G20 Countries: The Spirit of Indonesia’s ‘Gotong Royong’ Becomes the Basis for Global Education Recovery

Yogyakarta, 17 March 2022 – Solidarity and Partnership becomes the third priority agenda carried out by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemendikbudristek RI) on the G20 Education Working Group (EdWG). The Chair of the G20 Education Working Group (EdWG) Iwan Syahril mentioned that the spirit of solidarity and partnership, in this case ‘Gotong Royong’, is one of the main things supporting the recovery of education from every challenge.

Learning from experiences during the pandemic, cross-sectoral collaboration needs to be encouraged to ensure the readiness of the next generation to face future challenges. “We are all in this together. We can get past it only if we are walking side-by-side, hand in hand towards the recovery path.” said Iwan while emphasizing the importance of all parties to put aside differences and work together to recover education.

Emphasizing what Indonesia said as the leader of the EdWG G20 about the importance of solidarity and partnership or gotong royong in the recovery of education, Marina Larrea as Argentina’s Head of Delegation said, “We would like to thank Indonesia for putting Solidarity and Partnership as a priority for this year. Gotong royong is such an inspiring concept for all of us.” Argentina led the G20 Presidency in 2018.

The spirit of this partnership was also recognized by the delegates, such as Andres Contreras Serrano Spain’s Head of Delegation. “Under the spirit of gotong royong, global solidarity is not only a moral imperative, it is in everyone’s interest. G20 countries have both the moral imperative and the interest to make fundamental contributions to the establishment of solidarity strategies that help all nations in the world to improve their education systems,” said Andres.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia in this session also invited the Secretary General of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics of the Republic of Indonesia, Mira Tayyiba as the Chair of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group (G20 DEWG) and Chair of the Think20 Engagement Group, Djisman Simanjuntak to share their perspectives to the G20 EdWG delegations.

German Delegate Rebecca Stock said, “I would also like to express my appreciation to Indonesia again for organizing this meeting and for stressing the topic of solidarity and partnership. We do think it’s a very timely choice.”

Iwan continued, “Learning from this experience (education recovery during the pandemic), we gain more optimism to encourage cross-sectoral collaboration between the public and private, as well as partnerships between education and industry sectors.”

Iwan said that this (cross-sectoral collaboration) became a focus for the Indonesian government. “To ensure that our children will be fully ready to face future challenges, including the changing workforce, we need them to be aware and well-informed of the situation they are going to deal with. Based on that consideration, we are now heading towards the unbundling of higher education that incorporates meaningful and fruitful cross-sectoral collaboration,” explained Iwan.

Iwan who also serves as Director General of Teachers and Education Personnel of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia raised the two concepts of Emancipated Learning (Merdeka Belajar) as real examples of Indonesia’s commitment to adopt the spirit of solidarity and partnership in the education sector.

The collaboration between academics and the private sector in supporting higher education levels, said Iwan, is in line with the concept of Emancipated Learning in Higher Education (Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka), which provides opportunities for students to improve skills according to their talents and interests by going directly into the world of work. Meanwhile, the collaboration between the government and higher education institutions is shown through Indonesia’s transformation of government funds for higher education.

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