Efforts to identify and address teachers’ weak points will not be helped by having them take a competency test consisting of multiple-choice questions, analysts said on Monday.
Utomo Dananjaya, an education expert from Paramadina University, called the nationwide test carried out on Monday a waste of both time and money, and argued that the findings to be gleaned from it would be questionable.
“Testing a teacher’s competency is not easy and should be in the form of a much more difficult test,” he said. “The test should also include a psychological exam.”
Darmaningtyas, an education expert from the Taman Siswa school network, agreed that multiple-choice tests would do little to reveal any information about a teacher’s competency.
A nationwide competency test for teachers earlier this year yielded an average score of 42 out of 100, according to Education Minister Muhammad Nuh.
He said at the time that the results revealed that the training and development of teachers should be intensified since the quality of education was linked to that of educators.
Utomo and Darmaningtyas agreed that addressing low teacher competency should start with training, and singled out teacher training academies, or LPTKs, as the main targets.
“There needs to be a limit on how many LPTKs should be allowed to operate,” Darmaningtyas said, adding that the mushrooming of these academies had watered down the overall quality of training that teachers were receiving.
“At most, each province should only have two or three LPTKs,” he said.
He said this would allow the government to better monitor the academies and ensure they were meeting required teaching standards.
Utomo called on the academies to stop focusing solely on theory and teach the trainees more practical classroom skills.
“The Education Ministry’s Directorate General of Tertiary Education should have made professional training part of the curriculum at LPTKs a long time ago,” Utomo said.
He added that by putting the emphasis only on theory, at the expense of practical skills and research, the academies were churning out teachers with questionable competency. Nandra Galang Anissa