With the assistance of Australia in the 1990s, Indonesia became a rapidly developing country that paid significant attention to the advancement of its educational system (Yeom, Acedo, and Utomo, 2002). Despite the contribution that was made by Australia, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it is evident that many students still lack proper access to education or lack basic knowledge in literacy and numeracy (Mulyadi, 2017). The standards of education remain underdeveloped and fail to meet the needs of the growing population. Indonesia’s authorities recognize that the country has a weak system of education, calling the current situation an emergency.
In response to the mentioned challenges, the Inovasi program was created and introduced in Indonesian schools. This program implies providing better access to education for all children so that they can have sufficient resources to develop their personalities (INOVASI, 2014). In this connection, the differences between the northern and eastern systems compose one of the key issues. On the one hand, European and American educational systems are used by Australia which offers its financial assistance and sets the standards and curriculum. On the other hand, Indonesia is presented by various nations, some of which are Muslim, which requires a diverse approach to teaching children (Yeom, Acedo, and Utomo, 2002). Being located on the southern periphery, Indonesia struggles to preserve its traditions and culture through education.
A lack of appropriate curriculum and teacher training is another issue that should be clarified since human capital and a properly-structured curriculum significantly the success of programs. In particular, little attention is paid to ensuring that all teachers have qualifications that are necessary for the field and that they cannot only translate knowledge to students but also encourage them to grow constantly (Sulisworo, Nasir, and Maryani, 2017). The current system fails to support those teachers, who need to improve their qualifications, receive relevant materials, and have other related problems. The views of teachers and students are not usually taken into account, which makes the Inovasi program one-sided and potentially fails to address the needs of children.
While the Inovasi program is a product of Australian cultural exportation, there is a need to integrate the Indonesian perspective. According to the Indonesian concept, Mahfud (2019) states that Islamic education and training are regarded as a guide for shaping the physical, cognitive, and spiritual aspects of a person, complying with Islamic principles and values. It is this education that is meant to create a truly orthodox Muslim, who will be guided by Muslim norms in all spheres of his or her life and activity (Mahfud, 2019). Concerning education, one can recommend taking this concept as a basis for designing a program that would produce responsible citizens. In particular, there is a range of goals that can be suggested to pay attention to.
In Muslim education and upbringing, there are four functions. First, the older generation is responsible for preparing the younger generation to fulfill its role in the society of the future, which arises from the task of ensuring the continuation of society. Second, the transfer of knowledge and experience from the older generation is the foundation of successful education and the multifaceted development of children. Third, it is important to transfer traditions and values that preserve the integrity and the unity of society as an indispensable condition for the preservation of society and civilization in general (Mahfud, 2019). Last but not least, educating young people about godliness and moral qualities leads to the ability to build relationships, resolve conflicts, and overcome difficulties. The integration of these functions seems to be a viable and beneficial way to allow the Indonesian teachers, parents, and children to be heard.
The key benefit of the identified recommendation is that Islamic upbringing and education give a person the opportunity to choose the right place in this life, having a righteous and worthy life. Nevertheless, it should be given gradually, from simple to complex, step by step, as education is a continuous process of gradual maturation, transformation, and improvement (Fauz, 2016). Islamic education is meant to educate a fully developed personality, awakening the internal forces, both moral and physical, and energy so that man can be able to establish a strong and harmonious relationship with people and the world around him (Mahfud, 2019). This is especially important in the contemporary materialistic age, where the tendencies of human degeneration are often dominated by domination and consumerism. It is a new educational system that should bring back to the world the humanistic ideals and cultural values in society.
All researchers recognize the need for additional support for teachers and inclusive education at the level of the school staff, school leadership, and the country as a whole. The main point is the initiative and assistance from the administration in the organization of the inclusion process (Mulyadi, 2017). The expediency of additional professional training of teachers and their constant interaction with the team of correctional teachers is noted (Rosser and Fahmi, 2018). At the level of the state program, it can be proposed to carry out activities to improve the image of inclusive education in society. The result of the effectiveness of the support measures is to reduce the tension in the work of teachers and to distribute competencies and responsibilities in the implementation of the educational process at all possible levels of the professional community.
The key goal of teacher training is to systematically improve the qualifications and theoretical level of teachers. The basis of such work is the communication of teachers with each other since there is an essential purpose of telecommunication networks (Mardapi and Herawan, 2019). At the same time, the use of e-mail as a means of communication should become a familiar and common tool for teachers. In addition, another goal of training is to develop communication and group skills. Only by bridging the gap between the needs of the school teachers and the opportunities for their support, can we expect a qualitatively new content of learning in the practice of schools (Rosser and Fahmi, 2018). For example, it is possible to recommend collecting feedback from teachers and students to adjust the curriculum accordingly. Since teachers need support, their views are critical to designing proper training courses by adding only relevant topics and areas for development. The continuous review of teaching qualifications is another strategy to keep teachers competent for a long-term period.
