Monday, February 15, 2016

Rangking Kelas, Masih Perlukah?



Oleh: Afrianto Daud

(Tulisan ini pertama kali diterbitkan oleh Riau Pos, 27 Januari 2016)

Jutaan siswa sekolah dasar dan menengah di tanah air baru saja menerima laporan pencapaian belajar mereka selama satu semester terakhir melalui buku rapor yang diberikan sekolah. Bagi siswa dan (apalagi) orangtua, rapor itu adalah diantara buku yang ditunggu. Selain karena mereka ingin tahu bagaimana perkembangan anaknya selama satu semester di sekolah mereka, cukup banyak orangtua yang juga menunggu data tentang bagaimana prestasi anak mereka di sekolah jika dibandingkan dengan siswa lainnya.  Maka jadilah hari penerimaan rapor itu sebagai hari yang spesial. Biasanya sekolah mengundang orangtua untuk datang ke sekolah agar bisa langsung menerima buku laporan ini. Ranking kelas menjadi isu penting pada hari pembagian rapor itu.

Walau mulai ada sekolah yang tidak lagi menuliskan rangking di rapor siswa, tak sedikit sekolah yang masih menggunakan perangkingan ini di buku laporan anak didik mereka. Sebagaimana dulu, hari ini masih banyak sekolah yang membuat kegiatan khusus pada hari penerimaan rapor ini, yang puncaknya biasanya dengan mengumumkan para juara kelas di hadapan guru dan orangtua. Pada saat yang sama, untuk sekolah yang tidak mengumumkan juara kelas, ada banyak orangtua yang tetap bertanya kepada pihak sekolah terkait rangking anak mereka. Sebagian orangtua tetap mendesak wali kelas anaknya untuk melihat catatan si wali kelas terkait urutan nilai rata-rata anaknya dibanding anak-anak lainnya.

Sebagai sebuah tradisi di dunia pendidikan sejak lama, penulisan rangking kelas di buku rapor anak didik itu di satu sisi bisa jadi memiliki sisi positif. Ada waktunya seorang siswa perlu mendapat gambaran tentang seberapa jauh pencapaiannya dalam proses belajarnya jika dibandingkan dengan rekannya yang lain di dalam kelas yang sama. Seorang siswa yang menyadari bahwa capaiannya tidak sebaik temannya diharapkan bisa termotivasi untuk belajar lebih giat, mengejar ketertinggalannya, dan pada akhirnya bisa tercipta iklim kompetisi dan suasana belajar yang sehat di dalam kelas.

Namun, hemat saya, karena beberapa alasan yang akan saya jelaskan berikut, perlu dipertimbangkan ulang apakah sistem ini masih relevan dipertahankan dalam sistem pendidikan kita. Pertama, sistem perangkingan yang kita punya sepertinya lebih banyak dampak negatifnya terhadap anak dan orangtua. Alih-alih bisa memotivasi siswa untuk belajar lebih giat, rangking itu bisa menjadi ‘sumber penyakit’ bagi siswa dan orangtua. Sistem rangking itu sadar atau tidak telah mendistorsi bentuk penghargaan yang seharusnya diberikan kepada semua anak, betapapun kecilnya perkembangan belajarnya. Perangkingan kelas bisa membunuh motivasi anak untuk belajar. Rangking yang rendah bisa menjadi stimulus negatif kepada seorang siswa dalam memandang dirinya, bahwa dia tidak sebaik yang lain. Pada jangka panjang, dia bisa melabel dirinya hanyalah sebagai anak biasa dengan segala keterbatasannya. Padahal bisa jadi, siswa yang bersangkutan memiliki potensi terpendam yang selama ini tidak dihargai, akhirnya tidak berkembang.

Perangkingan itu bisa juga menjadi pemicu suasana belajar yang penuh persaingan tak sehat. Anak-anak bisa tumbuh dalam suasana kompetisi belajar  ‘menang-kalah’. Bukan tak mungkin, ada anak tertentu tak mau belajar bersama, berbagi ilmu dan ketrampilan dengan teman sekelasnya, karena khawatir kehilangan ‘mahkota juara kelas’. Padahal, berbagi, bekerjasama, saling dukung, dalam proses belajar adalah iklim yang sedang dikembangkan dalam proses pendidikan di dunia. Pada jangka panjang, pembelajaran dengan nuansa kooperatif itu bisa mengantarkan anak didik agar bisa hidup bersama orang lain di dunia nyata mereka.

