“Removing English as Compulsory Subject from Primary Schools on the 2013 Curriculum in Indonesia”

“English exists to help the globalization as a dominant language in the educational system”

In fact, 70 countries in the world have given a status to English as an important international language which means 80% of today’s communication is in English.

In 2009, the charter of ASEAN made English as a working language of the association and all documents also in English. And some ASEAN countries employ first language speakers of English. that nine of ten member states of ASEAN make English as a compulsory subject in the primary school. The fact is Indonesia the only ASEAN country where English is not compulsory subject in primary school. But even in Indonesia, English is far and away the most common language taught in schools, other than Indonesian itself.

The question is

How are we going to compete in ASEAN? 

How do we plan on making the Indonesian workforce competitive in the next decade if we don’t start teaching English at an early age?

We acknowledged that under guidelines prepared by the national education ministry, a new curriculum covering just six compulsory subjects – Indonesian language, mathematics, religion, nationalism, art, and sports – with the English language is not included in the new primary curriculum. The ministry concerns the students to better develop key skills in core areas which are six main compulsory subjects. According to Musliar Kasim, Deputy Minister of Education and Culture, English subject is abolished for elementary students as it is to give time for the students in strengthening Bahasa Indonesia before studying a foreign language and if English is taught by incompetent teachers, the result is not good for students. (Kompas.com, 10.10.2012)

If no more English at Elementary School since it’s going to start from junior high school to senior high school. Then again, can the current curriculum accommodate that? With multiple choices for English national examination and little writing and reading assignments, can our students really learn English in 6 years?

That is why that does not seem to be a legitimate reason to remove subjects from the curriculum. Learning is blissful. Students, especially primary school age who are thirsty for knowledge and highly curious, should be encouraged to learn, and should not be exempted from several subjects just because they are “too hard”.

so in the end, they start the junior high school level where English becomes a compulsory subject. For this reason, it is essential to consider English to become a compulsory subject in primary schools in order to attain educational equality.

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