On March 12, 2008 the Government of Indonesia, along with nine other nations, announced the Bali Declaration. One aim of this declaration is to encourage an increase in teacher quality. The government’s seriousness to increase teacher capacity can be traced back a few years to 2004, to the signing of the declaration stating teachers are professional workers. In the following years, this commitment lead to various policies, such as Law No. 14/2005 on Teachers and Lecturers, which aims to increase the capacity, welfare, and appeal of the teaching profession.
The problem of teacher quality cannot be separated from three cohesive factors: economic welfare assurances, professional capability, and working conditions. The relationship between these factors means the problem of education quality cannot be dealt with by focusing on only one factor. SMERU’s research on Teacher Certification for Practicing Teachers and the Welfare Allowance for Teachers in Remote Areas programs reveals this reality. Indications from the findings of these two research projects lead us to question whether the programs and policies announced by the government will be able to achieve their ultimate goal—increasing the quality of teachers in Indonesia.
In this edition, the issue of education quality in Indonesia is explored by education expert Arief Rachman, who in his article examines the problem of teacher quality from a broader perspective, beyond the academic aspects. Wrenges Widyastuti from Yayasan Cahaya Guru provides another perspective as she explains various efforts and strategies initiated by this civil society organization to increase the professional capacity of teachers.