Educational Observer Notes on the 76th National Education

It is interesting to watch the recorded dialogue between President, Jokowi and Minister of Education and Culture, Nadiem Makarim. My conclusion for the 76th National Education Day is as follows:

First, Covid-19 pandemic has become an indirect assessment tool of policies weaknesses, programs, and implementation of national education so far in the territory of the Republic of Indonesia, which has multiple problems and solutions.

Second, the lack of implementation of education infrastructure development along with differences in understanding between equity and justice is the cause of central and regional disparities that have only just opened up due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Third, there are two opposing poles between the thoughts of the President and the Minister of Education and Culture who are at one pole of progressive development and groups of teachers or lecturers who are at the istiqomah pole. The progressive development pole wants and provides an example at the same time of how a learner should live his life, namely from a student, plunging into the world of work, innovating from one field to another independently to determine his future with all the risks and benefits.

These two figures have practiced in their lives, starting to become students, furniture entrepreneurs, becoming mayors, governors, and finally the President. Meanwhile, the Minister of Education and Culture began studying, teaching, technology business, until he accepted an offer to become a minister.

Pelaku dan Pemerhati Pendidikan UB Prof. Dr. Ir. Hendrawan Soetanto, M.Rur.Sc.

While the istiqomah group chose the jargon “Once a teacher / lecturer, still a teacher / lecturer”, so that it displays more concern, pessimism about a change that has become a necessity for life on this earth.

The idea of ‚Äč‚Äčoutside activities is equivalent to 20 credits, which I caught from the Minister of Education and Culture’s explanation is intended so that students can learn directly from the source they want without having to bear the burden of the conventional curriculum that was born from the thinking of istiqomah group. We can examine this with many examples where last week there was still a professor from a well-known state university who argued that lecturers did not need to make a Semester Learning Plan (RPS), only a syllabus and so far it has been proven successful in producing quality graduates. An analogy to stagnation in the midst of change.

It is our duty to provide an equalized outside-campus student learning experience for six months with a load of 20 credits. It’s not easy to do it, but being a reformer always starts with drinking bitter coffee even though the results may later make us able to stay awake longer so that we can watch football, watch puppets and so on, as a source of learning and comparing with our lives.

In the era of Independent Learning, Independent Campus (MBKM), the offer is wide open for us, which pole do you want to be? The choice is up to you, because in essence, freedom is the right of all nations.

Fourth, as a closing note, the idea that there will be an assessment of the Character Education Index in schools is a manifestation of the Mental Revolution Program which feels very bitter for the Istiqomah group, because we have seen so far that character education is through the Subject / Religion Course path the state and citizenship, there is still no visible internalization in real life. Violations of legal norms on the streets, in offices and in the community are still ongoing, although the number of places of worship has increased tremendously in Indonesia. We need to think about the root of the problem of the failure to implement character education so far.

Congratulations on the 76th National Education Day.

Without character education, all of that will be in vain.

Greetings satoe djiwa.


Prof. Dr. Ir. Hendrawan Soetanto, M.Rur.Sc.

Universitas Brawijaya Educational Actors and Observers