The teacher certification program for practicing teachers has been implemented since 2007 as an effort to set standards and increase the quality of teachers. Teacher certification was carried out through portfolio assessments for civil servant and non-civil servant teachers with a minimal educational background of an undergraduate degree or four-year diploma, who teach in preschools, primary schools, junior high schools, and senior high schools. Teachers deemed to pass will receive an teaching certificate, teacher registration number, and professional allowance to the value of one month’s basic wage.
In order to understand the 2007 teacher certification implementation process, and as lessons learned for the improvement in program implementation, in 2008 The SMERU Research Institute conducted a study of teacher certification in six kabupaten (districts)/kota (cities) in three provinces. The research uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. In general the results indicate that implementation of teacher certification has had several weaknesses. There are still obstacles in horizontal coordination between institutions, socialization of the program varies, and the information disseminated has not been complete; the total quota between study areas was not proportional to the number of teachers who fulfilled the conditions; in a limited number of cases there are indications of deception in the determination of participants; there were reports of deception in the compilation of portfolios; participants who passed have not received registration numbers and only a few have received teaching certificates; and payment of the professional allowance has been held up.
Certification’s impact on increasing the quality of teachers is still in question. However, the program encourages teachers to actively pursue various activities and teachers who do not yet fulfill the criteria are encouraged to increase their education to the undergraduate degree level.