Indonesian education unionists have welcomed the announcement made by the national government during a Public Discussion on National Education to hire 100,000 teachers in 2018 in an effort to combat the teacher shortage in the country.
The Indonesian government plans to appoint 100,000 teachers with civil service status this year based on a selection process to ensure teacher quality, which will, in turn, improve education quality.
Vice-President: quality education is the key to achieve national progress
“We need to replace retired teachers every year, as people should not be worried over a shortage of teachers. However, all appointed teachers must be prepared to serve in disadvantaged and border regions,” Vice-President Jusuf Kalla stressed at a Public Discussion on National Education in the capital city Jakarta on 10 July. The event was jointly organised bythe national newspaper Kompas, the Culture and Education Ministry and the education union Persatuan Guru Republik Indonesia (PGRI), affilated to Education International.
Kalla went on to explain that Indonesia should have a good education system because education is the largest expenditure in the state budget. Furthermore, he acknowledged that “quality education is the key to achieve national progress”.
Governmental investment in education
During this event, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani noted that the government had disbursed 20 percent of the state budget for education every year since 2009. In 2018, the education budget reached more than Rp 444 trillion (US$ 30.9 billion), increased from Rp 419 trillion in 2017. Every year, he said, the state budget, as well as the education budget, increases.
While indicating that more research is needed to find out the effect of an education budget increase on education quality, and considering that Indonesia must have a clear educational plan, Sri Mulyani added that “with 20 percent of the state budget allocated for education, we need a strategy to ensure quality education as a priority”.
Education and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy also underlined that the aim of appointing new teachers was to replace retired teachers, around 60,000 every year. “There are instances where retired teachers are not immediately replaced, leading to schools appointing non-contract teachers,” Muhadjir Effendy insisted.
PGRI: non-contract teachers have uncertain futures and low salary
Concerning non-contract teachers, PGRI President Unifah Rosyidi regretted that many of them have uncertain futures and low salaries, and do not enjoy the same protections as teachers with civil service status. She therefore called on the Government to seek a solution to this problem.