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The National Curriculum of Indonesia and its changes

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 5454 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In the course of history since 1945 (Independence Year), the national curriculum of Indonesia had undergone change several times, namely in 1947, 1952, 1964, 1968, 1975, 1984, 1994, 2004 and the latest curriculum of KTSP 2006 (best understood as School Based Currriculum), those amendments are logically consequences of political issue, government system, social cultural, economic, science and technology change in the living of state community (Soekisno, 2007,). Therefore, the curriculum as a set of educational plans should be developed dynamically in accordance with the demands and changes that occur in society. All Indonesia’s national curricula were designed based on the same foundation, namely Pancasila (Philosophical foundation of the Indonesian Republic) and the 1945 constitution; the principal differences among those curriculums were only on emphasizing of educational goals and approaches to realize it.

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Continuing to improve the quality of education in order commensurate with other developing countries, the Indonesian government has made various changes, and continues to review the implementation of education in Indonesia. The National Education Standards of Indonesia (BSNP) had regulated through Government Regulation (PP) No. 19 Year 2005 and set eight contents of the Standards of Education, specifically Content Standard, Standard Process, Graduates Competency Standards, Educators Standards and Education Workforce, Infrastructure Standards , Management Standards, Financial Standards and Evaluation Standards.

Simultaneously the Government Regulation No.19 year 2005 affected the direction of Indonesian curriculum development policies to implement its Content Standard (SK) and Graduate Competency Standard (SKL) as established through the Regulation of The Minister of National Education: Number 22, 23, 24 year 2006. These three regulations then further elaborated “KTSP” (School Based Curriculum) which is built and developed by each educational unit or school in Indonesia.

According to Azumardi Azra (2006), explained that the changes in education in Indonesia means that there are two new paradigms emerged in education, shifting the orientation of the policy where previously being centralized to decentralized, then national education is more oriented to the learning process rather than results. Decentralized system means to implement the new breakthrough School-Based Curriculum known as KTSP in Indonesia.

Change of curriculum had affected the national education system of Indonesia; it had not only affected the learning climate in the classroom, but the readiness of the principal and subject teachers in efforts to understand and apply the curriculum in practice. In addition, Sutrisno and Nuryanto (2008) viewed that the implementation has not been optimally practiced as educational practitioners think KTSP differs with KBK. Meanwhile Suhadi (2006) argued that such an assumption was due to a prior attitudes and psychological resistance against the changes. The changes enhanced the operational practice of curriculum which are developed and implemented by each school consisting of their own respective goals, local content perspectives, educational calendar and syllabus.

KTSP which was being mandated by the Ministry of National Education Indonesia (MoNE) through The National Education Standard Institution (BSNP) means to reinforce the implementation of its predecessor (read: KBK), it implies that KTSP still put pressure on developing students competencies. According to Fasli and Bachruddin (2007) said that KTSP implementation will not be undergoing a public test, because this curriculum had been tested through KBK which was being applied by several schools in a pilot project before the birth of KTSP. This is then a following-up toward curriculum change in the context of regional autonomy and decentralization of education programmed by the government of Indonesia. The implementation of this curriculum is focused on three dimensions of student’s enrichment of knowledge (cognitive), attitude formation (affective) and behavior (psychomotor).

Under KTSP the school and teacher have the authority to decide the educational goals based on their own schools perspective, in other words, teacher have duties on: (1) constructing and formulating the proper goal, (2) choosing and constructing the right lesson material according to the needs, interest and children’s development phase, (3) using various methods and teaching media, (4) and constructing the program and the right evaluation. A curriculum should be made systematically and detail, which will help the teachers in its implementation.

However, KTSP faces major challenges related to integration of local information, national, and international. Combining these integrations may only be solved by having resources which are prepared ahead of time, not by the teachers who prepared instantly through a variety of curriculum development assistance programs. It is more dangerous if the schools eventually just offered cheat or trace the guidelines offered by National Education Standard (BSNP). If so, KTSP will create the instant schools and result in stunted creativity, contrary to the mandate of the KTSP.

