Apparently the decentralization policy still becomes a restlessness object of the government and it’s surely surprising cum worrying. However, behind it, decentralization indeed needs to be evaluation continually until an ideal form is found.
The government is now complaining about impact of the decentralization policy on education in regions. Upon inaugurating the National Conference of the Indonesia Teachers Association (PGRI) recently, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono warned so that educational decentralization does not affect teachers. Simultaneously, the head of state also instructed four ministers, namely Minister of Education and Culture, Minister of Religious Affairs, Minister of Administrative Reforms and Minister of Home Affairs to sit together to discuss specifically issues encountering teachers.
Politicking of teachers was spotlighted by the president as a serious issue frequently affecting teachers. Teachers issue is politicked in the interest of candidates seeking seat in the elections of head of region. Politicking becomes the main issue affecting teachers and causing decentralization policy to bring about disaster to educational sector in regions. Here, we do not say that we reject decentralization policy and return state administration to authoritarian system but we want to assert that the misuse of decentralization discretion places the decentralization in an unfavorable position. Surely it’s not mistake of the decentralization but is attributable to mistake committed by executors of the decentralization policy.
If we observer, actually not only the issue is part of the decentralization disaster. Another issue sometimes cornering teachers is related to national examination. Based on reports, the passing grade of students is used as a success barometer of head of region. Teachers are later given a specified target, sometimes executed by threat. The accomplishment of the target triggers unfairness placing teachers as executors. Probably it’s a factor causing the passing grade to increase in regions in the last two years. Ironically, the increase in the passing grade is attributable partly to the involvement of teachers in assisting students to complete topical subjects of the examination. It’s disaster of honesty inserted by regional political authorities into national examination. Surely regional governments overseeing regions recording the highest passing grade would be proud by ignoring the most essential value of education, namely honestly.
Decentralization changes into disaster because there is a trend to grant political meaning far below the fundamental meaning. It means, politics which naturally means an activity to manage communities to accomplish the collective goal fairly is changed to become struggle for power and leadership. The ratification of the politics meaning later causes objective. Now heads of regions tend to implement decentralization as an instrument of power, without enforcing seriously decentralization and politics in general as something great and noble.
Indeed teachers and education must be safeguarded from political game in region. In line with it, educational decentralization also must treat teachers as the most important element in upgrading the quality of national education. In this context, decentralization should not be executed in an uncontrollable model. The central government should have authority the regulate teacher recruitment and placement mechanism to prevent teachers from becoming object of politicking of regional governments to win general elections and other political interest.
Disaster of educational decentralization surely does not come from the education and decentralization. The disaster comes from the politicking of educational in the interest of the ruler. Indeed teacher becomes the target but the loss is sustained by educational sector as a whole.
Jakarta, July 9, 2013
Business News - July 10,2013