground is nowadays English language is required in global competition (, 10/12/2012). Teachers of the subjects to be eliminated also expressed their objections with disappointment. What they have in mind is they would lose their jobs as teachers if the subjects are eliminated from the curriculum (, 10/14/2012). The budget for the 2013 curriculum that reaches a fantastic figure necessarily enhances the huge number of public protests. Criticism was addressed to the government that the curriculum changes were merely for the sake of project, not for improving the quality of education (, 06/09/2013).
The government in this case the Minister of Education said that the curriculum changes were needed because an education curriculum should be adapted to the demands of the times. Because times change, the curriculum has to change, which is based more on strengthening reasoning, no longer memorizing (, 10/12/2012). The Minister of Education also explained that the 2013 curriculum aims to produce creative people and is concerned with the moral foundation in the learning process, so that the 2013 curriculum will not only produce smart young people, but also good (right) and lovely people (, 02/06/2013).
Basically, to improve the quality of education we should promote passion for change. However, the passion would not be an appropriate outcome as targeted if only done a handful of people. Changes must be made in all educational lines. Therefore, curriculum socialization becomes important to draw the public attention to have the same understanding, the same passion and the same goal in making changes to improve the quality of education.
The absence of resources to provide a common understanding makes the pros and cons to the 2013 curriculum continue. Even teachers in this case curriculum implementers can only follow the main information about what and how the 2013 curriculum is through reports in mass media. It is due to lack of the government’s formal socialization to teachers, especially to teachers living in areas far from the central government.
Mass media did a good job as a messenger. However, it was mainly based on responses of education observers, teachers, parents, and government to the curriculum changes, both positive and negative responses, which are not the true essence of the curriculum changes to be applied, as required by teachers. As a result, teachers would remain confused about the target of the 2013 curriculum implementation to be soon applied.
As what my colleagues feel, I am also confused. Moreover, I am an inactive teacher for continuing my education. Thus, I hardly obtain information about the curriculum changes in school. However, this condition apparently made me know the true essence of a curriculum and changed my point of view about the curriculum changes.
At this semester, one of the courses I take is curriculum and teaching methodology in secondary education. My lecturer of the course is a member of the National Education Standards Agency (BSNP) in charge of developing, monitoring the implementation, and evaluating the National Education Standards. He is also one of the editors of the social studies textbook for the 2013curriculum. At the beginning of his lecture, students bombarded him with questions about the 2013curriculum. Subsequently, he explained in detail about curriculum, particularly the 2013curriculum. He talked about what curriculum was, how a curriculum should be, what the content of the proposed curriculum changes was, and how the implementation process of the curriculum that was informed to be applied in the 2013/2014 academic year was. The detailed explanation by the lecturer eventually changed my mindset of understanding the curriculum and its amendments. However, what about the other teachers and the public?
In addition to the changes to be applied to the curriculum, teachers and the public need to understand the essence of a curriculum. Hence, there will be no statement “there are many objections to it because they do not clearly understand about the new curriculum” (, 01/07/2013).
The government may forget to consider the breadth of Indonesia and the availability of information and communication facilities throughout Indonesia. Consequently, the socialization process only touched urban people, those living close to the center of government and those who frequently use internet as a means of information, considering that the formal socialization, monitoring and public examination of the 2013 curriculum was conducted through internet media.
It is better if the government thought about an effective way of socialization of the new curriculum before proclaiming the curriculum changes. The news preceding the socialization process will certainly get protested since people, especially teachers as curriculum implementers, have not got the formal socialization. In fact, the news does not necessarily give the true essence of the curriculum.
The lack of the government’s formal guidance and socialization provokes mass media to take over the authority as the information center on the discourse about the curriculum changes. In the Kompas survey, media that provide information through news on the 2013 curriculum include newspaper (31.8 percent), television (27.5 percent), and internet (15.8 percent). It is followed by formal institutions such as principals (10.4 percent) and colleague teachers (7.4 percent) (, 05/13/2013). Consequently, the lack of formal guidance and socialization can lead to protests, pessimistic attitudes of teachers and the 2013 curriculum implementation that is not pursuant to those targeted. As what we found of the National Assembly of Catholic Education, which initially refused it, they are finally prepared to apply the 2013 curriculum and ready to develop it after the explanation of the 2013 curriculum by the Ministry of Education (, 04/24/2013).
Mass media have a very strong influence in establishing one’s cognition by providing information and knowledge that can ultimately form one’s perception. The media positive impact should be used by the government in the curriculum introduction through ads on television. It would surely be effective in conveying information and providing insights to the public than organizing seminars or using other media, especially for people who live far away from the central government and are difficult to reach directly, in addition to formal notices to teachers and local education agencies in association with the curriculum changes.
Having a curriculum advertisement on television that is often watched by the public will be able to establish the public point of view of the curriculum, such as advertisements on General Election, Family Planning Program, or Vocational School. The government could see the impact of Vocational School advertisements on television. From schools that was less desirable into favorite choices of parents. Why? It is of course for the slogan “SMK bisa!” broadcasted several times a day on television.
Through television advertising the government may inform the meaning of curriculum, the grounds of applying the curriculum changes, what changes are made, the differences of the new and proposed curriculum, and how it will be applied.
The curriculum socialization through television advertising also will not only be utilized by teachers or education department but also parents and learners. Accordingly, teachers do not need to inform in more detail about the curriculum changes. People have known and understood about the curriculum. Learners will also be prepared to learn the new curriculum. Remember, learners are at the core of the implementation of the curriculum changes. They are the main targets. Thus, to maximize the results of the curriculum changes, the main targets need to know and get prepared instead of adhering to the changes. Therefore, the curriculum changes will meet the target achievement, which is to produce young, smart, good, and lovely generation.
Socialization on the curriculum changes through television advertising also would have an impact on the learning process that teachers do. Moreover, it does not stop at the level of document changes only as was the case to date. It is because students and parents should have a grasp of how the implementation of the new curriculum in learning, thus becoming an evaluation for teachers in implementing the new curriculum in classroom. The control of parents and learners will indirectly boost morale of teachers to change the implementation of their learning processes in accordance with the demands of the new curriculum. Compliance of learning implementation with the target set is one of the indicators of success in the process of enhancing the quality of education. Thus, there is no reason for teachers to dislike the changes for the better quality of Indonesian education. Finally I said “Curriculum changes? Yes!”

*Esai ini diikutsertakan dalam ICID 2013-BNI London essay competition.Tapi sayang tidak masuk dalam finalis :)

Qudsi Falkhi

Teacher who loves books and traveling, contact me -->