Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Merdeka Belajar (Freedom to Learn) program from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek) is an education policy that can respond quickly to change, a public policy expert from Trisakti University has said.
“The key to Merdeka Belajar, which differentiates it from previous policies, is collaboration and flexibility in implementation,” Trubus Rahadiansyah said here on Thursday.
He said the ministry’s move to try to reach various groups, not only from large existing organizations, should be appreciated as an effort to gain as much public support as possible for education.
With the rapid development of technology, the burden of advancing education cannot only rest on Kemendikbudristek, he said.
Moreover, he said, Indonesia is still witnessing disparities related to education between cities and regions, including remote areas that have not been exposed to government programs so far.
“Indonesia needs a major transformation; it needs leverage, a leap for equity in terms of knowledge. Knowledge in Indonesia is currently only controlled by certain areas; with Merdeka Belajar, the scope will be wider,” he said.
The existence of several priority programs such as Guru Penggerak (transformational teachers), Sekolah Penggerak (mobilization schools), and the prototype of Kurikulum Merdeka (independent curriculum) is expected to spur the educational transformation process on various fronts.
Kemendikbudristek is seeking to accelerate the digitization of education through the development of several applications that support transparent and accountable learning and school financial management.
In this way, all educational actors in Indonesia can get the same opportunity to access credible information and content.
Trubus said he believes the rejection from some people to Merdeka Belajar is reasonable.
“Some parties are very comfortable with the conditions and loopholes that have been built for decades since there are various potentials for abuse. Digitalization and automation steps in the education system disrupt everything,” he added.
He said he hopes that the public will realize that the transformation process in the education sector cannot be enjoyed in the short term.
Therefore, he asked ministries to increase the socialization of their plans while simultaneously seeking inputs from stakeholders in a proactive manner.
Meanwhile, Head of the East Java Provincial Education Office Wahid Wahyudi emphasized that his office fully supports the Implementation of Kurikulum Merdeka (IKM).
This support has manifested in the form of holding various technical guidances, encouraging mobilizing schools to provide assistance to schools registering for IKM independently, and forming a Mobilizing School Community.
Support has also been provided by empowering existing schools and study groups, such as the Teacher Working Group (KKG), Subject Teacher Deliberations (MGMP), and School Principal Working Deliberations (MKKS), as well as strengthening the learning community ecosystem.
“We will continue to motivate all education units, both public and private, in East Java to register for IKM independently,” said Wahyudi.