Aug 15, 2012

The Chaotic Uji Kompetensi Guru : Measuring Teachers Competence?
By : Dhitta Puti Sarasvati
While teachers should actually be  evaluated more holistically, either by self-assessment, students’ feedback, and/or observations by peers, head teachers,  and supervisors, teachers in Indonesia are evaluated by a multiple-choice test, called Uji Kompetensi Guru (UKG).
UKG is a test to evaluate teachers’ cognitive pedagogical and professional competence. The test is an online test, where teachers must answer multiple choice questions that are assumed to assess their knowledge on the content they are teaching and also on pedagogy.
The UKG was held on the 30th – 31st  July 2012. Before the UKG was held, teachers were panicking. A lot of teachers had never used the internet before. How were they supposed to take the test? They had no idea. Additionally, they had to memorize various facts related to content they are teaching and pedagogy. This is done by rote learning, not by using higher order thinking skills like analyzing, comparing, synthesising, or creating.
Books for practicing for the UKG questions are sold in bookstores.  Although the quality of the book is questionable, teachers were still eager to purchase it. What kind of questions are in the book? Here  is an example of a question in the pedagogy section:  
“What is Indonesia’s long term development plan for 2005 – 2009 based on the ‘Membangun Indonesia yang Aman, Adil, dan Sejahtera’ document” (Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and M. Jusuf Kalla, 2004). 

What does this question has to do with pedagogy? Questions like “What do you think should be considered before designing a lesson? Please write down your argument!” is better to assess teacher’s pedagogical knowledge.
Teachers study hard to prepare for the test without questioning its relevance for teaching. On their Facebook statuses, teachers retype the materials that they are learning. For example, a status on a teacher’s Facebook wall was a question that is predicted to come up on the test. The question was: “Students in elementary school are usually like to be in groups. This shows a characteristic of child development as related to: (a) intellect (b) emotions (c) social aptitude (d) moral aptitude.”  Can a question like this assess teachers' ability in grouping students? What is it really assessing?
Picture 1 Buku Pintar Uji Kompetensi Guru : A book for preparing for the UKG

According to Reolf & Sanders (2007), pedagogic competence is the ability to create a psychologically-safe learning environment for students, contributing to their wellbeing. Although it’s questionable if UKG can really measure teachers’ competence in pedagogy, many teachers still faithfully join the test. It is true a few teachers boycotted the test (Kompas.Com, 31/07/2012), but more chose to take it, and believed it useful for them in improving their capacity as teachers. Around 1,020,000 teachers from all over Indonesia joined the test.
On the day of the test? It was a mess. The test was supposed to start at 7.00 AM. The fact was, they could not even log in to the server. To fill time, many teachers, especially the members of Ikatan Guru Indonesia’s (IGI) Facebook group page were busy updating their Facebook status. From their mobile phones, they accessed Facebook and became busy reporting the situation of UKG in their area. Many reports came in such as “the server is down”, “I’ve waited for so long and still can not login”, “teachers at my place decided to go home”, etc. About every two seconds there are new statuses  on IGI’s Facebook page. Reports came from various areas from Pekan Baru, Indramayu, Bekasi, Bogor, Situbondo, Garut, and other places (, 30/07/2012). All said that they could not take the test because of technical problems.
In some areas, like in Pinrang and Manokowari, UKG was canceled (Kompas.Com, 31/07/2012). In other areas, like in Jember, UKG was still held but four and a half hours late. The test started at at 11.30 am (when it supposed to start at 7.00) . It is incredible how patient the teachers were.
Problems also occured on the second day of the test. In a school in West Lombok, the electricity went down eight minutes before the test ended (Kompas.Com, 31/07/2012).
Besides technical problems like the internet connection, the quality of the UKG questions were low. According to teachers who took the tests, the questions in the UKG had plenty of errors.  Many questions did not have answers. For example, a question about mathematics was:
“Bu Emi bought three types of cakes, each of them weighed 3/5 kg. 4/9 kg was given to Eri. How much  cake  was left  and brought home? (a) Mei 45 (b) Des 45 (c) 21/45 (d) Nop 45.”
The UKG was total chaos. This is not surprising, as Permendikbud No. 57 Tahun 2012, Decree of the Minister for Education and Culture, the legal document which was the basis for holding the UKG, just came out on 26 July 2012, only four days before the UKG was held.
It can be clearly seen that the UKG was not well designed. Despite all the proof that the UKG was held, by the government, with lack of preparation, Prof. Dr. Ir Muhammad Nuh, Indonesia’s Minister of Education, did not admit that the problem happened because of this. In fact, his words were, “This did not happen because we were in a rush or because of lack of preparation.”  Furthermore, he blamed the ICT operator. He said, “The ICT operator failed to install and set up the program, although we have trained them.”  What a crazy excuse! 

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