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National Plus Curriculum, Necessary or Not?

By BimaMilky Apr 22, 2014 3016 Words
National Plus Curriculum, Necessary or Not?
In a decade, the education in Indonesia has made the significant development. It is signed by appearing many new schools and the developing of latest curriculum. Some of the schools use the outside curriculum that is offered to the students and parents. Say that Bilingual Schools, International Curriculum, or National Plus Curriculum. These schools adopted the curriculum and material from other countries like Singapore, Australia, England, etc. It makes the choices for parent toward school not only to deliver their children whether public or private school, but also to choose the current curriculum or other curriculum. Perhaps, the terms of National Plus Curriculum are yet not familiar for some stakeholders of education in Indonesia. Firstly, this curriculum only occurs in the big cities in Indonesia such as Medan, Pekanbaru, Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Malang, Surabaya, etc. It makes the opportunity in remote area be very narrow of information about national plus curriculum. Secondly, this term is still new for education, since this was developed after the policy of minister of Education and Culture began to open opportunities for the development of what are termed national "plus" schools in the mid 1990s. Thirdly, the way of thinking for most of Indonesian People is very suspicious for being new information. They tend to believe for what have been set by the previous pioneer like national curriculum that we are using right now. Fourthly, this school is not familiar for most of original Indonesian People. It can be seen that most of the participants in this school are Chinese descendent and other ethnic of comer in Indonesia. For the reasons above, there are still controversies of building and developing this curriculum. Some people are still thinking that this school is high class society participants, where the low class has no chance to enter this school. Whereas some people think that this school is as gunners to face the globalization since English is the major aim of developing this school. As we know that, Indonesia must face and enter the globalization era either in regional of South East Asia or even in the world. Thus, the writer is desire to investigate whether national plus curriculum school is necessary or not in Indonesia. Why national plus curriculum? Globalization has given the impact among countries, cultures, and communities as the result of advance technology and communication, in which have had a particular impact on economic and social concerns that now affect the entire aspect in the world. Accidentally this also bring English has become the language most used in the world. English is not only as international language to conduct the communication; it is also used as the dominant language in science, technology, and communication. National plus curriculum, in their process, teaches English since the kindergarten and primary level. It is contrasted with the conventional school that is issued by minister of education where English is taught since the grade 4 of elementary school. However, many questions and doubt that the necessary teaching English for the young learners. Many researchers have discovered that the results of English language teaching in Indonesia are unsatisfied. Many Indonesian students yet can speak English, even though they have been studying for more than six years. Furthermore, it is worse that many students of English in college still cannot speak English well. Likewise, TESOL experts has applied many way and style of teaching in English, say that grammar translation method, direct method, audio-lingual method, behavior, cognitive, cooperative, metacognitive, socioaffective, actional-functional method, silent way, total physical response, suggestopedia, communicative approach, etc. The results are still disappointment. The writer observes that teaching English is only in English subject time. The students still feel ashamed of trying, even not using and practicing, to speak English outside classroom. As mentioned above, the years are running nowadays in the world is globalization, technology, information, and communication. It makes English the media and the most important language. It is necessary to have school that offer English as a medium of instruction where English speaking teachers to teach content-area school subjects. It means that English is not the English subject, but it is as the daily communication in school. Then, according to UNESCO, Indonesian Human Development Index (education, healthy, and income) has decreased continuously in years, Indonesia ranked 102 (1996) of 174 countries, 99(1997), 105 (1998), 109 (1999). Then, Political and Economic Risk Consultant (PERC) shows that the quality of education in Indonesia ranked 12 of 12 countries in Indonesia. Indonesia’ position is behind Vietnam. After that, the data from The World Economic Forum Swedia shows that Indonesia is in the position of 37 from 57 countries surveyed in education and as the follower country, not the leader. The data above shows that Indonesia education is very disappointment, if we want to compare with other countries in the world. There is doubtful for the people to face globalization era. Globalization era demands the high competition person to compete with other nations in the world. One of the most important aspects is English. Our students should be accustomed to communicating in English. The research and government needs to make something new in improving the quality of education and especially for the English subjects. The national plus curriculum is more than just the way of learning English, it is a kind of habit of using English. What and how is national plus curriculum? Generally, this term towards to the school using national curriculum and/or adding with other curriculum. The other can be the combination from other country and other institution. For example, a school which adopts national plus curriculum, they must use national curriculum like common school and added the curriculum from Singapore or they can add with the sport program or other accreditation. Thus, it does not mean that this school is separated from other common school in Indonesia. Wikipedia (2010) defines national plus curriculum as a school that offers education beyond the minimum requirements of the national Indonesian accreditation authorities. It is an unofficial term, undefined by law, regulation or any official body and therefore opens to interpretation in practice. It means that national plus curriculum are still in doubtful in the term problem. However, by looking at the way national plus curriculum, it is necessary to know the national plus curriculum by avoiding the definition. Many of people have wrong perspective about the term of National Plus Curriculum. Some of them say that National Plus Curriculum is for some ethnics like Chinese, Japanese, Half-blood people like Indo-Europe, etc. The other also says that it is for some certain religions like Christian, Buddhist, Catholic, etc. As we know that, most of Indonesia people are Muslims. The writer as one of the teachers in national plus curriculum had once experienced where the society asked the writer “can the school be for original people?” By this, it seems that society is still not familiar with the National Plus Curriculum. The confusing of the wrong perspective is also caused by indefinite definition from government. Actually, the National Plus Curriculum has been used by many schools since mid 1990s. However, government made the policy about the course for SBI or RSBI (International School) of guarantee this program in 2007 for Primary School and Junior High School. At this policy, the government proposed the standard for International or National Plus should use the standard curriculum from country of the member of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) or from modern countries that have good quality in education and economy so that these countries have high competition in education. OECD in which is located in Paris has 30 members like Australia, United States, England, France, German, Singapore, etc. There are 9 criteria for schools that have international standard, namely 1) The schools must have Accreditation A 2) The curriculum must follow OCED nations 3) The learning should be based on technology and information 4) The assessment should use the additional assessment from OCED nations 5) The teachers must be able to communicate in English, especially for Mathematics teachers and Science Teachers and 10 % of teachers must be second degree for primary school, 20 % teachers for Junior High School, and 30 % teachers for Senior High School 6) The principal must have second degree qualification 7) Every classroom must provide the multimedia, library with internet access, art room, sport centre and clinic 8) Get ISO certificate and 9) The efficiency of paying school fee. It means that to conduct the international standard, a school must have the least category above. In Indonesia, the appearance of national plus curriculum or international curriculum has made large number, especially in big cities. The conduction of national plus today not only done by private school, some of public also have been using it in Java Island. The national plus curriculum offers additional benefits, if it is compared with conventional school, namely: 1. English as the language tool in must if not all subjects. 2. A number of English Native Speaker.

