Indonesia: Teachers and lecturers’ professionalism must be reflected and recognised in the law
The Teachers' Association of the Republic of Indonesia (PGRI, from the Indonesian acronym) has urged public authorities to restore the reference to the teacher professional allowance to the draft law on the national education system.
“Teachers and lecturers are professionals who work hard to prepare Indonesia’s future generations. As a sort of recognition and appreciation for their profession, the government should provide them with a teacher professional allowance. There are still many teachers and lecturers, especially in private schools and universities, who earn low salaries at the same level as the standard minimum of wage at province, district and city levels. The 2005 Law on teachers and lecturers entitles the latter to earn wages above living cost minimum standard and social welfare benefits from national and local governments,” stressed a statement issued by the PGRI Executive Board on 28 August.
The government is currently drafting a Bill on the national education system, which merges 3 bills: the 2003 Bill on national education system, the 2005 Bill on teachers and lecturers and the 2012 bill on higher education.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology stated that a new draft of the Law on the national education system had been included in the 2022 national legislation programme for review and adoption by the national Parliament.
The PGRI leadership criticised the fact that the new draft of the Law on the national education system has removed the teacher’s professional allowance as a recognition for teachers and lecturers’ professions as written in the Bill on teachers and lecturers. In the April 2022’s new draft of the law that was widely circulated, in its article 127, paragraph 3, clearly stated the allocation for the teachers and lecturers’ professional allowance. However, in the updated draft released in August 2022, also widely circulated, the teachers’ and lecturer’s professional allowance, the allowance for teachers working in marginalised and remote areas and the honorary allowance for lecturers as stated in the Article 127, paragraph 3-10 of the Law on the national education system, were gone.
The PGRI Executive Board deeply regretted that “It is unfortunate that the government, in this case the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, removes those allowances, which means that they are denying teachers and lecturers the recognition of their professionalism”.
PGRI reiterates that:
- There is no need to rapidly push this bill through without adequate the discussion around the Bill on the national education system, as it should require comprehensive study and open dialogue involving many education stakeholders, including PGRI.
- Teachers and lecturers are professional and part of recognised professions, which entitles them to compensation and benefits that are above the minimum standard of wages and social security.
- Article 127, paragraph 1-10, needs to be inserted in the Law on the national education system, as written in the April 2022’s draft mentioning teachers and lecturers’ professional allowance, specific allowance, and honorary allowance.
- The teachers and lecturers’ allowance is needed as a token of governmental recognition and appreciation of teachers and lecturers.
- The education union will relentlessly fight for the fulfilment of teachers’ and lecturers’ rights.