Thu, 13 Oct 1994

International Teachers Day

October 5 has been designated International Teachers Day by UNESCO. The teacher's profession cannot be separated from the practice of education, which is directly related to the question of the quality of our human resources. Any renewal of the education system is very much dependent on what the teachers do and on what they think. Under this theory, the participation of teachers is absolutely required for any renewal in the education system to be effective.

The first requirement toward achieving this is professionalism, which also means assuring the welfare of teachers and the presence of a protective professional organization. Seen from this point of view, the Indonesian Teachers Association (PGRI) must share the responsibility of promoting professionalism.

To do that the PGRI must act more as a protective organization of teachers rather than as an extension of the government's arm. Furthermore the PGRI must broaden the base of its membership to include teachers from the elementary school up to the university level. If those two requirements can be met, albeit this may require a rather time-consuming process, then the PGRI will become an effective umbrella to protect the teachers profession.

-- Kompas, Jakarta