The emergence of new trends in education and socio-cultural policy leads to the need not only to transfer to teachers’ ready-made recipes in the form of methodical recommendations but also to share knowledge. It is significant to cultivate in the teacher the skills of a self-reflective person, who can effectively work under new conditions (INOVASI, 2014). This, in turn, gives an impetus to the search for new ways to improve the skills of teachers. It is necessary to find mechanisms that will help educators to master new content of education, as well as innovative methods and forms of educational work. These mechanisms should be embedded in the subjects taught by them and supported by the educational and methodological tools.
As a part of teacher training, the recommendations of Saidek and Islami (2016) regarding connecting teachers can be noted. The authors propose the integration of Information and communications technology (ICT) in school education to make Indonesian schools connected to global trends. The network association would make it possible to facilitate routine organizational work and the process of informing teachers. The organization of communication between teachers can be provided in the form of personal communication, consultations, seminars, and conferences (Saidek and Islami, 2016). In addition, the implementation of new forms of educational work using the specific capabilities of global computer telecommunications seems to be useful.
ICT technologies and the connection to the Internet are also beneficial for students to help them learn about the world and facilitate their education. For example, an AccRoBa© game approach is recommended by Dangi, Adam, and Rashid (2017), who state that learning through playing is the most effective way to teach accounting. Accordingly, basic numeracy skills can be taught to Indonesian children based on a similar approach. In other words, the main idea is to involve children in the process of learning to better understand the subject.
Based on the insights that were discovered in the course of this project, some relevant conclusions should be formulated. As a developing country with a southern approach to education, Indonesia currently lacks a sufficient role in its educational system. Since its education is largely supported by Australia, Indonesia accepts its northern standards. However, the preservation of Indonesian cultural heritage requires increasing the extent to which it should participate. Indonesia should be an active participant in educational reforms, curriculum, and teacher training. It is recommended to pay attention to the Islamic view that focuses on both the academic and personality development of children. It is possible to expect that the integration of this view would help in balancing the southern and northern differences.
Since power is invisible, it is critical to identify the areas that can be adjusted by local schools if they consider it necessary. The active participation of Indonesian authorities in the system of education is important not only for teachers and students but also for the nation as a whole. Policy-makers can contribute to resolving the mentioned issues by offering alternatives and finding a compromise, while researchers should be motivated to explore various expected program outcomes, as well as the ways to accommodate them. Presently, knowledge comes from Australia, but Indonesia is capable of changing it as it pursues knowledge generation goals. Thus, the wider consideration of this theme is essential for not only stimulating the country’s development but also making sure that education is comprehensive, which means that it should be relevant, timely, culture-focused, and designed by both Australian and Indonesian scholars, policy-makers, and other involved parties.
Dangi, M. R. M., Adam, M. F. and Rashid, M. Z. A. (2017) ‘An innovation in teaching and learning of accounting concept using AccRoBa© game approach. Malaysian Journal of Education, 42(1), pp. 21-32.
Fauz, A. (2016) ‘Pre-eminent curriculum in Islamic basic school integrated comparative studies in Islamic basic school integrated Al-Izzah Serang and Al-Hanif Cilegon, Banten, Indonesia’, International Education Studies, 9(4), pp. 124-131.
INOVASI Innovation for Indonesia’s school children (Inovasi untuk anak sekolah Indonesia) (2014). [PDF file]. pp. 1-67.
Mahfud, C. (2019) ‘Evaluation of Islamic education curriculum policy in Indonesia’, Premiere Educandum: Jurnal Pendidikan Dasar dan Pembelajaran, 9(1), pp. 34-43.
Mardapi, D. and Herawan, T. (2019) ‘Community-based teacher training: transformation of sustainable teacher empowerment strategy in Indonesia’, Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 21(1), pp. 48-66.
Mulyadi, A. W. E. (2017) ‘Policy of inclusive education for education for all in Indonesia’, Policy & Governance Review, 1(3), pp. 201-212.
Rosser, A. and Fahmi, M. (2018) ‘The political economy of teacher management reform in Indonesia’, International Journal of Educational Development, 61, pp. 72-81.
Saidek, A. R. and Islami, R. (2016) ‘Character issues: reality character problems and solutions through education in Indonesia’, Journal of Education and Practice, 7(17), pp. 158-165.
Sulisworo, D., Nasir, R. and Maryani, I. (2017) ‘Identification of teachers’ problems in Indonesia on facing global community’, International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 6(2), pp. 81-90.
Yeom, M., Acedo, C. and Utomo, E. (2002) ‘The reform of secondary education in Indonesia during the 1990s: basic education expansion and quality improvement through curriculum decentralization’, Asia Pacific Education Review, 3(1), pp. 56-68.