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Chaos amongst teachers

By 2013 all Indonesian teachers should become certified teacher. The government prepares a program to help teachers be certified and then admitted as professional teacher just as another professional worker do such as doctor and lawyer. The first I heard, to be certified, a teacher must study a year to get extra education and after that she becomes professional teacher. Unluckily, the program is only provided for those who have titles as ‘teacher model’. And it is only six teachers a year who can be teacher model in regency level. I heard no more about this program. A few years ago I met a teacher who claimed himself had graduated from joining professional program somewhere in Central Java for a year and he is a certified teacher now. He mentioned that the program was aimed only for Junior High school teacher. What a program!

Actually before that, I also heard that there was a teacher certification selection, but only for Principals. And my Principal was one of them. He secretly told me that he needed many kinds of certification paper and document to collect. He asked me whether he could borrow my certificates and I nodded. It was around 2006. A year from that moment I hear that he got double salary. His fake paper submission was not found by anyone.

That year I moved my work from SMP to SMA. All matter about certification program was not my focus at that time. My attention was on myself who become the eye spot in my new workplace. However, I saw some of the elderly teachers began to collect some papers to register themselves to be certified teachers. Many documents they collected, some were originals, but some others are fakes. Even the worst, there were some smart people who took advantage from the certification preparation condition. They claimed that were capable of issuing some documents to support the certification papers. And as we could guess, teachers were like ants seeing sugar; they bought the paper at any cost forgetting it was illegal.

I tried registered myself to be a certified teacher. I had a good reason for that. I was one of the model teachers, and I heard that model teacher as a rare kind of teacher may get a better attention from the government, and they may have a seat to register earlier than ordinary teacher.  I unfortunately, it was not as was as I thought. Many obstacles that stopped me to be earlier certified teacher. There were some people who did not have sincere heart to see other move forward and get better future. These kinds of people will be happy if they can block others’ dream. And it happened to me. All chances that had stood in my very eyes had gone, because I had a man in charge who hated to see his colleague get comfort life. I felt very sad that I should face a man who had no heart to make others one step ahead before his. Perhaps this bad attitude related to his naïf ego. Or he wanted to make revenge. I heard that his daughter is not registered teacher yet, here unregistered teacher is called honorarium teacher (HT). He did a very unreasonable thing to bring success for his daughter in certification program. He made fake paper mentioned that his daughter had done some extra curricular guide activities. In my point of view, the papers he made were way too far from logical basis. It would be very impossible for an honorarium teacher to carry such an important duty at school exceeding the registered teacher. He found out later that his daughter failed and it of course broke his daughter’s heart. I can make a rough conclusion; her misfortune occurred because of his father’s greedy and blind hearted action.  The right to submit the certification-paper should go to me but the chances was given to his daughter and blocks my way to certified teacher. From this point, God   is always just and fair. I get my list at last.

In 2009, I submitted my certification-paper. It is called ‘portfolio’. The paper consisted of basic data of my teaching records. There were ten parts that I had to fulfill to get certified license issued. Every teacher was gone crazy fulfilling these ten parts. All were busy. I learned bit by bit what to collect in each part. The first was the paper that relate to formal data that stated I am a registered teacher proved by an issued paper from Education Department. The second was about certificates that show my experiences following teacher activities such as workshop, seminar, or in house training program (IHT). I submitted what I had without copying other’s certificates.  The third was my product during teaching such as book and research. I enclosed two of my research papers and a book. The fourth, the papers depicted my involvement in supporting students’ talents. I put some papers in this part. I always become the coach for debating championship every year. I found out, some of my friends created some paper as if they had done the coaching for some activities. Another lies legalized in the name of certified teacher. I could only smile to see this. I could not involve in such a fake activity since I believed putting the data based on the real ones would save me. I could understand other who enclosed fake papers. They almost never joined any activities inside or outside the school and the reasons for that are they were busy teaching. The illogical thing that my friends did was taking picture a trophy, and they mentioned if the trophy was obtained because of their work. How could this happen, no one could explain it. The fifth, we had to enclose our best lesson plans taken from the last five semesters. Again, my friends got mad. A said the lesson plan should look like this, meanwhile B said that the lesson plan should look like that. I did not follow what they assumed, I made like what I used to make. The sixth, I enclosed the teaching aids. This part a bit hard as I have to collect my memories on what I had used to help my teaching worked well. Many teaching aids I had made in the last five years. One by one I made a replica of my teaching aids. I was busy for that, on the other hand, my friends were busier. They created teaching aids based on their version.  The seventh, the paper mentioned that teacher had joined academic activities such as become a key note on a seminar. This part became the hardest one for teachers. I could say that because it was not easy for teacher to be a keynote in a seminar. It was not because the seminar was rarely held in school level, but the teachers always refuse to be the keynote. They admitted that to be the audience of a seminar or an IHT was a burden, and to be a keynote become doubled-burden. This idea sound weird but it spread well around teachers.