Some of the reasons behind the needs for this research include (a) KTSP implementation needs to be evaluated simultaneously in qualitative and quantitative terms; and (b) the results of that evaluation can be made as the basic information for all policy decisions related to educational elements in Riau Province especially at Indragiri Hilir Regency.

Research Problem

However, having been launched on 2006, there were many issues discussed by experts and parties whose responsible for education, particularly in the implementation of School Based Curriculum (KTSP) which has inadequate human resources whose capable to interpret even elaborate it into the practice of educational unit , incompleteness of the supporting facilities of its implementation, the teachers do not understand KTSP as a whole, both in terms of concept and its implementation in schools and even still busy using the previous theory in the process of teaching and learning in classroom.

In accordance with the principal of KTSP, all levels and types of education in Indonesia must develop their own curriculum based on their potential areas and students. This is supported by Minister of National Education Regulation No. 22 of 2006 on the Content Standards, as well as Minister of National Education Regulation No. 23 of 2006 on Graduates Competency Standards (SKL); these regulations mandate to the schools in order being required to prepare their own curriculum. However, this policy is not accompanied by teachers’ readiness or even understanding. These generate confusion among them while applying the KTSP.

As informed by Curriculum Center 2010, the monitoring noticed the implementation of KTSP has been conducted mostly in large areas, although majority of them still adopting from existing model of curriculum. Hopefully, with technical assistances undertaken by various parties will ensure the success of its development and help improve understanding of the concept and philosophy, and encourage them to develop the curriculum based on their respective conditions.

Various obstacles occurred during realizing the empowerment of schools and KTSP. First, lack of ability is the main construct, developing of staffs members’ capabilities while providing technical assistance to particular regions could lead them to learn by doing. The instability of funding for the dissemination and socialization of KTSP causes the Curriculum Center to experience substantial cost-cutting measures; it impacts the perfect planning that has been initially organized became severely hampered in its implementation and also creates distrust between local education authorities and Curriculum Center. But the best spirit in welcoming this new curriculum to be highly efficacious for the Curriculum Center to do the best in accordance with the appropriate quality needs, potentials and regional particularities.

Therefore, any problems arise due to the implementation of KTSP supposed to comprise more serious concern of Indonesian Government, especially Indonesian Ministry of National Education. The aspects to be considered include the following:

Improving teacher’s quality and understanding toward relevant concepts of KTSP implementation.

Providing such of facilities and infrastructure that can support the successful of KTSP implementation.

Simultaneously help every educational unit in developing KTSP.

Evaluating its process at provincial level to local district and regions.

Whatever the responses from the concerning person/social in regard to the implementation of KTSP, school and teacher are the central to implement this school based curriculum; they themselves have the potential to overcome any weaknesses occurring, if not it will be in vain.

As suggested by Nana (2001) no matter on how good the curriculum, the results are highly dependent on what is being done by teachers and pupils in the classroom. It means the success of education through curriculum reformation will ultimately be determined by the teacher as an executor of the curriculum, and school as a learning provider.

Research Objectives

This study aims to see how the implementation of School-Based Curriculum (KTSP) is carried out in Junior High Schools and Senior High Schools as well as Madrasah at Riau province Indonesia. Specifically it will be conducted in one part of Riau Province namely Indragiri Hilir Regency. Particularly the objective of this study is to assess the status of KTSP implementation in the dimensions of context, input, process and product (CIPP model by Daniel Stufflebeam).

To figure out the extent to which KTSP has been implemented in High Schools and Madrasah

To investigate the complexities of its implementation during 4 years running

To find out the supporting facilities provided by national and local government in its implementation

Overall purpose of this study is to see the implementation of the KTSP in terms of context, input, process and product.

Significance of the Study

The result of this study will give some of practical benefits as follows:

The policy recommendations to Indonesian Ministry of Education (especially for Indragiri Hilir Ministry of Education) based on the objectives data that will be resulted at the end of the study.

Information to the public (stakeholder and parents)

For basic development of relevant curriculum materials accordance with local potentials and teacher competency standard.

