Do not be Afraid to Be a Teacher

Teachers and Lecturers' Laws invite us to believe that the qualification program, certification, and provision of some benefits for teachers will improve the quality of teachers and automatically boost the quality of education. Of course we do not believe completely. Why? Because there is one thing that often escaped from the discourse about the low quality of teachers in Indonesia, namely the bureaucratization of the teacher profession.
The bureaucracy of the teacher profession in the New Order era has resulted in the majority of teachers' mentality. Job orientation is very viscous inherent in teachers. The position of the master teacher-as well as college professors-is no longer seen as the top career goal that a teacher must have achieved, but rather the principal or other bureaucratic posts in the education offices as well as in the education department. His professionalism spirit faded along with the occurrence of disorientation of this position.

Bureaucracy also creates a "subordinate" employment relationship, which gradually eliminates the true professionalism of teachers who should be free to determine their professional activities without being bound by operational guidelines (technical guidelines and technical guidance) that have been part of bureaucratic culture. Teachers become un-creative, rigid, serve only as operators or craftsmen and are afraid to make updates.

The fear ultimately further strengthens the bureaucratic power by making the teacher a part of subordinate employees who must submit to obey the orders of "superiors". Teachers who dare to criticize, let alone protest the actions of "boss" that is not true, easily treated arbitrarily as intimidated, mutated, demoted or even fired from his job. The case of the Waldonah mutation in Temanggung, the case of a mutation of 10 teachers in Tangerang City, the case of Nurlela's dismissal and Isneti mutation in Jakarta, as well as several cases of teacher oppression in various regions shows the strong bureaucratization process of the teaching profession to date.

The same process goes into the classroom. In the learning process, teachers prefer to position themselves as agents of power. He portrays himself as transferring the ideological values of power that are not enlightening to his students rather than building a democratic and open learning atmosphere. Students are made into new "subordinates" who must obey and obey the teacher according to the operational guidelines or juknis or on behalf of the curriculum.
This condition is further exacerbated when the bureaucratization process enters the network of teacher organizations. Some of its administrators are controlled by the bureaucracy. As a result, the organization that is expected to be able to build an intellectual-transformative teacher community and protect the intellectual reform movement of teachers, it becomes part of the bureaucratic regime that "castrate" the independence of the teaching profession.

The unity of the teacher organization becomes part of the agenda of strengthening the bureaucratic power that can not be separated from the political interests of the greater power. It is conceivable, the teacher becomes unintelligent and dulled his thinking precisely by the act of his own organization. How ironic!


The teacher's qualification, certification, and welfare benefits program is clearly not the only answer to build teacher quality. Without the accompaniment of the debutocratization movement of the teaching profession, it is difficult to feel the authenticity of the quality of teachers will be awakened.

Therefore, the professionalism of the teacher should be built along with the drive to build courage of teachers to involve themselves in any educational policy making, free to convey various views of his profession, criticize, freedom of expression and freedom of association as a form of independence of his profession. How can all that be realized?

Several articles in the Teachers and Lecturers Act turned out to make the debirokratisasi teacher profession as an important part of efforts to improve the quality of teachers. Article 14 Paragraph 1 Item (i) mentions: In carrying out professional duties, teachers are entitled to the opportunity to play a role in the determination of education policy.

This clause affirms the right of teachers to be involved in any educational policy making, from the school level to the determination of education policy at the provincial and central levels. Teachers should no longer be placed as subordinates who accept only bureaucratic policies, but must sit together to formulate participatory policies.

In the same article Grain (h) is mentioned: Teachers have the right to freedom of association within the professional organization of teachers. This Article is reinforced by Article 41 Paragraph 1 stating that: Teachers can form professional organizations that are independent, as well as Article 1 Item (13) which states: Professional organization of teachers is a body incorporated incorporated and administered by teachers to develop teacher professionalism.

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These three articles reinforce the independence of teachers to freely organize and escape the interests of bureaucratic power. Article 1 Item (13) affirms that anyone who is not a teacher is not justified in establishing and managing the teacher organization, as has so far been done by bureaucracy or even political adventurers.

The Teachers and Lecturers Law also provides legal protection to teachers from arbitrary acts of bureaucracy, both in the form of threats and intimidation of teachers 'freedom to convey their professional views, freedom of association / association, involvement in the determination of educational policies and defense of teachers' rights.

Article 39 Paragraph 3 affirms that teachers are protected by law from acts of violence, threats, discriminatory treatment, intimidation or unfair treatment by the bureaucracy or other parties. Paragraph 4 of the same article expressly provides professional protection to teachers against restrictions on the expression of views, harassment of the profession and on other restrictions / restrictions that may prevent teachers from performing their duties.

Teachers and Lecturers Law is enough to encourage the process of debirokratisasi the teacher profession. The free space of teachers without having to be overshadowed by the fear of bureaucratic power is now wide open. The bureaucracy of power must accept the paradigm shift that this law offers. Teachers must dare to occupy the space. Therefore, never be afraid again to be a creative teacher!

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