While the teachers were busy preparing the paper to become the portfolio. Some took advantage form this situation. Take an example, a supervisor did unexplainable thing like asking some money to be paid to him just to pay his signature. Imagine, if one signature cost ten thousand rupiah and there were hundreds of teachers doing portfolio, what easy money it was. In fact, the supervisor did nothing to the portfolio making. I was asked to collect two hundred and fifty thousand rupiah to pay ‘whose name can’t be mentioned’ in the process of making portfolio. Teachers spent a great sum of money when doing portfolio. My friend confessed that she paid two to three million to make her portfolio done. She argued that it was better paid two or three million rupiah rather than she went to PLPG (it is a kind of teacher training to improve teaching and professional competences). She added that joining PLPG was scary her to death. PLPG took a month to join and many activities there exhaust teacher physically and mentally. Physically meant that they have to sit in the classroom and study again and again about teaching method, teaching philosophy, curriculum, lesson plan, teaching aids, and many other courses that they considered as tiring. Mentally, every course was ended by test. The test was another point that they did not like, they were afraid of fail in the test. To pass the test it needed a lot of reading, taking notes, discussion, change mind set, and so on and so forth activities that they avoid even though they are teachers.

I remembered that I was given less than a month to finish the portfolio. When the portfolio was done, crazy things come up. It was a big question on how to bind all of the document s. some teachers collected hundreds pages of paper, it reached about 10cm in height of the paper thickness.  My paper was categorized the thinnest one. Thanks to my creative husband who created an effective and reasonable way to bind the document without damaging the document. Since he could bind without any cutting, punching, or any actions that caused the paper tear. While others have to accept with annoyed that some of their document were punched or got smaller in size because of the lack of knowledge or experience of cover maker (tukang jilid).  My portfolio submitted in the most elegant look (100% my personal opinion).

In the regency level chaotic also emerged. Elementary School Teachers (EST) were the worst. Each of them was asked to collect five hundred thousand rupiah for nothing (perhaps similar to my two hundred and fifty thousand collections). I heard also the unpleasant things that EST faced, they were asked to pay fifty thousand rupiah in each and every meeting held. Luckily it did not happen to me who teaches at Senior High School (SHS).  For EST, they did not complain for any wild donation in form of money. They confessed that every time they got money from the government, their supervisor cut some of their income without their permission. Perhaps this did not happen in regency. I believe that each regent has its own regulation on teachers. What happened in my school is almost the same. When I got some money for example the 13th salary that is usually given around July, the administration staff will cut that money (under teacher’s permission, that’s better). The reason for that is to share the happiness with the school members. The contradiction occurs when administration staffs get some money, they never inform teacher and they refuse to share their income with teacher.

Besides those chaotic there was uncertainty on what next. After the binding document processed was done. All documents from each teacher (each collected 2 bundle of documents) should be sent to the local regency level with some form to fill. I thought the people at local regency level were ready to welcome our bundles of document. They looked like very confused with the documents. They said this and that all of which made us-teachers- got more nervous. I leaved all the documents. The only thing I could do just pray. Pray that my documents were safe and assessed by the right person. I also prayed that the assessor could see fake documents and the original ones.

Further, worried also spread everywhere. All were afraid of being failed.  I waited and waited. I heard that my documents were assessed in UNPAS (Universitas Pasundan, Bandung), the others were at UPI (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Bandung). The weird thing happened to me. I got a text (sms) informed me to collect some data and sent to the sender. The data was my certification number, my bank account number and other important numbers. I got curious why this people asked me such an important numbers. The sender claimed himself from UNPAS. If this man was really from UNPAS and needed my data why didn’t he send a letter to Dinas (regional education department office) so that I would believe easily and did what he asked for.  In fact, it was really from UNPAS, a friend of mine confirmed the text. This is very Indonesia. Asking crucial data through text!

