Education is key in preparing a generation that can meet the life challenges of the 21st century. In response to this, the Government of Indonesia has integrated the 4C’s as the final learning goal of the 2013 Curriculum. However, are the 4C’s skills considered something new? Why have they received plenty of attention recently?

According to Johnny Tjia, the Director of Sulinama Foundation, the 4C’s skills cannot be achieved without HOTS, or Higher-Order Thinking Skills. He even said that the 4C’s is part of HOTS itself. HOTS was introduced back in 1956 through the Bloom Taxonomy. Since then, learning that emphasizes HOTS has been continuously promoted and adapted into the 2013 Curriculum in Indonesia.

“The 4C’s skill itself cannot only be gained through HOTS. In other words, the 4C’s is a product of HOTS. The 4C’s can be said to be part of HOTS itself. So, it’s not something new, because it was already introduced in 1956 by Bloom Taxonomy. However, in Indonesia it has only been implemented since the 2013 Curriculum,” said Johnny.

Furthermore, he said that the issue about the 4C’s was only recently raised, because of its higher relevancy to this era, when the flow of communication and information has become much more rapid and affects all aspects of life. Therefore, students must adapt to this era to be competitive.

Johnny presented this during the introduction of the Mother-Tongue Based Multilingual Education (MTB MLE) or Pembelajaran Multi Bahasa Berbasis Bahasa Ibu (PMBBI) to more than 70 elementary school teachers in Nagekeo Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province. The initial meeting was held online on September 17, 2020, and to date the presentation has been held twice. This activity aims to build the awareness of teachers and stakeholders in Nagekeo Regency regarding the issue of the mother tongue and introduces the learning method that uses the mother tongue as a transitional language towards the Indonesian language.

This activity is part of the Sulinama Foundation’s commitment to support literacy improvement, particularly in regions where most students use their mother tongue in their daily lives and thus experience difficulties when learning in Indonesian.

By partnering with INOVASI Phase I, the Sulinama Foundation has implemented the same program in East Sumba Regency. By looking at the resulting impact, INOVASI is trying to disseminate this program to other areas in need. As such, INOVASI has formed a partnership between the Sulinama Foundation and the Regency Government of Nagekeo to implement this program in this regency.

The local government has agreed to implement the program starting in early 2021. For the time being, the process signing of signing MoU is still ongoing. Both parties have agreed to implement a co-funding scheme for a two-year implementation period (2021-2022).



While waiting for the full implementation of the program, the Sulinama Foundation will initiate it with a series of pro bono introductory meetings. These meetings will be attended by Basilius Bengoteku, Advisor for Systems and Policy of INOVASI and Hironimus Sugi, Provincial Manager of INOVASI for East Nusa Tenggara Province,.

“I am happy to see teachers being enriched by using their mother tongue to help children understand literacy. Literacy is highly important. Without it, children cannot advance and contribute to society and country,” said Basilius.

Meanwhile, Hironimus Sugi revealed the results of a small survey that was conducted at one of the schools located on the main street in Nagekeo Regency.

“Apparently, 58 percent of the students use their mother tongue for daily communication. What happens with schools that are far from the city center?” he asked.

Johnny Tjia warmly welcomes the partnership that was developed with Nagekeo Regency and appreciates INOVASI’s support. “We are thankful to INOVASI, who facilitated this partnership. We are greatly honored by this partnership, especially with the teachers and the regency government of Nagekeo. Let’s build Nagekeo together,” he urged.

Although the meetings were held online, the teachers still gathered at several points due to limited access to network and gadgets. They were facilitated by the local Education Office. The attendees were members of the Learning Teacher Forum or Forum Guru Belajar in Nagekeo.

In the online meeting, Johnny emphasized the importance of introducing HOTS to students early on. “A child can reach 50 percent of his or her intellectuality at eight years old and gains another 20 percent by 18 years of age. If the education that they receive is not optimal, we will lose their intellectual potential,” he explained.

He also emphasized the “Freedom to Learn” breakthrough movement that has been promoted by the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) since 2019, under which not only should the Indonesian language be used as a language of instruction, but also student’s mother tongues.

“How can we have the freedom to learn, when we cannot understand what the teacher is saying (because he or she teaches in Indonesian)?” A study by UNESCO states that children learn better by using their mother tongue first.

“Linguistic right is a human right. Therefore, children who use their mother tongue in their daily lives should not be forced to receive instruction in Indonesian but should be allowed to use their mother tongue as a bridge to later become fluent in Indonesian and then to understand more complex issues,” said Johnny.