Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the 77th Anniversary of the Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI) and the 2022 National Teachers’ Day, Semarang, Central Java Province, December 3, 2022
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
May prosperity be upon us all,
Greetings of virtue.
Distinguished Minister of Education, Culture, Research, dan Technology;
Distinguished Governor of Central Java Ganjar Pranowo and Regional Leaders Forum (Forkopimda) of Central Java Province;
Distinguished Governors, Regents, and Mayors;
Distinguished Chairperson of the Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI) Prof. Dr. Unifah Rosyidi, M.Pd. who is attending this meeting online. I wish her a speedy recovery;
Distinguished all ranks of the PGRI management across the nation;
Ladies and gentlemen,
After it’s been a while attending online ceremonies, thank God, we can attend the 77th Anniversary of the PGRI and the 2022 National Teachers’ Day in person. I am very grateful to meet all of you.
I am aware that all of you, teachers, lecturers, and educational personnel, have faced a tough situation. I am also aware that many of your families and students are affected by COVID-19 and the teaching and learning process must be carried out online, with many on the ground limitation. Alhamdulillah, thank God, we have administered 440 million vaccine doses to the public so we could tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy will also return to normal. It is something we should be grateful for.
To that end, let me extend my gratitude for the hard work of all teachers during the pandemic. Thank you for guarding the future of our children during the pandemic. Thank you for guarding the future of the nation and the state through education.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Excellent human capital that all of you are developing has something to do with several factors. The first factor is the mastery of science and technology, as well as the improvement of technical skills that are relevant to today’s situation.
The Minister said that teachers have a lot of freedom today. Why is freedom important? Because in today’s age, the world is changing rapidly. Once we have learned one type of knowledge, the next day another type of knowledge will emerge. Teachers should always catch up with updated information. Today, the most important thing in teaching is to ensure that the teaching process supports children to have excellent critical thinking. Thus, the flexibility is needed. It shouldn’t be rigid. It has to be flexible, because the knowledge expands very quickly.
Let’s say we have just learned about Artificial Intelligence, the next day there is another thing called big data. We need to learn what it is and what the function is. The next day, another thing emerges, namely the internet of things. Everyday new things emerge.
When we learn about cryptocurrency, for example, the next day crypto asset emerges. We must always catch up with the latest development because the changes are happening rapidly. We must avoid teaching obsolete knowledge, which has been outdated 30 or 20 years ago, to our students.
The excellent human capital is also in line with the second factor, namely mentality and character. Politeness, honesty, good manners, caring for others, hard work, and being able to work together are increasingly important to be taught and must be continuously developed. A strong national character that is moderate, tolerant, and in line with the state ideology Pancasila and the value of national motto “Unity in Diversity” (Bhinneka Tunggal Ika) is imperative.
The third factor for excellent human capital is health. We must pay attention to physical health. We must prevent stunting. Teachers must know whether or not their students have stunting. A healthy lifestyle must be taught from an early age. Healthy food and adequate exercise should be maintained from an early age. We must not forget this. Mastery of knowledge and skills would be useless if the students do not have a strong mentality or are not physically healthy. We must pay attention to this. We have long ignored this factor.
Excellent mastery of knowledge will also be in vain if our students are not healthy mentally and physically. We should be cautious, because unfit physical and mental condition is a zero multiplier for academic achievement. No matter how smart a student is, let’s say with a perfect mark of 10, if the student does not have a good health, the final score is 10 times 0, equal to nothing, no matter how smart the student is. If a student has a GPA of 4, but physically and mentally unfit, the GPA is 4 times 0, equal to nothing. Thus, we must pay attention to the problems related to mental health and physical health.
Let me reiterate that our duty is to produce excellent human capital with excellent academic achievement, excellent skills, excellent character and excellent physical health. This is no easy task for all of you.
Ladies and gentlemen,
In the midst of a very rapid change, teachers should improve skills, adapt to increasingly sophisticated educational technology, and master new knowledge and new skills relevant to the challenges and needs of today’s changing world after digitization. The pandemic has further exacerbated it. The war in Ukraine has accelerated it. Food crisis, energy crisis, and financial crisis have also accelerated the change.
Therefore, I ask all of you to update important information to provide our students with the latest information. The Government constantly strives to improve the capacity and ability of teachers through various programs, including the Freedom to Learn (Merdeka Belajar) Program, the Freedom to Teach (Merdeka Mengajar) Program, and the Pioneer Teachers (Guru Penggerak) Program.
I reiterate the statement delivered by Minister of Education and Culture that the Government’s main program is to transform our education and to accelerate improvement of education quality across the nation.
That concludes my remarks on this auspicious occasion. Happy PGRI’s 77th Anniversary and National Teachers’ Day. I extend my appreciation to all teachers who have worked with the best dedication in educating the next generation to always love our nation, state, and homeland, Indonesia.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (RI/MUR)