Indonesia’s National Curriculum Huge Transformation From 1947 to 2015, How Can We Make It Better?


Indonesia’s National Curriculum Huge Transformation From 1947 to 2015, How Can We Make It Better?

Indonesia’s national curriculum has undergone changes since the country’s earliest dependence days namely in 1947, 1952, 1964, 1968, 1975, 1984, 1994, 2004, 2006, and the current curriculum 2013. Changes in the political, socio-cultural, economic, and social systems have contributed to these adjustments. as well as science and technology in the country and state.
As a result, the curriculum must be constructed dynamically in response to societal demands and changes as a set of educational initiatives. All national curricula are built on the same foundation, namely Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution, with the main difference being a focus on educational goals and approaches to achieving them.

Also read: Indonesia’s Education System, Experts Discover We are Lagging 128 Years Behind

History of Indonesia’s National Curriculum

History of Indonesia's National Curriculum
Source: @gloria

The following is a timeline of changes in Indonesia’s national curriculum since the country’s independence:

Rentjana Pelajaran 1947

During this period of independence, the first curriculum was developed using the Dutch term Leerplan, which means lesson plan. This term is more widely used than curriculum (English). The shift in educational direction was more political, shifting from the orientation of Dutch education to the national interest. Pancasila establishes the educational principle. This curriculum is known as the 1947 Lesson Plan, and it was not implemented until 1950.

At that time, education places a greater emphasis on developing the character of the Indonesian people as independent, sovereign, and equal to other nations on the planet. The main focus of the 1947 Lesson Plan was not on intellectual education, but rather on character education, state and community awareness. The subject matter mainly revolves around everyday events, as well as arts and physical education.

Rentjana Pelajaran Terurai 1952

Indonesia’s national curriculum in 1952 is an improvement over the previous curriculum, identifying each subject.  This curriculum resulted in the establishment of a national education system. The course syllabus is rather clear, and each subject is taught by a different teacher. The students’ need for knowledge was given great consideration at this time, and the subject units were more thorough. However, students are still situated as objects in this curriculum because the teacher is the primary subject in the transfer of knowledge. The teacher determines what students will learn in class, as well as the standards for student success in the educational process.

Rentjana Pendidikan 1964

The curriculum system was perfected once more by the government in 1964, with the Rentjana Pendidikan 1964. The attributes of this curriculum reflect the government’s intention for people to gain academic knowledge for debriefing at the elementary level. As a result, learning is centred on the Pancawardhana program, specifically moral, intellectual, emotional or artistic skills and physical development.

Kurikulum 1968

Born during the New Order era, 1968 Indonesia’s national curriculum was political in nature. The goal of this curriculum is to develop true, strong, and physically fit Pancasila individuals, as well as to improve intelligence and physical skills, morals, character, and religious beliefs. At this period, students only act as massive individuals, memorizing existing theories without applying them. This curriculum does not demonstrate effective or psychomotor aspects. In practice, this curriculum explores student formation solely from an intellectual standpoint.

The elementary school curriculum in 1968 was divided into three major categories. First, there is the Pancasila coaching group, which is responsible for religious education, citizenship education, Indonesian language education, regional languages, and sports. Second, there is the basic knowledge development group, which includes numeracy, natural sciences, arts education, and family welfare education (including health sciences). Third, there is the special skills group, which includes agrarian vocational (agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing), technical-vocational (handwork/supplies), and management/service vocational (cooperative, savings).

Kurikulum 1975

The 1975 curriculum is a replacement for the 1968 education system, and it is based on the following principles: Goal-oriented, adopting an integrative approach in which each learning has a meaning and a role that contributes to the achievement of more integrative goals, and emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness in terms of power and time.

In this day and age, the term “lesson unit” refers to a lesson plan for each unit of discussion. General instructions, specific instructional objectives [ICT], subject matter, learning tools, teaching and learning activities, and evaluation are all included in each lesson unit. The 1975 curriculum was widely panned. The teachers were mostly occupied with writing down the outcomes of each learning activity.

