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Indonesian students to undergo ‘personality assessment’

Indonesian students participate in a protest to commemorate Global Tiger Day in Banda Aceh on July 30, 2017. Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP
Indonesian students participate in a protest to commemorate Global Tiger Day in Banda Aceh on July 30, 2017. Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP

Indonesian students to undergo ‘personality assessment’

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - Starting with the next academic year, which will begin in June, students across Indonesia will receive a personality report that the government says will be as important as the academic reports they get every semester.

The move is the latest initiative taken by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration in its ambitious character education program, itself part of the President’s pledged education reform.

As a separate document to the academic performance report, the character report will focus on four core competencies: religiosity, social behaviour, knowledge and skills.

In addition to measuring those values, the personality assessment “could help parents guide their children regarding their future, such as in deciding which subjects are best suited to their potential if they want to pursue higher education,” Education and Culture Ministry secretary-general Didik Suhardi told The Jakarta Post.

The Jokowi administration envisions a character education system that would help Indonesia produce a “golden generation” by 2045, when the country celebrates its independence centenary.

The character education program gives teachers greater responsibility, as they are obliged not only to provide children with academic skills but also to monitor the character development of their students.

“Teachers have a responsibility for all of their students’ activities, be it at school, in their social life and in the family. All of these must be recorded and monitored by teachers,” Education and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said in late December.

Muhadjir said the format of the personality assessment would not be complex, so that teachers “will not be confused in taking individual notes on their students.”

Teachers, Muhadjir said, could also assess the character development based on reports by parties where students learn various skills, such as art, sport and religious activities.

Jokowi issued a presidential regulation last year ordering all schools to implement the character education program through academic and extracurricular activities as well as activities outside of formal schools, like Quran recital classes at non-formal Islamic schools.

As values to be instilled in character education the regulation stipulates religiosity, honesty, tolerance, discipline, hard work, creativity, nationalism, peace, care of the environment and responsibility.

In the aftermath of the issuance of the presidential regulation, education experts had advocated for teachers to issue character development reports like the ones now decided.

“Teachers and principals are very important in supporting the character education policy. They have to provide authentic measurements on students’ development, not fabricated ones intended only to make people believe the process is successful,” said Totok Amin Soefijanto, an academic expert from Paramadina University in Jakarta.

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