There is a quiet revolution going on in Indonesia’s education system. It is happening across the nation, in classrooms, in schools, on remote islands, in jungle river communities, and in big cities. It is called ‘innovation’.
Since Indonesia gained independence eighty years ago, education has focused on compliance and uniformity: one size fits all. The aim was to ensure that every Indonesian citizen can speak the national language of Bahasa Indonesia, that every citizen understands the national ideology of Pancasila, and that every citizen can meet the standard requirements of literacy and numeracy. While there is still work to be done, this nation building agenda has been a success. Now there is a new agenda for education. The Twenty-First Century demands not just compliance, but creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking; what the government calls ‘higher order thinking skills’ or HOTS.
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