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Investing in Teachers Crucial to Improve Education in Indonesia: World Bank, Jakarta Globe, September 15, 2017

posted Sep 23, 2017, 2:06 AM by Brook Ross
The World Bank's senior director of education, Jaime Saavedra, said on Thursday (14/09) that Indonesia needs to reform and invest in the teaching profession for classroom learning to be more effective and the quality of education in the country to improve.   "Teachers are still the essential element to achieve effective learning. The essential focus is on improving the quality of the interaction between teachers and students," Saavedra told the Jakarta Globe in an exclusive interview during his visit to  Jakarta this week. 

Indonesia has achieved significant progress in providing access to basic education, yet it still has not been successful in effective learning and struggles to improve the classroom performance of students. "Indonesia cannot afford to have schoolchildren not acquire the foundational skills that they need in order to succeed in life and help the country grow and prosper," Saavedra said. 

Saavedra highlighted the importance of "reforming teachers' careers" for the value of professional teaching to be recognized, providing educators with knowledge of what and how to teach and linking their careers to their performance, which in turn will focus their attention on students' learning. "Reforming teachers' careers is not an easy task. However, teachers have a tremendous responsibility. They have in their hands the future of Indonesian children and youth, and through that, the future of the nation," he said. 

According to the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that provides education rankings, Indonesian students still perform below average in the three subject areas chosen as indicators: science, mathematics and reading. PISA 2015, which surveyed students from 72 countries, has Singapore as the top performer in all categories, whereas Indonesia ranks 64th in science, 65th in mathematics, and 66th in reading. 

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