3. Additional extracurricular program.
4. International standard curriculum.
The main point of national plus curriculum school is English. English not only used for English subjects, but also it is used as the media instruction. It is different with conventional school where English only taught rather than used in English subjects. For some subjects in national plus curriculum like mathematics and science, English is used as the media instruction. This atmosphere increases students’ ability to speak English because they have lot of chances to practice English than students in conventional school. None denies that English is the most important foreign language in the world. It is also the first language tested in national exam in Junior and Senior School level. By using English more where it is not only begun in Junior High School, but Kindergarten, the students are expected to come globalization. It makes the national plus curriculum be typically taught in English than Indonesian. National plus curriculum also gives the contribution for developing teaching English where it is not about reading, writing, grammar, yet it creates the community of language learning that provides communicative ability of English. Well, it is not strange that if we see students in primary school can speak English better that students of junior high school in conventional school, even better than senior high level. National plus curriculum may provide native speaker teachers. The appearance of native speaker is hoped that the students can speak English better, especially to improve their pronunciation. The native speaker also can help English teachers to improve their English. They can also share each other how to overcome the problem in teaching English. The students can also adopt the culture and manner from native speaker how to speak English well. Then, it is true that students will feel proud of studying and taught by native speaker. Therefore, it can give motivation for them to study and communicate in English. The national plus may add some extracurricular programs to support students’ talent. The extracurricular programs can be arts (music, dance, and drama), sports program, or it can be other subjects, for example: in Riau province, the participants of national plus curriculum are dominated by Chinese ethnic, the schools also gives additional lesson like Mandarin. Mandarin indirectly can attract the students to join the schools. Then, it makes students’ time in school be more than conventional schools’ students. The basic point of national plus curriculum is the school that adopts other curriculum, international curriculum. For this case, the minister of education has give limitation of using abroad curriculum. The curriculums that should be used are: 1. A stream that adopts the international education system – International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International Examination (CIE) et cetera. 2. A stream that follows the national education system.

Based on the two systems above, the national plus curriculum has to use national education system, then, they are freely to choose between International Baccalaureate and Cambridge International curriculum. Therefore, national plus is a curriculum that uses national education system and added with abroad curriculum. At least, this will give explanation to the society, for national plus not only gives national standard, but also gives international standard. How National Plus Curriculum apply in our education?