As reference to the theoretical basis for the development of KTSP paradigm based on schools potential needs on respect to its planning, implementation, and evaluation.

Research Questions

In overall objectives, this study will formulate the research questions based on the evaluation model of curriculum developed by Stufflebeam (1972); those are Context, Input, Process and Product. Thus the research questions are formulated as the following:

Dimension of Context

How do the English teachers at Indragiri Hilir Regency develop their own curriculum based on schools’ desires, student’s needs and local needs?

How do they implement and integrate all aspects of KTSP into their lesson plan and teaching?

Dimension of Input

How does the Indragiri Hilir Education Ministry assist the schools in developing their teachers’ capability in implementing KTSP?

Dimension of Process

How is the implementation of KTSP in Junior High School, Senior High Schools and Madrasah at Indragiri Hilir Regency Riau?

How do they (Schools and teachers) evaluate its implementation?

Dimension of Product

How are the results of KTSP implementation?

What is the effect of KTSP implementation on students’ competence in English (Impact of teachers’ creativities in designing their own curriculum development)



Literature Review

As the latest curriculum on 2006 which is derived from KBK (CBC-Competence-Based Curriculum, 2004), KTSP becomes a new breakthrough in the history of Indonesian education curriculum, which to progress its development to down-top approach. Contextually, KTSP develop by any groups or committees of the education unit or school/madrasah those under coordination and supervision of the National Indonesian Education Ministry and Local Indonesian Education Ministry. It emphasizes on developing the ability to perform competences and tasks with specific standards, so the results affect the students on mastery of a set of specific knowledge competencies, and values used in many fields of life. Indeed, KTSP is the curriculum that reflects the knowledge, skills and attitudes and also refers to the concept of education in turning to improve students’ potentialities.

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Moreover, according to historical records, following the independence of the Republic of Indonesia, the Dutch language was replaced by English as the first foreign language, and has been recognized as such in Indonesia since 1955 (Alisjabana, 1976; de Han, 2003 as cited in Mochtar Marhum, n.d.). Since the 1980s, English has been considered to be the most important foreign language in Indonesia. The government’s and community’s interest in English has been growing since the early 1990s (Alwasilah, 1997). This position of English can be traced from government documents on the results of Parliament’s meetings. In the GBHN (The Guidelines of the State Policy) 1983 and 1988, foreign language policy was not incorporated. However, in the GBHN 1993, the policy on foreign languages, particularly English, was clearly stipulated. The policy related to the use and mastery of English. In 1988, Government Regulation No. 55, 56 and 57/1988 changing Government Regulation No. 28, 29/990 was introduced. It confirmed the use of English in schools. Moreover, Government Regulation of No 57/1957/1988 confirmed the use of English as a foreign language and as a means of communication in the university. Subsequently, it was incorporated into Government Regulation No 60/1999 on the use of English in all higher education. Alwasilah (1997) suggested that “the need for mastery of English in the globalization era was absolutely necessary. In addition, it would be ideal if the mastery of English became the mastery of second language” (p. 89). Yet, the uniqueness of this KTSP hopefully brings the new education model to the success of Indonesian education.

The development of a KTSP is a new phenomenon for the school community in Indonesia, consequently, in the early stage of its implementation some obstacles were found in a number of schools. The freedom of schools to create their own curriculum which is relevant with the needs of students cannot be fully implemented (Harry & Burhanudin, 2008). The general model of it which is being developed as a model and fully adopted by a number of schools has tended to cause a similar curriculum among schools as to what was being implemented in the centralistic era. The change in the role of schools from curriculum implementer to curriculum developer has made the school community confused. The capacity of school community to analyze the conditions and needs of the students and implement them in school curriculum needs to be further improved. Therefore, school assistance through professional development programs provided for the head teachers and teachers in the context of this kind of school based curriculum is still considered important for several years to come. In line with the school assistance, capacity building of the educational management in autonomous regions (regency/municipality) managing the curriculum development still remains to be completed

A number of studies have been carried out to investigate KTSP implementation; a study conducted in 2008 in Jambi province of Indonesia revealed (Sutrisno & Nuryanto, 2008) that “KTSP to all levels (Elementary Schools, Junior and Senior High Schools) having less applicable in term of (a) KTSP developmental preparation, (b) syllabus development, (c) teachers’ self development, (d) integrated learning, (e) local content development, (f) outcomes assessment, and (g) report process” (p. 27).

