BATANG, CENTRAL JAVA – Developing teachers' competencies needs to be organized so that teachers can get guaranteed easy access to training to improve both their competencies and their careers. This issue was raised in an event to explain the Batang District Head's Decree No. 64 of 2015 on Training and Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Education Personnel in the meeting hall at the office of the Batang District Head (3/3).
Batang is one of the USAID PRIORITAS partner districts that has issued a Local Decree (by the District Head) to support the continuing professional development program for teachers. Other partner regions which have issued similar decrees include Demak, Banjarnegara, Grobogan (Central Java), Sidoarjo (East Java), and Aceh Tamiang (Aceh).
USAID PRIORITAS is currently assisting partner districts to develop plans for continuous professional development programs for teachers. The districts are supported in analyzing the training needs of teachers, calculating the unit cost required, as well as sources of funding that can be used. "The results of this analysis are developed into a continuous professional development program (PKB) for teachers in each district," said Mark Heyward, USAID PRIORITAS Education Governance and Management Advisor.
The Deputy Head of Batang District, Soetadi SH MM, explained the contents of the decree, in particular article 20 paragraph 3 which states the requirement to set aside 5% of the teachers' professional allowances to increase their competencies. He likened this to teachers getting together and acting collectively as they normally do.
"When we want to get together, we bring our own snacks and drinks. The difference is, what we talk about in these get-togethers is increasing our competencies. The funds are set aside and managed by the schools or through teachers working groups or subject teachers groups. You manage and organize the funds yourselves. We just set the regulations," said the District Deputy Head.
The school principal of SDN Rowosari 1 Limpung, Roesmanto MPd, said that this decree had already been implementated. KKGs (teachers working groups) in seven sub-districts have been able to collect the funds and use them for training and mentoring.
"For example the KKG in Limpung has started setting aside 5% of teachers' professional allowances and running training on developing scientific writing every Saturday. The program consists of 16 meetings with a final assignment of writing a scientific essay," said Roesmanto. The KKG mentoring activities involve USAID PRIORITAS district facilitators. (Arz)