The respond of national plus curriculum is good enough in Indonesia. The members of national plus curriculum established the organization, Association of National Plus Schools (ANPS). Generally, there are seven criteria a school can be stated as the national plus curriculum, they are: 1. The policy and procedure of school

2. The appreciation of the culture variation
3. The use of Indonesia and English as the media instruction 4. There is the development of human resources continuously
5. Curriculum development is national standard and international standard 6. There is clear program of teaching and assessing the students 7. The available and suitable facilities to support the learning process The policy and the procedure of schools are toward to vision and mission of schools. Vision and mission those are meant relates to how school develop their material. They must be containing with the curriculum stated above. The schools have right to choose between them. Since the policy of schools becomes the global school, the school must have the vision that can get the students to be global students. Students are given the knowledge more about the globalization, one of the ways is to give them chance speak English more and make the atmosphere more English in school. The appreciation of variation culture, national plus curriculum accept all culture and every ethnic. It can be shown that for many national plus school, the students are from several ethnic and religion. National plus are not built for certain ethnic and religion. It is contrast that many national plus curriculum in Indonesia are filled by Chinese culture and non-Muslim community in which Indonesia is dominated by Muslim community. It is caused by the society perspective about national plus curriculum still low. This paper is hoped that all society can recognize the national plus curriculum in Indonesia. Then, national plus do not mean to forget Indonesia culture. However, knowing Indonesia’ culture is very important. This is national curriculum and added with additional curriculum from abroad mean that the students run with double curriculum. After that, national plus curriculum apply Indonesian and English as the media instruction. Indonesia is used for national curriculum of several subjects, furthermore, the teachers who teach Indonesia content also demanded to mix their language with English. For English content like Math, English and Science, the teachers absolutely use English as media in classroom. The using of English is plus thing for the school. Hence the students use English not only for English subject, but also for other subjects. For better result, national plus curriculum schools have to develop human resources continuously. It is used to create interactive and creative way in learning process. The teachers not only teach by using conventional and traditional method, they have to develop the nowadays learning technique like contextual teaching learning, cooperative learning, mind mapping, etc. Then, the teachers are also accustomed to conducting international program, since the material of national plus curriculum for several subjects are different with national curriculum in Indonesia. The next is national standard and international standard. As mentioned above, national plus curriculum approve two choices curriculum, namely International Baccalaureate (IB) and Cambridge International Curriculum (CIE). The compare of education system can be showed the table below: No

Play Group
SD 1
Primary 1
Year 1
SD 2
Primary 2
Year 2
SD 3
Primary 3
Year 3
SD 4
Primary 4
Year 4
SD 5
Primary 5
Year 5
SD 6
Primary 6
Year 6
Secondary 1
Year 7
Secondary 2
Year 8
Secondary 3
Year 9
SMA 10
Secondary 4
Year 10
SMA 11
CI A Level
Pre-Uni 1
Year 11
SMA 12
CI A Level
Pre-Uni 2
Year 12

IB = International Baccalaureate
PYP = Primary Years Program; MYP = Middle Years Program; DP = Diploma Program CIPP = Cambridge International Primary Program (English, Mathematics, Science) CLSP = Cambridge Lower Secondary Program

IGCSE = International General Certificate of Secondary Education CI A levels = Cambridge International A level examination
Program of CI A levels and DP assessed externally at the end of Grade 12

Next, the national plus curriculum must have clear program of teaching and assessing the students. This aims at developing the latest technique for developing learning process. Then, the teachers also have the clear aspect in assessing the students. The teachers should have the criteria of pass level for subjects. For the students who are low score, the students must follow the remedial test. For unsuccessful students, the school must provide the private assist for the students. It means that school has the responsible in assisting the students. Some students, perhaps, have low score for certain subjects. It will be teacher or school duty to help them. To support learning process, school has the available and suitable facilities to support the learning process. The school must provide art room, dance room, computer room, library, language laboratory, sport facilities like basketball, badminton etc. These facilities are used to support learning process and extracurricular program. By seeing these, it can be said that to build national plus curriculum need lot of fund. However, it is very useful to get better learning outcome. It can be seen that the National Plus Curriculum have many benefits for students and the development of education in Indonesia. It should be developed widely by Minister of Education. It is expected that national plus curriculum not only occur in private school, but also occur in public school. It is true that the fee for national plus curriculum is very expensive for most of Indonesia people. It is very necessary from government to support this curriculum since the benefit of this for Indonesian students. REFERENCES

Kasim, Meilani. 2009. Masalah Pendidikan di Indonesia. Retrieved on April 24th, 2011

Wikipedia. 2010. National Plus Kurrikulum. Retrieved on April 24th, 2011

_______ 2011. Indonesian National Plus and International Curriculum. Retrieved on April 24th, 2011

­­­­_______ 2008. Apa Itu Sekolah Nasional Plus? Retrieved on April 24th, 2011

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