Minister of Education Uses Merdeka Belajar to Present the Transformation of Indonesia’s Education

Bandung, May 19, 2022 – Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, Nadiem Anwar Makarim, provided an explanation on the role of gotong royong (mutual cooperation) as the foundation for the transformation of Indonesia’s education through Merdeka Belajar (freedom to learn) as well as the basis of G20 priority agenda in education. Minister Nadiem delivered his explanation during the 2nd hybrid meeting of G20 Education Working Group (EdWG) that was opened on Wednesday, May 18 and held for two days.

Minister Nadiem underlined the principles of mutual cooperation as a value ingrained deeply in Indonesian people. He believed that the value of mutual cooperation can inspire and become key for the delegates to collaborate towards better and more sustainable quality education for all.

“I truly believe that mutual cooperation is the key to transformation to create quality education for all and transformation towards better, more sustainable future,” he said.

The minister of education said that the ecosystem of Indonesia’s education has accelerated the transformation through mutual cooperation as the solution for a long-standing learning crisis which was exacerbated by the pandemic. Through various breakthroughs of Merdeka Belajar, recovery on education is carried out, among others, by presenting Merdeka Curriculum, National Assessment, and Pioneer Teachers Program.

In Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, there are four priority agenda of EdWG, namely Quality Education for All, Digital Technology in Education, Solidarity and Partnership, and the Future of Work After COVID-19.

In relation to the first priority agenda, Quality Education for All, the minister took the transformation of education financing as an example, which is now more socially equitable, such as School Operational Assistance (BOS) fund, and expansion of the scope of various types of scholarships. The minister of education also explained the breakthroughs of Merdeka Belajar that served as the basis for another priority agenda, Digital Technology in Education.

“The ministry has produced many breakthroughs that have not been carried out before, such as Merdeka Mengajar (Freedom to Teach). Unlike the general view that focuses on online learning applications, the platform designed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, focuses on empowering and supporting school principals and teachers to optimize their potential,” Minister Nadiem said.

In addition, the minister explained that SIPLah platform is a marketplace that helps schools to obtain their needs in a more efficient manner and Kedaireka platform that connects business and industry, as well as various organizations with colleges to collaborate in providing a more relevant education.

Furthermore, in relation to the third priority agenda, namely Solidarity and Partnership, Minister Nadiem explained to the EdWG delegations regarding the Mobilization Organization and Marching Fund Programs as transformation of higher education funding which prioritizes cross-sectoral cooperation in improving the quality of education.

Minister Nadiem also provided an explanation on various breakthroughs of Merdeka Belajar, Kampus Merdeka (independent campus), that serve as basis for the fourth priority agenda, namely the Future of Work After COVID-19. Through Merdeka Belajar, Kampus Merdeka, students are encouraged to learn outside the classroom and prepare themselves to face challenges in the real world. “Indonesia is looking to the future, we are leaping towards the future, and we do not want to only be playing catch up,” the minister said.

In his closing remarks, the minister said, “I strongly believe that the consensus at the G20 EdWG meeting contained in the G20 EdWG Report and Declaration of Education Ministers, which will serve as important milestones in our journey to restore education as the basis for achieving a sustainable future.”

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