Creativity will lead to growth and a more robust economy, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Thursday as he called for an overhaul of the education system to focus more on developing graduates who are innovators and entrepreneurs.
Speaking at the opening of the National Summit in Jakarta, Yudhoyono said the current system churned out students who were passive receivers of information, not active participants in their education.
“In [such a system],” the president said, “the students’ passion for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship will not grow.”
He called for a national education system that emphasized case studies and problem-solving so that job seekers would become job providers.
After the opening of the summit, the new minister for national education, Mohammad Nuh, said the system could be changed, but was hesitant to say how. Nuh said that Indonesian education, “its methodology, content, management and so forth, is in need of reform. But we must make sure that these changes will not burden the people.”
He said that since he had just taken over the portfolio, he would first map out the problems and plan steps that the ministry could take.
“I certainly welcome any input,” Nuh said. “But we have to wait for the new school year. I need to see where the flaws lie.”
Meanwhile, Achmad Dasuki, who oversees the teaching profession at the ministry, said that over the next five years, 737,000 new teachers would be added to the civil service.
He said that 300,000 would be hired from among new graduates to replace teachers who retired. The others would be current contract teachers who would be given permanent status.
“We are going to work on the number gradually,” Achmad said. “You should remember that not all nonpermanent teachers will be directly taken on. We are going to appoint only those who meet our qualifications.’’
He added that the ministry was trying to upgrade the profession and eliminate contract employees with substandard qualifications. Currently, schools are allowed to hire contract teachers independently.
‘‘But starting in 2011, candidates without a certificate, or those who do not have a professional education, will not be appointed as permanent teachers,’’ Achmad said.