In December 2005, the Government of Indonesia passed the Teacher Law in order to provide teachers more opportunities for skills training through a certification process, as well as mandating them to have 4-year university degrees, hence potentially improving the quality of basic education. Some 65 percent of teachers did not have 4-year college degrees. Once certified and teaching at least 24 hours a week, a teacher receives an allowance equal to 100 percent of their base salary, so that teachers no longer need to supplement their incomes with non-teaching work. Implementing the law through a decentralized education system and ensuring that Indonesia’s 2.7 million teachers were improving their skills, however, proved a big challenge
The Better Education through Reformed Management and Universal Teacher Upgrading (BERMUTU) program sought to support the Ministry of Education and Culture in implementing the Teacher Law. A framework was prepared to ensure that in-service teachers can upgrade their academic qualifications, and improve their knowledge of their teaching subjects as well as their teaching skills. A system was also established to manage the teachers’ professional development. The Bank supported primary school teacher training programs and the programs’ efforts to reach out to teachers in remote and rural areas. School principals and supervisors in participating districts were trained to provide training at the school level. Throughout, an integrated framework was prepared in order to sustain and continually enhance the quality and accountability of teachers after certification, and to foster and reward ongoing improvements in teacher quality.
The program has seen significant results between 2007 and 2013:
- Support in increased number of teachers meeting academic qualifications mandated by the Teacher Law. Over 1.7 million (out of 2.74 million) teachers had acquired the mandated 4-year college degree.
- From a base of zero, 81 primary-teacher education pre-service programs have received Bachelors’ Degree accreditation.
- Recognition by accredited universities of Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL), a system that acknowledges knowledge and skills acquired through work and through classroom practice. More than 870,000 teachers have received the RPL.
- Support of 13 teacher training institutions and the Open University, which allows teachers to upgrade their education through distance learning.
- Provision of new teacher induction programs; so far, some 1400 teachers have participated in this program.
- Support for the development of the Teacher Performance Management System, which includes Performance Appraisal, Teacher Competency Test, and Continuous Professional Development.
- Support for research on the impact evaluation of teacher certification on teacher and student performance, entitled Teacher Reform in Indonesia - The Role of Politics and Evidence in Policy Making.
- Reactivation and support of 6,107 professional working groups of school teachers, principals and supervisors at the local level. When the Teacher Professional Management system is operational, these groups will be the main agency to deliver continuous professional development activities.