As such the issue above, implementation in this context leads to the true readiness of Jambi province in anticipating of changes toward educational paradigm from a previously centralized to decentralized model. For example, KTSP which was launched in late 2006 gave more emphasis on school autonomy through developing their own curriculum according to local needs and wisdom. This means Indonesian curricula is no longer centralized nationally and it is mandated under Indonesian Regulation No. 22 legislated in 1999 by the republic of Indonesia (R.I). Regarding local government, decentralization implies that the authority to implement and manage education shall be transferred from the national government to local districts or municipal government levels. At this point Sutrisno and Nuryanto (1998) also asserted that the teachers’ rules as facilitator in KTSP elements have not been working as the schools and committees’ expectations.

Furthermore, on different angle was reported as in the following:

The real condition shows that the paradigm shift is not necessarily accompanied by better result. A number of problems still advance in Jambi while on level of provinces, cities and countries. First, not all sectors which are directed to educational policy have human resources competent to formulate the technical policy and its implementation. Second, the increasingly of dominant political intervention in determining of policy and implementation, contextually in line with the trend of autonomy, bureaucratic chain is very closely possible to having dominantly power to education. (Sutrisno & Nuryanto, 1998 p. 24).

In a sense, it is important to consider the argument rose on where the KTSP developed, Endo viewed from this perspective that KTSP is similar to the concept of School-Based Curriculum Development (SBCD) in Australia which had begun to set on the mid-1970s, the discourse was in essence of giving more freedom in determining the curricula by the schools members (Endo, 1997). SBCD has several characteristics that are generally similar to SBC development in Indonesia, proved on through the participation of teachers, participation of the whole or part of school staffs; range of activities including selection (choice of a number of alternative curriculum), adaptation (modification of existing curriculum), and creation (designing a new curriculum); responsibilities transformation from centralist to decentralist (not terminating of responsibilities) and a continuation process among the community and stake-holders (to assist teachers and schools).

Other studies have indicated, however, Indonesian KTSP is not derived from SBCD in Australia. Wachyu (2009) argued KTSP is having the differentials factors from SBCD in Australia, KTSP is an integrated curriculum combining between the Top-Down and Bottom-Up approach that was being confirmed in USPN (Legislation of Indonesian National Education Standard) on chapter X, article 36 and 37. USPN revealed that Indonesian curriculum development is based on National Education Standard (SNP) and considerately pay attention on learners’ potential diversities, schools diversities and local needs. Chapter 38 also states that the structure and framework of the curriculum of primary and secondary schools are determined by the government. Therefore, KTSP was divided into core (subjects tested nationally) and local subjects that are developed by each educational unit based on the assessment of its potential, including the content to develop learner’s personality and potential based on his interest in the form of extra-curricular activities.

While SBCD in Australia tend to apply bottom-up approach, the entire process and the stages of curriculum based on the potential school. As confirmed by Skillbeck (1991) that “School based curriculum is a process when some or all members of a school take part on planning, implementation, and evaluation on the aspects or elements of the curriculum” (Sklill beck, 1991, as cited in Wachyu, 2009, p. 2).

Decentralized curriculum; such of designing, implementing and controlling (evaluation and improvement) carried out through locally by each educational unit, teachers who design its curriculum working together with experts, schools committee/madrasah and others part of society. KTSP development could include all components of the curriculum or some only, instead of compilation can be done by a group or all teachers with regard to the needs of each school in accordance with the conditions in each educational unit or its surrounding communities. KTSP will be more meaningful because of the different situations in a certain local condition that lead to the fulfillment of needs, demands and local development. It will produce a variety of design but is easier to understand, master and implement by teachers by virtue of their involvement in expanding KTSP.

