The Inability to Compete
Talking about education in Indonesia, another problem that arises is the inability of Indonesia to compete in terms of its education system at the global level. Reflecting on Indonesia’s ranking in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Indonesia is still far away from good. Indonesia’s score is below the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standard in every aspect—including mathematics, literacy, and science. The low score shows that Indonesia’s education system and the existing curriculum has not been able to encourage improvement for students.
Each organization in the Diplomatic Organizational Forum 2023 presented its own take on the problem. Most of them think that the cause of the problem is the curriculum. The lack of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) in the learning activities inhibits student’s ability to think analytically and have a comprehensive understanding. Without a big change, students’ readiness to receive a higher level of education will not be achieved. Not only that, the gap in access to a good education is also still part of the problem. In most parts of the country, there is not much option for the students to choose because the number of schools is still very limited.
Swara Peduli Ceria highlights the influence of politics and business on education in Indonesia. They emphasize the need for improved literacy, character development, and curriculum enhancement to ensure that education encompasses all aspects, not just schools. In the context of enhancing student discipline, they propose the “asah, asih, asuh” approach for character development, with community proactivity as the key.
Additionally, the implementation of the Merdeka Curriculum is one of the focuses discussed in the Panel Discussion. UNAI provide its argument, considering it a progressive step but with the risk of creating disparities. Positive views regarding the diversity of the program are also acknowledged by Gores Denai, Rumah Belajar BEM UI, and Manusia UI. However, they highlight the necessity for attention to digital literacy, infrastructure, and parental literacy concerning the curriculum.
Overall, improving education in Indonesia requires collaboration among the government, society, and educators to address the various challenges faced.