I submitted the data asked by UNPAS.  Then I was informed that my portfolio was succeeded to escort me to be a certified teacher and the certificate would be given on Sunday at UNSUR (Universitas Suryakancana, Cianjur). Some were sad as their portfolio failed to be group as qualified enough and perhaps convincing enough.  On the day of certificate would be given to me, I went to UNSUR by myself. Again chaotic condition occurred. The committee was unwell prepared. There was thousands teachers from EST to SHS teachers. When I arrived, the ceremony (I called it ceremony since there was some people looked like VIP people from Dinas holding a mike and talked to audience). I stayed outside the building. There were hundreds people still outside. They asked this and that but no one could give sufficient answer. They said that there was a map on the wall showing the room to visit for each teacher. I tried to find my name. I found it. it was mentioned that I should visit room no…something. I went to that room. The funny thing that I felt at that time was that how people could make a map describing places and room but without mentioning which one is south or west or east, or at least an arrow showing where you were standing at that very moment. The more I looked at the map, the more confusion I got.  Finally after asking here and there I found the room. It was around December 2010. I could remember the month since it was the time when my mother died. I met one of my friends, she is Ms. WWH. I considered her as a close friend. I said that for three reasons.  First, we unite at the same professional group and we always work hand in hand to make significant progress in our union. Secondly, we had just finished a report, and she came to my house many times. And the last, I thought she considered me as her close fried.  What I considered about my friend who I thought my close one was 100% wrong. How I could say that. I had a good reason for that. I was at my grief and mourning moment after loosing my mother, she knew it. You know, she said nothing to show her sympathy and condolence for mother’s death. I was so shocked. I was shocked with my own hope. I hoped that she would come to me and said ‘I am so sorry to hear about your mother’. Those words never burst from her mouth. This caused me sadder and sadder. I kept my self silent. I got doubled sadness that day. It was endless sadness as I had no mother and father anymore and at the same time it was added by her ignorant for my late mother.

Forget the sadness I should swallow all by myself. I got my certificate. I heard that I have to collect another paper to make the certification salary adjustment went to my account.  Then, annoyed information came. All teachers have to collect the papers once more, as the first one was not enough (I bet it was lost, because careless was seen anywhere). The worst, took almost a year since got the certificate, my friend was totally lost his paper and got certified money then. He went to Jakarta to check where the papers go. The Jakarta’s people convinced him that they had sent him the money. Where the money goes, asked the people at the local regency.  He almost desperate and lost his hope to get his certified money, but a year from that he got his money. So where they money stayed all these years?

After a year I got my certificate, I got the money too. However, it went to UPI. I had made a promise, to make myself a professional teacher I have to continue studying. I believe that continue studying is the only option to make myself appropriate to be categorized as certified teacher. My friends said that I was too idealist. They said ‘just pick any university, pay thirty to fifty million rupiah then in nine months the master degree diploma is in hand. What a university and what a nonsense decision! But I did not choose that. I did not agree with fake university who sold degree and diplomas. I chose a real one and joined a regular class. Although it was very tired and made me almost crazy and gave up as the expectation of my Professors were very high on under graduate students. I studied day by day. I tried my best to enable my competences raise.  My friends who took short cut-university type laughed my stubborn idea and let myself dying fulfilling tasks and submitting endless research based papers.

The certified-salary hoped to raise the welfare of teachers and it did. Some teachers now sitting behind wheel and drive to school.  Luxurious life perhaps gets closer to some teachers. Unluckily the teaching dedication and loyalty does not run as fast as the car they are driving.  I saw some teachers’ dedication and loyalty decreasing. Perhaps, the more money they get the more needs wait.

As soon as the money transferred into the teachers’ account I thought I can rest now. I am totally wrong. Last week, through text I had information that I have to collect some papers (again) to get my certified-money run.  I asked myself ‘where did my last collected-papers do?’  Every year I collect the similar papers to similar institution to get similar service. What does this mean?  But, as other, I could do nothing. I collected some papers again and again perhaps next year!

The latest issue I heard on teacher-certification program was that there was a preliminary test called UKA (Ujian Kompetensi Awal?). UKA caused chaotic happens again amongst teachers. I heard that Elementary School teacher paid 50 thousand rupiahs to get ‘a leak item test’. And then when they were gathered in teacher association building, again, they were asked for 30 thousand rupiahs. They collector argued that the money to pay the answer key that might come at night. Imagine 30 thousand times one thousand teachers. What money! The money itself perhaps did not matter to be collected. But the reason for collecting the money does matter.  The money was collected to buy the answer key. How could teachers do this? They cheated, they lied to pass UKA. All the efforts the government held went for nothing as cheating accompany the process.

I pray that the teachers can become role model for their students. When character and mind sent is thought at school it depicts that this nation had lost its character and misleading in stating mind set.


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