Particularly the center of curriculum by Indonesian Education Ministry (2007) has pointed out also the advantages and its shortcomings, the advantages are taking on (a) KTSP is accordance with the needs, conditions, and on diversities which every local communities have, auto assist in developing society, (b) easier to carry out due to the designs that have been prepared by teachers considering the local factors that really support to develop. Instead, it has also several shortcomings, (a) not all teachers have the expertise or skills in curriculum development then, not every local schools have the teachers or an expert that proficiently in developing such of it, (b) with content being localized, the graduate can have lack of ability to participate in national competitiveness, (c) various designs that lead to the complexity of monitoring and evaluating in term of national learning outcomes, (d) transferring students from certain schools to another schools can cause difficulties (Center for the Development of Curriculum, 2007).

Recent reports have noted, 60 English teachers from junior and senior high schools spread of 24 regencies and cities in West Java Indonesia were being selected, most teachers who participated in this study had trained and socialized about KTSP (Wachyu Sundayana, 2009). Wachyu explored the research questions on (a) How are English teacher’s understanding about KTSP, (b) How are their perceptions on the development of KTSP, (c) What complexities were raising during implementing and developing its curriculum. This study showed the development of KTSP in every unit of education especially junior high schools and MTs (Madrasah) in West Java is still not in line with the stages of development as suggested in the guidelines of BSNP (Institution of National Education Standard).

Data collection showed most teachers (74%) know what KTSP was, but they were not clear to what function they have in practice, implement and develop KTSP; for the same reason Faizah and Ismono investigated the readiness of chemistry teachers in Bangkalan district of Madura and found that Chemistry teachers from five schools were not ready to apply, the percentage just reached on 60% (Faizah & Ismono, 2008, as cited in Yuli Eko Siswono, n.d).

Simultaneously with the finding of Wachyu Sundayana study, the complexities on its implementation concluded as follows: (a) lack of supporting facilities of the schools, (b) incompleteness of KTSP guidance received by teachers, (c) KTSP guideline was not detailed and clear, (d) teachers’ understanding on KTSP documents. These data are consistent with the finding of research conducted by Miftahul Jannah (2008) showing teachers’ abilities are low in developing syllabus and lesson plan; most of respondents (75%) stated about their inabilities in developing syllabus but just copying and duplicating the examples from BSNP without having a preliminary investigation throughout students potentials and schools needs. Most of interviewing respondents admit to their complexities in making a good syllabus and lesson plan lines with the students and schools needs. This fact showed that teachers having many difficulties in developing varieties stages on KTSP (Miftahul Jannah, 2008, as cited in Wachyu Sundayana, 2009. p. 7).

Regarding Riau province, whole schools on current educational year 2009/2010 are progressing to adapt KTSP, such socialization have always done, it felt as complexity because the entire process of transforming from being centralize to decentralized was not much understand by some teachers, referring to the function of teachers on KTSP, teachers are together with schools members to develop KTSP based on students’ potential and local needs (UUD No. 20 year 2003/article 37).

In fact, it is of utmost importance to examine what we could learn from prior and present efforts to bring about the strategies that are currently progressed by BSNP to help every educational unit in developing its curriculum.

Harianti (2008) explained although the authority of national curriculum development has changed, it is not making a sense for curriculum center to lose their jobs, the task change progressively to assist schools to prepare their own respective curricula. Furthermore, Harianti pointed out the job responsibility does not seem to be easy where there are a large number of schools in Indonesia contains 43.461 (elementary schools), 12.731 (junior high schools), 4.499 (senior high school) and 2.655 (vocational high schools), yet, not including Early Childhood education, Extraordinary Schools and Madrasah (Harianti, 2008). It does not allow for curriculum center helps one by one, there should be a strategy then schools can develop their own curricula. The expectation is that they can develop a curriculum, becoming true backbone in improving local human resources through education in national or even in international competitiveness.

Empowering the schools and community in developing KTSP done through a technical assistance, both at the provincial level as well as at the level of district/city, at the provincial level expected to present a TPK (Curriculum Development Team) whose responsibility to provide the information and give assistance on the development of KTSP to TPK at the district level. Empowering at the provincial level such as Riau is concentrated in the area of curriculum development till the teams performing evaluation and monitoring its implementation based on their own respective regions, beside at the district level is concentrated on the ability of the team to perform in school curriculum development assistance.