Kurikulum 1984

Indonesia’s national curriculum in 1984 is also known as the “Enhanced 1975 Curriculum.” As a study subject, students’ positions are placed. From observing something to grouping, discussing, and reporting. The Active Student Learning Method [CBSA] or Student Active Learning [SAL] is the name given to this model.

Kurikulum 1994

The 1994 curriculum is the outcome of efforts to integrate previous curriculum, particularly the 1975 and 1984 curricula. It was implemented in accordance with Law No. 2 of 1989 concerning the National Education System. Unfortunately, the fusion of goals and processes was not fruitful. As a result, many criticisms were leveled since this student’s learning load was deemed excessively heavy, ranging from national to local content. Regional languages, arts, regional skills, and so on. Finally, the 1994 curriculum was transformed into an extremely dense curriculum.

In addition to that, this curriculum has changed the lesson time division system from a semester to a quarterly system.

Kurikulum Berbasis Kompetensi (KBK)

The 2004 Indonesia national curriculum, which serves as a replacement for the 1994 curriculum, is known as the Competency-Based Curriculum (KBK). A competency-based education program must include three major components: the selection of appropriate competencies, the specification of evaluation indicators to determine competency achievement success, and learning development.

KBK has the following characteristics: a focus on individual and traditional student competencies, a focus on learning outcomes, and a focus on diversity. Learning activities employ a variety of approaches and methods, and learning resources include not only teachers but also other learning resources that meet educational criteria.

Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan (KTSP)

In general, the KTSP is not much different from the KBK, but the prominent difference lies in the authority in its preparation, which refers to the decentralization of the education system. The central government establishes competency standards and basic competencies, while schools must be able to develop a syllabus and assessment in accordance with the school’s and its area’s conditions.

Kurikulum 2013

This curriculum serves as a partial substitute for the KTSP curriculum. The assessment in the 2013 curriculum is divided into three parts: knowledge, skills, and attitudes and behavior. There are materials that are streamlined and materials that are added in the 2013 Curriculum, particularly in learning materials. The streamlined material appears to be in Indonesian, Social Studies, PPKn, and so on, whereas the additional material appears to be in Mathematics.

Kurikulum 2015

The 2013 curriculum is still being refined for the 2015 curriculum. However, the 2015 National Examination revealed that the 2006 Curriculum, namely KTSP, was being used. Because, for the time being, students in schools that have used the 2013 Curriculum have only completed three semesters.

How can we make it better?

How can we make Indonesia's National Curriculum better?
Image by Mufid Majnun from Pixabay

As a result of the growth of world civilization and drastic changes in the economy, the curriculum as the foundation for providing education at school units is indeed very essential to discuss today. When a country experiences relatively slow progress in various aspects, the country’s capabilities to plan reliable and qualified human resources is thrown into doubt.
What is missing or what is wrong with the country all year round? The curriculum becomes a worthy thing to analyze. To what extent to which the existing curriculum in that country is capable of producing generations who are ready to bring a country to a more advanced and developing state? With the existing curriculum, what are there to improve?

The number of teachers who are less creative in developing lesson plans is the main indicator of the curriculum’s weakness. In fact, the lesson plan has a significant impact on the learning outcomes. The better the learning implementation plan, the better the learning outcomes will be. This is due to a lack of quality in teachers workforce and adaptability of the curriculum.

Indonesia’s national curriculum today is said to be not fully optimized and implemented. Changes in the curriculum in each country are highly necessary to be carried out according to the demands of the times, the development of science and technology, the level of intelligence of students, culture, value systems and community needs. The curriculum must be dynamic and should always be monitored and evaluated for improvement and refinement. Yet, as for making improvements and adjustments, it does not necessarily produce something optimal, because the curriculum is hypothetical.

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