Thursday, 6 June 2024

After Three Years, the Merdeka (Freedom) Curriculum is Officially Launched

Welcome back to the Unlocking Potential podcast.

Initiated and organized by Tanoto Foundation, this podcast serves as a platform for sharing inspiration about the latest developments in education and sustainable human resources development. This episode focuses on “Moving Towards Golden Generation through the Independent Learning (Merdeka Belajar) Policy.”

The discussion features Margaretha Ari Widowati, Head of Learning Environment at Tanoto Foundation, and Anindito Aditomo, Ph.D., Head of the Curriculum Standard and Education Assessment Agency at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology.

The main topic revolves around the newly inaugurated Merdeka Curriculum, which has replaced the 2013 curriculum as Indonesia’s national curriculum. This change was spearheaded by Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology, Nadiem Makarim, in March of this year. Starting in July, the curriculum will be mandatory nationwide for all levels of schooling. The minister aims for full adoption of the new curriculum, even in remote areas, by 2028.

The implementation of the Curriculum follows nearly four years of voluntary practice by schools. The Ministry worked closely with schools, teachers, and regional governments to ensure proper implementation and support. Anindito noted, “Around 3,000 playgroups, kindergartens, elementary schools, and junior and senior high schools participated in the trial program. We included schools from big cities as well as small towns and remote areas with varying infrastructures.”

Unlike the previous 2013 national curriculum, which required a large number of learning hours per week for each subject, the new Curriculum sets annual targets. This approach gives teachers the freedom to plan their teaching programs and learning timetables for the whole year. According to Anindito, over 80 percent of schools nationwide have adopted the Merdeka Curriculum, while the remaining 20 percent need more time to adjust to the new system.

“The government still has significant work to help schools adopt the new obligations fully. They need more time for the transition and might fully adopt it by 2027 or 2028,” he added. Anindito emphasized that the operational management of national education primarily falls under regional governments’ responsibility and authority.

Therefore, the Ministry assists local authorities in ensuring the curriculum is implemented effectively. The role of superintendents, acting as extensions of local authorities, is crucial. The Merdeka Curriculum is designed for continuous improvement and adaptation, recognizing that learning is a lifelong activity and that the nation will continue to evolve.

“We want to ensure that the curriculum supports continuous adaptation and lifelong learning. These factors are the core focus of the curriculum, which is why we call it the Merdeka Curriculum,” Anindito concluded.

Watch the full discussion in the following video!

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