Dari sisi orangtua, perangkingan ini juga bisa berakibat tak baik. Sebagian orangtua yang sangat terobsesi anaknya untuk menjadi juara kelas, misalnya, mungkin akan merasa sedih mendapatkan fakta bahwa anaknya tidak menjadi juara kelas. Kesedihan orangtua itu, jika tidak terkontrol dengan baik, bisa berakibat pada cara orangtua memberlakukan anaknya. Memaksa anaknya untuk belajar lebih keras lagi, misalnya, padahal sang anak sangat  bisa jadi sudah mengeluarkan kemampuan terbaiknya. Akibatnya anak bisa stress atau malah trauma dalam proses belajarnya.

Kedua, masalah utama rangking kelas pada buku rapor siswa itu adalah karena penilaian di buku rapor yang masih lebih banyak mengukur aspek kognitif siswa yang biasanya dilaporkan secara kuantitatif berupa angka. Aspek afektif yang bersifat kualitatif, seperti perkembangan karakter mereka, kemampuan berkomunikasi, kemampuan bersosialisasi, bekerjasama, sikap bertanggung jawab, kemandirian, dan sejenisnya, tidak sepenuhnya dinilai dan tidak terlaporkan pada sistem buku rapor anak didik kita.  Akibatnya, para juara kelas itu tetap saja didominasi oleh mereka yang memiliki keunggulan akademik atau yang memiliki nilai tinggi di ranah kognitif. Padahal bisa jadi dia memiliki kelemahan pada aspek non-akademis.

Dengan demikian, jika sistem perangkinan seperti yang ada sekarang masih diteruskan, maka adalah tidak fair bagi siswa yang sesungguhnya memiliki kelebihan di bidang lain (non akademis). Fakta seperti ini tentu ironis, karena sesunggunya tujuan pendidikan nasional kita, sebagaimana tertulis dalam UU No. 20/2003 tentang sistem pendidikan nasional adalah untuk mengembangkan anak didik menjadi manusia seutuhya – otak, badan, dan hati mereka. Persisnya, undang-undang pendidikan menyebut bahwa pendidikan nasional bertujuan untuk mengembangkan potensi peserta didik agar menjadi manusia yang beriman dan bertakwa kepada Tuhan Yang Maha Esa, berakhlak mulia, sehat, berilmu, cakap, kreatif, mandiri, dan menjadi warga negara yang demokratis serta bertanggung jawab. Sistem rangking dalam buku rapor seperti yang sekarang kita punya, dalam batas tertentu, bisa dikatakan bertentangan dengan substansi undang-undang pendidikan nasional itu.

Ketiga, di dunia nyata, keberhasilan anak didik tidak hanya ditentukan oleh faktor akademik itu, tetapi yang tak kalah pentingnya adalah juga oleh faktor non-akademis. Hasil survey dari Pew Research Centre, sebuah lembaga riset yang berbasis di Amerika Serikat, misalnya, melaporkan bahwa jajak pendapat yang mereka lakukan kepada orang dewasa di Amerika tentang kemampuan apa yang paling penting dimiliki generasi hari ini untuk sukses dalam hidup, 90 persen responden mengatakan, salah satunya, adalah kemampuan berkomunikasi. 77 persen lainnya menjawab kemampuan bekerjasama dalam tim. Dua kemampuan ini berada dalam ranah non akademis. Karenanya ada banyak sekolah di negara maju yang memberi perhatian khsusus kepada pengembangan soft skills ini. Di negara-negara maju, seperti di Australia, sistem rangking kelas ini sudah tak lagi dipakai sejak lama. Mereka juga tidak punya hari khusus untuk penerimaan rapor. Karena buku rapor cukup dikirim via email kepada orangtua siswa.