KTSP where commonly known as school based curriculum gone to be discussed for a long, the broad study of Marsh Collin (1990) on their final finding of School based curriculum development had suggested through sub of specifics SBCD issues:

“The key actors involved in political decisions about schooling in their respective countries tend to use several terms to describe or promote their efforts. Such term include ‘quality of schooling’, ‘school-improvement’, ‘school-focused improvement’, self-managing school’, and many others. Be that as it may, there are a number of interesting issues about SBCD and (its synonyms) which are currently of considerable interest and are likely to remain so in the immediate future”. They include:

The role of parents and students in decision making

Financial management by schools

Professional development for teachers

Teacher appraisal

School evaluation

Pressure of tightening central control

(Marsh Colin, 1990, pp. 206-207)

The Curriculum center in its official website released about the uniqueness of KTSP implementation in term of diversity of schools needs, although the two junior high schools are located in the adjacent neighborhood both were very much different in term of pupils’ conditions. The A school whose current learners come from upper and middle class of socio-economic level had high academic achievement; all of them want to continue on to university. On the other hand, the B school where the majority of learners come from disadvantaged of socio-economic groups planned to graduate soon and earning money is a primary goal of schooling. Both of these two schools will develop a very different curriculum. School A will focus on studies with higher order thinking that enables learners to have high academic thinking in leading them to continue university, while school B will enrich the subjects with several activities that cultivate the skills to work so that learners feel a sense of great beneficial skills after graduating from school B.

Many researchers have investigated KTSP, Specifically on its implementation, based on the reviewing above some researchers had focused on the effectiveness on its evaluation based on the real phenomenon which occurred in the real situation of the schools, the writer although cannot find the way of their investigation by using several methods of curriculum evaluation models, where known on several studies like Glatthorn Allan, Floyd & Bruce (2006) studied in their books that curriculum evaluation should be concerned with assessing the value of a program studies, a field of studies, and a course of study, furthermore, they argued of all these three levels of curriculum work are important. Hereafter, the evaluation models of curriculum as best known are practical such as: Tyler’s Objectives-Centered Model, Stufflebeam’s Context-Input-Process-Product Model, Scriven’s Goal-Free Model, Stake’s Responsive Model and Eisner’s Connoisseurship Model (Glatthorn, Floyd & Bruce, 2006 pp. 302-306).

For further study, the writer will focus on the evaluation model developed by Stufflebeam’s on Context-Input-Process-Product Model 1971. The context-input-process-product (abbreviated as CIPP) model, has several attractive features, namely: its emphasis on decision making seems appropriate for administrators concerned with improving curricula, its concern for the formative evaluation remedies. However the CIPP model has some associated drawbacks; its main weaknesses seems to be its failure to recognize the complexity of the decision making process in organizations. It assumes more rationality than exists in such situations and ignores the political factors that play a large part in these decisions (Glatthorn et al., 2006).

Definition of the Terms

Several operational definitions used by the researcher to conduct and focus on this study are as follows:


“The original derivation of the word curriculum is from the Latin verb currere, “to run”; curriculum, a diminutive form, came to mean a “racing chariot” or “race track” (David Pratt, 1994, p. 5).

Curriculum also can be defined as prescriptive, descriptive, or both. Ellis explained that “Prescriptive definitions provide us with what ‘ought’ to happen, and they more often than not to take the form of plan, an intended program, or some kind of expert opinion about what needs to take place in the course of study” (Glatthorn et al., 2006, pp . 3-5).

According to the Indonesian Institution of National Education Standards (2006) curriculum is “a set of plans and rules about the goals, content, teaching materials, and the methods used to guide the implementation of instructional activities on achieving certain educational goals, its certain goals include the national education goals in accordance with the local potential needs, education unit and learners” (p. 5).

Another term that could be used to define the descriptive curriculum is expe


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