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English reintroduced in Indonesian primary schools

Indonesia will formally implement the Emancipated Curriculum (Kurikulum Merdeka) as the national curriculum to be used by all education levels - early childhood, primary and secondary – from July 2024 onwards following the Ministerial Decree No. 12/2024. Before being mandated as the national curriculum, the Emancipated Curriculum had been adopted voluntarily by more than 300,000 schools since 2022. This initiative forms part of the government’s education transformation plan and aims to improve the quality of education provisioning to all students, as well as accord teachers with more agency to structure and design their teaching plans based on their context and students’ needs.

Within this policy implementation, English as a subject is to be reintroduced at primary level after being absent from the curriculum since 2013. The reintroduction will be done in phases, starting from the next academic year 2024/25, which starts this July. Schools will conduct a self-evaluation to determine their readiness to reintroduce English as a subject and will be given until 2027/28 to implement the change. It is hoped that by academic year 2027/28, all primary schools in Indonesia will teach English as a mandatory subject.
Source: https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2024/04/27/180000265/kemendikbud-akan-w...

What does this mean to the UK?
Currently, English is optional at primary school level and is only taught as a compulsory subject at secondary school level. Overall, this is a welcome policy as the re-introduction of English at primary level will raise the country’s overall level of English and produce high school graduates with a higher proficiency of English, preparing them to further their studies in English either abroad or through TNE programmes. Higher English attainment could also enhance research collaboration partnerships between the UK and Indonesia, which is currently still at a low level. This policy development could also open up to potential opportunities for the UK ELT and EdTech sectors as it will drive interest in various aspects of ELT such as teacher quality and quantity, initial teacher education, teacher certification, and assessment.

The British Council’s role
To support the successful implementation of this new policy, the government through Directorate General of Teachers and Education Personnel of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (MoECRT) will roll out a comprehensive teacher development programme to improve the competency of English teachers in Indonesia. MoECRT together with the British Council are now delivering a needs analysis and a small-scale trial of continuing professional development (CPD) programmes for teachers and teacher educators. The results of the needs analysis and trialled CPD interventions will be used to design a national-scale CPD programme targeting 180,000 English teachers in basic education.

British Council Contact Details
Buyung Sudrajat
Senior Programme Manager, English Programmes, Indonesia
Buyung.Sudrajat@britishcouncil.or.id / englishprogrammes.id@britishcouncil.or.id