Sabtu, 19 Agustus 2023

by -- M.Sunyoto

Indonesian language lessons in the 2013 Curriculum take a new direction: language is learned as a means of imparting knowledge. Previously, Indonesian was studied as a science of linguistics. What are the pros and cons?

The compilers of the 2013 Curriculum certainly have an interest in the benefits of this new direction. This is what benefits from teaching about language as a means of conveying knowledge. By studying language as a means of thinking, conveying messages and thoughts, students are accustomed to using language to express thoughts through writing or orally.

The weaknesses of the new direction of teaching Indonesian are: aspects of the students' linguistic abilities are not explored optimally.

Apart from the advantages and disadvantages of teaching Indonesian in the 2013 Curriculum, there is another issue that is more fundamental: teaching materials and the teacher's ability to deliver Indonesian language lessons.

Books or written teaching materials in Indonesia are generally produced by authors who are not competent to write riveting texts. Often times, a number of teachers work on making textbooks and then they are assessed by an assessment team from the ministry and after obtaining the approval of the assessors, the publisher duplicates them.

Almost never has a professional writer, whether a novelist or a well-known nonfiction writer, been contracted by the ministry for the purpose of producing quality textbooks. As a result, Indonesian language textbooks do not leave a lasting impression on students' minds. All the Indonesian language texts that students learn just evaporate, leaving no traces after the students finish the lesson presented by the text.

The Ministry of Education and Culture should try to hire well-known writers, whose competence has been proven in society, to write Indonesian language textbooks.

This professional work book needs to be used as a basic guide for students in learning. This method certainly has holes to criticize: centralism. Today, everything that is centralized is always considered bad. Centralism is considered a diversity killer. This criticism is certainly not entirely true. The basic handbooks need uniformity. Uniform quality does not have to be bad.

After quality basic handbooks are available, the next question is: to what extent teachers can present them impressively in front of students. Teachers must be inspirational for students. The required teacher is not one who is fully knowledgeable and talks too much in front of the students with a passion to show off knowledge that is not always needed by the students.

Brilliant teachers are those who open paths and perspectives for students to find themselves further. Teachers like this give directions as needed and then tell students to walk on their own and redirect if they deviate from the intended direction.

The toughest challenge for implementing the 2013 Curriculum in Indonesian lessons will be experienced by Indonesian language teachers who have been accustomed to using the old ways, which are too analytical while the new curriculum demands more interactive. There needs to be a workshop to train them to teach Indonesian according to the demands of the new curriculum.

The 2013 Curriculum Direction is a denial of the language education curriculum which tends to invite students to become linguists prematurely.

Confronted with the facts on the ground, the direction of the 2013 Curriculum for Indonesian language lessons need not cause concern. Take the example among users of mass media language. In this realm, those who focus on formulas and understand the principles of journalistic language are not necessarily those who have struggled with linguistic theories while pursuing formal education in tertiary institutions.

Journalistic linguists can come from graduates of pure physics, political science, or those who have never attended a university. Interest in the linguistic aspect of journalism has been awakened after they have struggled in journalistic practices for dozens of years.

On the basis of this fact, the new direction of learning Indonesian in the 2013 Curriculum does not need to be overly worried. There are voices of concern that the new direction will no longer build national values, identity, language and other aspects related to a student's linguistic intelligence.

The voice of this worry can be heard but that doesn't have to stop the various benefits that can be achieved in the form of skills in how to think, write or digest text correctly.

In fact, the development of one's national values, identity and language does not entirely depend on how the Indonesian language teaching system is conveyed when students are still in formative age. These values ​​are developed systemically through the teaching of other subjects, interaction between humans both in the family and in society.

Source: Between, Sunday, 17 February 2013

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