Karenanya, pada masa yang akan datang jikapun sekolah masih tetap mempertahankan tradisi pengumuman para juara, sekolah sudah harus memperluas makna juara kelas itu saat pembagian buku rapor. Setiap anak bisa menjadi juara dengan kelebihan mereka masing-masing. Siswa yang memang jago di bidang Matematika, misalnya, mendapat penghargaan sebagai ‘juara Matematika’. Sementara siswa yang menunjukkan prestasi di bidang lain, seperti olahraga dan seni, juga harus diharga sama oleh sekolah. Setiap siswa memiliki kecerdasan mereka masing-masing yang unik. Howard Gardener, guru besar di Harvard University, menyebut poin ini sebagai  ‘multiple intelligence’ (kecerdasan majemuk). Saatnya sekolah kita memberi perhatian kepada berbagai jenis kecerdasan itu secara seimbang. Wallahu a’alam.

* Penulis adalah Dosen FKIP Universitas Riau, alumnus Fakultas Pendidikan Monash University Australia

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Toward a Holistic Teacher Competency Test

By: Afrianto Daud
(This article was initially written for The Jakarta Post)

As a part of public accountability and quality control, the government through the Ministry of Culture and Primary and Secondary Education (Kemenbuddikdasmen) has been conducting Teacher Competency Test (UKG) to nearly 3 million teachers across Indonesia since 2013. This program is not only intended as a means of mapping the quality and competence of teachers nationally, but will also be a basis for the government to formulate a training plan for quality improvement and professional development of teachers nationwide in the future.

As stated by the Director General of Teachers and Education Personnel of the Ministry of Education and Culture Sumarna Surapranata, the UKG will be routinely done every year. Although there is no term 'pass and faill, the government is targeting a constant growth in the teachers’ scores from year to year. This year, for example, of 60-100 questions prepared and performed for 120 minutes, the government is targeting the mean score of teachers’ knowledge competency is 5.5. It is expected to increase by 6.5 next year. And at the end of 2019, it is targetted  to be 8.0 (Kompas, 11/3/2015).
In one side, the government's efforts to conduct the competency test needs to be highly appreciated. The government should indeed ensure that our teachers’ quality is well monitored and their competency is continously developed. As a nation we must be very concerned with the quality of our educators as the quality of the teachers have a direct impact on improving the quality of our national education.

This is especially a case if it is linked with the teacher certification program that has spent a large amount of our national budget. The improvement and control of the  quality of teachers become mandatory. The UKG is then important and relevant, so that the certification which has used up the state budget for almost 80 trillion rupiah every year had a significant impact on increasing the professionalism of the educators. In short, a certified teacher is a professional teacher. A professional teacher is a qualified teacher. The qualified teacher is the main player in our efforts to increase the quality of national education with its all complexed problem.

But on the other hand, it is important to look more closely at the technical implementation of this UKG. It needs to be evaluated whether the test is valid and trusted as a means of measuring the competence of a teacher. Could this test really measure what is supposed to measure (validity). This question is important, because an unreliable test will result in incorrect data. The inaccurate data certainly can not be the basis for making important decisions, such as teacher training programs.
The most crucial points of the current model of the UKG is in the aspect of the test models used. As explained in the manual published by Kemendibud, the UKG will measure and map the competence of teachers in their field of study (subject matter) and teaching (pedagogic). The test is conducted in the form of multiple choice questions (60-100 for 120 minutes). From the perspective of test validity, this kind of test can not fully answer the initial objectives of the UKG, to obtain information and map the pedagogical competence and professional of the teachers.

Not only because the test does not asssess the four aspects of teachers’ competency as mandated by the Law on teachers (the UKG does not assess the social competence and personal competence of the teachers), this test also leaves a lot of questions related to its realibility to accurately depict the competence of teachers. Teachers’ professional competence are in fact a very complex notion. From the aspect of pedagogic competence, for example, it is questionable how the test is able to obtain valid information about the ability of the teachers in planning the lesson, effectively starting their classes, and managing the class. Can the test assess their competency in terms of creating a live dynamic and conducive class, or in explaining a complex material in order to be easily understood by students. How the multiple choice questions can provide accurate information about the ability of teachers to ask, answer questions, to anticipate unexpected things in the classroom, or how the teachers motivate the students.

Even if the current UKG has tested things such details above, how to ensure that the cognitive knowledge of teachers in the answer sheet is in line with what he is doing in the classroom. What often happens is that a person can understand a concept in the level of theory, but he or she may not practice what s/he knows in the classroom. Thus, a teacher with a high score in the UKG may not necessarily mean that he or she is an eminent pedagogue in the field. Because the world of practices usually have their own space and art. This is why the validity of the UKG test result does really matter.

