On the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Persatuan Guru Republic of Indonesia (PGRI) and National Teachers Day 2020, Indonesian teachers were commended for their quality education during the COVID-19 crisis.
The celebrations were organized on November 28th and gathered high-level speakers. A hybrid event took place at PGRI headquarters in Jakarta and online.
Indonesian President Jokowi: Role and innovation of teachers are crucial
In his welcoming speech, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, expressed his appreciation to the teachers who are faced with many challenges: “Thank you, teachers, for your commitment to educate the children of our nation and to help them find valuable capital to become the development of Indonesia ”.
According to President Widodo, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the role and ability of teachers to innovate in conducting teaching and learning activities has proven extremely important. Teachers needed to keep working and innovating to conduct teaching and learning activities both online and through home visits with students, he said.
“Teachers have been forced to adapt quickly, adopt new technology, change their teaching methods and do the best they can to keep students able to learn as challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic do not affect the quality of learning allowed to. He went on to emphasize.
Joint work between teachers and parents
President Widodo also stated that home-based educational incentives are also important to successful student learning. Therefore communication and collaboration between teachers and parents need to be improved. “I understand that many parents are waiting for schools to reopen. However, we need to think carefully about the safety and health protocol. The health and safety of teachers and students is our top priority. "
He stressed that his government had made a lot of efforts to address the teaching and learning problems faced by teachers and parents during the pandemic, particularly by making an internet package available to teachers, faculty, pupils and students.
Teachers have also been granted a salary increase, whether or not they have civil servant (PNS) status, and the government plans to hire a million contract teachers, he said.
PGRI: PGRI's successes despite the pandemic
PGRI President Unifah Rosyidi insisted that while the union struggled to advocate for educators during the COVID-19 crisis, it was successful in convincing the government to grant:
- Presidential Decree No. 98 on Teachers' Salaries and Allowances.
- Grant for an internet package for teachers, lecturers, pupils and students to ensure remote teaching and learning.
- Subsidy to pay the salaries of contract teachers and for distance learning.
- Cancellation of the national test.
The PGRI also expects that all contract teachers, especially those over the age of 35, will be offered stable positions.
Rosyidi also highlighted PGRI innovations such as the “Virtual Teacher Olympiad”, the launch of Tunas TV, a teacher support app, the PGRI Smart Learning Center, and webinars and online workshops.
"There have also been many other innovations coming from local PGRI offices in all provinces as we commit not to give up and face the challenges that the pandemic brings us," she said.
She added that PGRI supports the emergence of creative, constantly learning, and committed teachers who “support students in developing their potential to become independent learners”.
Teachers are heroes
Jusuf Kalla, chairman of the PGRI board, emphasized in a virtual contribution that teachers are heroes. "Teachers are all about heroism, brightness and commitment," he said. If Indonesia is to improve as a nation, it must experience societal, social and economic improvements, and "improving the economy requires innovations based on knowledge and technology," he said.
Professor Dr. Ing Wardiman Djojonegoro, former Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture from 1993-1998, and the Governor of Jakarta, Anis Baswedan, attended. The latter stated that "teachers are advocates of educational change, from our national independence to leading the way in preparing for our nation's future," especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his speech, the National Minister for Education and Culture, Nadiem Anwar Makarim, thanked the PGRI for its constructive contribution to the government in accelerating the improvement of education, especially in teacher matters. He said that the PGRI contribution to simplifying teacher management, teacher literacy or contract teacher solutions "gave the Department of Education and Culture food for thought".
You can watch the recording of the event on PGRI's YouTube channel: