Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia on the 2023 Commemoration of the National Teachers Day, November 25, 2023

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 25 November 2023
Category: Remarks @en
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Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

Good afternoon, may peace be upon us,

Shallom,

Om swastiastu,

Namo Buddhaya,

Greetings of virtue.

Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Minister of Religious Affairs,

Commander of the Indonesian National Defense Forces (TNI), Chief of the National Police (Polri),

Acting Governor of the Special Region of Jakarta, Acting Governor of West Java Province,

Officials of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology,

Teachers who join us both in presence and via live streaming,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Why are you all silent? Please give us a big round of applause! At first, I would like to convey my appreciation for the Commemoration of the 2023 National Teachers Day here with full of joy. This is our appreciation to teachers. All I know that from dawn until dusk teachers never stop dedicating themselves to Indonesian students. It is the state’s obligation to convey its appreciation and gratitude to the teachers. I can become a president because of the teachers’ role. Indeed, teachers have obligation to continue to innovate and improve the quality of education to create human resources with Indonesian personality and character.

Human resources are expected to excel in facing future challenges that are not easy. Global changes and technology disruption happen every day. Global political and economy landscapes always change. It is difficult to predict and calculate those changes. Therefore, I appreciate joint movement of “Merdeka Belajar (Freedom to Learn)” initiated by Minister of Education, Culture, and Research and Technology as without the change of paradigm and mind set, we will face difficulty to adjust ourselves with current global changes of technology which happened every second. I also appreciate the application platform of “Merdeka Belajar” which is used as reference and mutual sharing among teachers so that our innovations are not left behind by global changes.

Where are pioneer teachers? Pioneer teachers are not teachers who are moving. Where are they? Raise your hand or just one pioneer teacher come to me. Hurry up! Pioneer teachers must have fast moving. Alright, you, just come here. The others still stay there.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Introduce yourself, please.

Pioneer Teacher (Kuswanto)

My name is Kuswanto from Sigi Regency, Central Sulawesi Province.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Pak Kuswanto from Sigi, Central Sulawesi, right?

Kuswanto

Central Sulawesi.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

How do you come here from Sigi?

Kuswanto

I have to go to Palu first.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

So, from Sigi to Palu, then to Jakarta, right?

Kuswanto

Yes.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

How long does it take from Sigi to Palu?

Kuswanto

I’m from a remote area, one of the frontier, underdeveloped, remote areas. I become a driving teacher not just like other teachers who can easily get network connection. In may area, it is difficult to have network connection. So, I have to climb a tree to get connection.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

What did you do on the tree? To pick mangoes or durians? Why should you climb the tree? The Wi-fi connection is not strong, is it?

Kuswanto

Yes, Bapak. The areas are located at 1539 meters above the sea level. I am teaching at a school. Alhamdulillah, I apply for Candidate of Pioneer Teacher Class 7 and I passed the test. Then, I joined a collaboration room as well as elaboration room – as I have a task both as a facilitator and an instructor-I climbed a tree searching for connection. Therefore, I was well-known as a tree-man.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Good. This is a pioneer teacher. So, what is the difference between a pioneer teacher and non-pioneer teacher?

Kuswanto

Well, the difference between a pioneer teacher mover and non-pioneer teacher, I mean, Pak President, we were trained to be a leader of learning. Therefore….

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Leader of learning?

Kuswanto

That’s right, Pak President, and student-centered learning.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Student-centered learning..that’s all?

Kuswanto

Yes.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Well, I am happy that in Freedom to Learn there is flexibility, right?

Kuswanto

Yes, Pak.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

It is simplified, isn’t it?

Kuswanto

That’s right, Pak President.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Which parts are simplified?

Kuswanto

Well, we do not insist students to follow what we prefer based on material curriculum, but we provide flexibility to students to learn based on students’ talents, interests and abilities.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Pak Kuswanto, how long have you been a teacher?

Kuswanto

I have become a teacher since 1993, almost 31 years as an unsung hero.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Pak Minister, Headmaster.

Kuswanto

Thank you. Pak President, after I passed the Pioneer Teacher, the SIMPKB called me to take a competence test from functional position of teacher to functional position of supervisor, and alhamdulillah, I passed the test. So…

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Well, congratulations. I will appreciate you by giving you a bicycle.

Kuswanto

Alhamdulillah. Thank you, Pak. May I take a picture with you? Take a picture? Oh, I got a bicycle. Please take a picture of me!

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Well, the bicycle will be sent to your house. Pak Kuswanto, it will be difficult for you to bring the bicycle. Let people from the Presidential Palace send it to your house.

All teachers,

I am pleased to have a report from Minister of Education, Culture, Research and Technology that currently we have had 50 thousand pioneer teachers, 9 thousand of whom have become headmasters. It is my fervent hope that the number of pioneer teachers will increase in the future to reach more than 100 thousand teachers. Is that right, Mas Minister? Then, we will have school leaders who are skilled, innovate, transform. Mas Minister also told me about ASN PPPK (State Civil Servants and Government Employees with Work Agreements) teacher recruitment 2021-2022 which has been recorded of 544 thousand non-permanent teachers to pass ASN PPPK selection, and in 2024 it is expected to reach one million ASN PPPK teachers.

That concludes my remarks. I am confident that, in the near future, Indonesia will have qualified teachers both of advanced mindset and prosperous life. Once again, I would like to extend my gratitude for the teachers’ hard work and dedication. Keep working, keep innovating, and keep transforming.

To that end, let me ask you a question. If you can answer, please join me here. Just a minute, listen carefully. The question is, something has arms but no fingers, it also has a neck but no head. Can you guess what it is? Just come here.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Something has arms but no fingers, it also has a neck but no head. Can you guess what it is?

Participant

A shirt.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

You got a bicycle.

Participant

Thank you, Pak.

President of the Republic of Indonesia

Once again, I would like to congratulate all Indonesian teachers on the National Teachers Day. Thank you.

Wassalamua’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

(GA/MUR)

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