Balancing the Budget Management and Teachers’ Competency Improvement
As a person who concern about the quality of Indonesian education quality, I am somewhat agree with the opinion delivered in Editorial: For Better Schools, Focus on Teachers. The recent demand of our education is preparing our people with appropriate skills and knowledge to be able to compete in globalization era. However, this is not an easy task to be carried out since the teachers’ competency is being questionable nowadays.
The result of nationwide teachers’ competence test as stated by Education Minister Muhammad Nuh showed that the Indonesian teachers’ competency is still very low. From this fact, we have to reflect deeply to this phenomenon. In one hand, our government has already allocated 20 percent of national budget to supply the education budget as well as increasing the teachers’ wages and professional allowance. In other hand, people are questioning whether the budget is spent effectively to improve the quality of education, or the contrary. A big question probably come to our mind; “Why is this increment not offset by the teachers’ professional development?” This question tends to draw a line to another question on “Does the allocated budget well spent?”
In this case, improving the quality of teachers is no doubt. Designing the effective assessment system to measure the teachers’ quality may be positively regarded as a good start in enhancing teachers’ growth. Surely, there must be follow-up of the result of the evaluation. The results, the minister says, will lead to further training for teachers found to be “less competent.”
Moreover, the government should provide a wide opportunity in helping teachers improve their competency as well as streamlining the educational budget, such as providing the scholarships for the teacher to develop their professional competency or conducting seminars for teachers so that they gradually updating their knowledge and also personal enhancement. As stated by our president, Yudhoyono, at a Cabinet meeting held at the Education and Culture Ministry, there are two issues need immediate attention: improving the quality of teachers and better disbursement of education funds by the central government to local administrations. It is expected that by managing both assessment and financial budget, either the quality of education and teachers will probably be improved.Nawang Wulan Post-Graduate Program English Education, Semarang State University