Jakarta, IO – Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Nadiem Anwar Makarim declares that we need to put meaning in the celebration of the 2023 National Education Day, by reviving the spirit of “Merdeka Belajar”, or “Free to Learn”, a movement that he initiated at the start of his taking office.
“Massive changes have occurred everywhere in the past three years. This massive transformation of our education deserves to be celebrated with full pomp and gratitude, because it is all thanks to our hard work and cooperation. This year’s National Education Day is the right moment for us to reflect on the actions we have taken so far, so we can plot our future journey and ensure the survival and continuation of the ‘Merdeka Belajar’ movement” he declared, during the National Education Day Ceremony held at his Ministry in Jakarta, on Tuesday, 2 May 2023.
The Ceremony, heralded as “Move Together, Activate the ‘Merdeka Belajar’ Spirit”, was held both online and offline. It was attended by participants from all of Indonesia’s provinces, each wearing their own traditional tribal clothing. After his opening statement, Nadiem reported that the 24 stages of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology’s “Merdeka Belajar” program has brought about many positive changes to education in Indonesia. “With each step of the program, we walk one step closer to the ideal educational system envisioned by our national hero of education, Ki Hadjar Dewantara,” he declared, as quoted by Antara.
“By that, I mean that we are transforming our educational system into one that guides and directs educational participants according to their natural talents, interests, and potential – which will allow them to achieve the highest level of security and joy as a human being and a member of society.”
Read: Ki Hadjar Dewantara, Indonesia’s Father of National Education – Providing a model from the front, encouragement from the side, a push from the back
Nadiem went on to declare that Indonesian children can now study better, because learning activities are now measured more holistically by their teachers. “Our students – especially college students – used to study only theory in classrooms. Now, they can travel to seek knowledge and experience outside of their campuses, by joining the programs set up by our ‘Kampus Merdeka’ or ‘Free Campus’ initiative. School Headmasters and Regional Heads can more easily monitor how education is implemented,” he pointed out. “They used to have trouble monitoring the quality of education, but they can now use the National Assessment data collected in our Rapor Pendidikan (or “Educational Report” platform) to see the areas they need to improve on, in terms of the quality of education services. Furthermore, our Kurikulum Merdeka or Free Curriculum emphasizes in-depth learning to develop students’ personal characteristics and competence, when they participate in State college selection exams, which now focus on measuring their literacy and reasoning levels.” (rp)