Not to mention potential technical problems which may hinder particular goup of teachers to perform well during the test. As majority of teachers take the computer-based UKG, some senior teachers who are not too familiar with the use of IT devices are likely to feel uncomfortable with this kind of test models. They are not troubled by the content of the test, but more on the technical aspects of how to operate the computer and the device. As a result, their test results can be worse than their actual ability. In the field, they are infact senior teachers with may be more with 20 years of eperience. They may have sucesfully educated and inspired thousands of their pupils before.

Considering some issues as mentioned before, it is urgent and necessary to find  alternative models of assessments with a more holistic instrument in assessing teachers’ competence in the future time. This is certainly not an easy job given the broad scope and complexity of teachers’ competence as discussed above. Even in some developed countries like America which has carried out this kind of test for a long time, many reports indicate that the teacher competency test failed to provide the necessary information as a basis to help teachers grow and develop their competencies. Therefore most teachers in America just consider the test as 'a joke', because they do not feel a direct impact of the test on improving their performance as teachers (Lucy Steiner, 2010).

Hence my point is how we can keep thinking of a more appropriate way to assess our teachers’ competency and minimise potential  bias due to inaccuracies in test instruments. We can use the current model as a starting point to develop a more holistic examination. In addition to assessing teachers’ mastery on their subject matter thorugh existing multiple choice, consideration may also be given to the use of other assessment instruments. Referring to the teacher assessment framework in some other countries like in the UK, Mexico, Canda and Singapore, assessments through classroom observation, self-assessment, or teachers’ portfolio are amongst other instruments that could be developed.

Equally important is how to involve the principal, school superintendent, or even the public in assessing the performance of these teachers. Especially for their social competence and personality that can only be assessed by asking or observing directly into the field of how teachers behave and act in the school and surrounding community. Furthermore, feedback from the 'relevant customers' of teachers like parents and students also need to be considered. Consequently, the assessment process can be no longer fully implemented by the central government, as is the case now. Decentralization of the assessment process is important to think about.

With such a holistic assessment tools, we can hope to get a more reliable picture related to the competence of our teachers. It will result in more accurate data to be used by the government as the basis of teachers’ career development and teacher training and professional development programs in the future. Otherwise, we are concerned that this UKG is only going to be another 'joke' among teachers, or simply be a new land for new projects in Kemendikdasmen, as feared by some people.


*The writer is teaching at the Faculty of Education of Riau University. He has just completed his doctoral degree from Monash University in Australia.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pauline Hanson, among Islam, Racism and Reclaim Australia

By. Afrianto Daud
(This article was first written for The Australian)



Australian public was rather shocked of a rally by a group of people with a theme of Reclaim Australia on Saturday, 04/04/2015. It was conducted simultaneously in all states of Australia, including Victoria. The movement is strongly supported by a liberal party politician Pauline Hanson. Messages delivered in the rally filled with nuances of hatred against Islam as one of important religions in Australia. Among the themes presented by the protesters were a rejection of the tax for halal certification, the refusal of practice of Islamic law, and a reminder for the phenomenon of Islamization in Australia. The demonstrators even specifically chanted with "no more mosques', or 'no more burqa'.

According to the 2006 census, there are at least five million (24%) of Australians are immigrants with different cultural and religious backgrounds. Approximately 450,000 of them are Muslims from various countries, including Indonesia. So far, all communities can live in harmony. They live with mutual respect for each other's culture under the principle of multiculturalism that becomes an important value of the Australian community.

As a politician, Pauline Hanson seemed to be trying to propitiate the Australian community through this movement. Islam and terrorism is indeed currently becoming a hot topic across the globe. Massive coverage of Islamic state movement (ISIS) has got a special attention from international community. Therefore, the issue on terrorism can be a good commodity for sales in the political market. Pauline's statement that also attacked Abbott’s administrative for not doing any necessary action regarding the potential dominance of the Muslim community in Australia is an indication that what she did is a clear political movement.

