Nadiem Takes Care of Education Curriculum like Managing Startups
One of the ideas that Nadiem Makarim wants to bring from Gojek to the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud) is flexibility. If the Gojek system is flexible, especially for ‘partners’, at the Kemdikbud Nadiem wants to apply it to the curriculum and governance of school organizations.
“We (Kemdikbud) are not just regulators, but also servants and school assistants. We can make flexibility in the curriculum and flexibility of organizational governance in a school,” Nadiem said in Jakarta some time ago. For Nadiem, a flexible curriculum can develop Indonesian education more optimally.
In contrast, a rigid curriculum like ‘one standard one way’ and ‘standardized’, he said, would have a negative impact. Meanwhile, flexibility in organizational governance is made so that teachers are not burdened with administrative matters that are ‘no leeway’ and ‘without clear benefits’.
This vision is basically in line with what President Joko Widodo wants. In a limited meeting at the President’s Office recently, Jokowi said that the curriculum must be made flexible. Thus, it is in line with the changing world people are experiencing nowadays.
Nadiem Wants the Education Curriculum to Be Flexible
The National Coordinator of the Indonesian Educational Monitoring Network (JPPI), Ubaid Matraji, concluded that Nadiem was managing the Ministry of Education and Culture and Indonesia’s education like leading a startup. On the one hand, what it does is quite good.
A more flexible curriculum approach can indeed support student success like written on one article in The Conversation. This is because in a curriculum with limited choices, students can feel trapped in programs that no longer match their interests or strengths.
The problem is that a flexible curriculum also leaves holes if it is fully implemented. Some things cannot be treated in flexible ways, for example, character education and social sensitivity. “It takes practice and exemplary that cannot be represented by startup-style flexibility,” Ubaid explained.
“If a startup is forced on all fronts, that’s called dehumanization and depriving children of community culture,” he added. Therefore Ubaid said that what Nadiem should not forget was to increase the capacity of teachers. “The teachers must be well prepared to give lessons to their students,” he said.
Teacher quality is related to the vision of flexibility in the governance of school organizations. “Not necessarily when the non-teaching burden is reduced, teachers can immediately innovate,” senior researcher at the SMERU research institute, Luhur Bima, said quoting The Conversation.
Teachers’ Capacity Needs to Be Increased to Support the Curriculum
“It depends on the capacity of the teacher himself,” Luhur said. The capacity of these teachers must be increased while they are still in the education process such as teacher training institutes or alike. It is because the curriculum for undergraduate education so far tends to have minimal practice.
Nadiem has not explained in detail what he means by a flexible curriculum. But, for the Commissioner of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission (KPAI) in the Field of Education, Retno Listyarti, it can be interpreted as a curriculum that adapts and is in line with the conditions.
Then, the curriculum may relate to the potential in the place where students are located. For example, in an area that has potential at sea, the curriculum should be made so that students understand what the potential is and how to make it something beneficial.
Agricultural areas and urban areas are no exception. “As a consequence, the potential of the area is excavated and regional children do not need to migrate to big cities but take part in expanding the area according to its potential,” Retno said.
Retno also said that schools must also be equipped with facilities and infrastructure that can support the flexible curriculum. Meanwhile, Nadiem also has other programs when it comes to education in Indonesia. There is also much homework at the Ministry of Education and Culture.