Having looked at the track record of this politician, the Reclaim Australia is not the first controversial action undertaken and supported by Pauline Hanson. In a political statement during a campaign season to become a member of the Federal Parliament in 1996, for example, she has been harshly criticized the Australian government's immigration policy. She mentioned that the idea of multiculturalism is risky for the future of Australia. Therefore, the multiculturalism policy should be resisted. She argued that why Australia is filled by many immigrants from Asia was because the idea of the multiculturalism. In the eyes of Pauline, many immigrants cannot be assimilated well with Australian culture. In short, in her stance, these immigrants are only a source of problems.
In 2006, Pauline returned outspoken about the dangers of these immigrants. At that time she was specifically concerned about immigrants from Africa who could be carrying the disease from the country of origin, including the possibility of suffering from AIDS. Pauline mentioned that African immigrants had absolutely no benefit to Australia.

Pauline herself refused to call herself as a racist. She said that what she did was only a way she expressed her criticism for the sake of Australia in the future. However, for those who think sane, Pauline's criticism is very clear that the substance contains racism. This is because she spreads hatred and discrimination against certain groups of people. For this reason, quite a lot of Australians themselves oppose the idea of the Reclaim Australia movement. Some of those who oppose the idea even involved in physical fights with demonstrators last Saturday.

Although Pauline Hanson's racism does not get a proper place in the mainstream of Australian politic, it does not necessarily mean that the idea is without support. Hundreds of people demonstrating simultaneously at a rally last Saturday proved that this racism is not completely dead. They continue to multiply and consolidate themselves.

The idea of 'Reclaim Australia' movement itself does sound strange and was impressed to be silly. There are many loop holes within the idea of this movement. First, the theme has been biased from the beginning. The selection of the word 'reclaim' (retake) does not only mislead as if Australia had been taken over by a particular group politically, culturally, and economically (which is certainly not true), it also spread a wrong message saying that Islam and the Muslims have occupied Australia in many aspects of life. The selection of this word has indirectly put Islam and the Australian Muslims on more powerful and more hegemonic than the actual facts. This is indeed an exaggeration.

Secondly, the theme is also against common sense. Paulin's statement mentioning that the halal food certification in Australia as a way to finance international terrorist is full of ignorance. The halal certification itself is not a dark business because they are easily monitored by the Australian government. Halal certification is growing in Australia along with the increasing demand for halal food because of the increasing number of Muslim communities in Australia (mostly immigrants). Among their main motivation is a purely from a business drive. Therefore do not be surprised if many non-Muslim owned companies also provide halal certificate. Again, the process is transparent. Therefore, the explanation from the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) one day after the rally regarding the transparency and certification process could clarify that the allegations by Paulin Hanson is like a fairy tale story in broad daylight.

Third, the attacks and discrimination against Muslims in Australia can be easily understood as an action which is contrary to the principles of multiculturalism as important values of Australians, as discussed above. Australia is a country which was built on the basis of respect for this diversity. Thus, the racism movement by Paulin, if left unchecked, will not only spoil the harmony of life of the plurality of the Australian society, it can also tarnish the Australian culture in the eyes of the international community. Although the number of supporters today is not significant, the core message is very dangerous.

Considering the potential serious side effects, I think the Australian government and the community need to perform special measures in dealing with the issue of racism. Sentiment towards Islam could develop into sentiment against other immigrants. Today they are targeting Muslim community; it is highly likely that they are also targeting the existence of other groups in the near future. Therefore, it is reasonable if the vice president of the African Community Association of Australia, Edward Solo, said that the yesterday's rally as something painful. "It is really a fearful message," he said as quoted by The Guardian (06/04/2015).

Politically, the Abbott’s government needs to make an official statement that the government cannot allow the attitude and behaviour of racism to happen. Abbott needs to make clear that the government is committed to respecting all forms of cultural uniqueness of its citizens, including by providing a protection to the Australian Muslim community. Otherwise, what is feared by the secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, Ghaith Krayem, who called Abbott government's silence on the racial acts as a form of injustice shown by Abbott’s administrative in dealing with racial attacks and extremism is true (The Age, 04/07/2015).


At the same time, the Muslim community and all immigrant groups have to think of better ways that promote a more intensive and effective activities to build mutual understanding among all groups who live in Australia. This is because the racism is likely happen due to lack of communication and interaction between these diverse groups. Pauline Hanson's statement saying that Muslims do not need the halal certification, because whole foods can be permissible only by reciting a prayer (bismillah) is a crystal clear example that Pauline does not really understand what Islam and Muslims are.

* The writer is a scholar at Monash University, former president of Monash Indonesian Islamic Society - MIIS.