Paradigm And National Goals Of Education Of The Republic Of Indonesia In The 21st Century

In the article What are the 21st Century Skills? Skills that we need in this era!, it is stated that to optimize opportunities and face obstacles in the 21st Century, relevant skills are needed.

In the education sector, quality education is expected to be a way for people to master 21st Century Skills so that they can develop along with the development of the world.

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz or Malcolm X, an American Muslim leader who is also a human rights activist, stated,

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

In line with what Malcolm X stated, John Dewey stated,

If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.

These two quotes indicate that education is key in preparing students to pave the way for them now and in the future. Education must develop and adapt to the development of the world.

To answer the challenge of mastering 21st Century Skills, the Republic of Indonesia has developed an educational design relevant to the 21st Century. Included in the BSNP Report (Badan Standar Nasional Pendidikan, 2010) on 21st Century National Education includes a discussion of the paradigm and national goals of education.

Paradigm and National Goals of Education in the 21st Century

National Education Paradigm

The national education paradigm is a way of viewing and understanding national education. This point of view allows us to observe and understand the problems faced in national education and find ways to overcome these problems.

The National Education Paradigm helps us understand educational problems, analyze them, and formulate possible solutions to solving these problems. There are 8 (eight) paradigms of the national education of the Republic of Indonesia in the 21st Century, which are as follows.

  1. Education is oriented toward mathematics, social sciences, and humanities (humanities).
  2. Education provides knowledge to students, develops critical, logical, inventive, and innovative thinking skills, and is consistent and able to adapt well. In addition, education must also instil good character values ​​in students.
  3. Each level of education must be connected and work together in preparation for the next level and to contribute to the life of society as a whole.
  4. The importance of instilling independence at every level of education.
  5. Universities should avoid specialization too early so that students can face the convergence of various fields of science and technology.
  6. Education needs to pay attention to the diversity that exists in Indonesia. However, it still leads to a pattern of quality national education.
  7. Education is carried out by following government policies (central and regional).
  8. Continuous monitoring and evaluation in educational institutions are carried out consistently. Dismissal of educational institutions will be carried out on institutions whose performance does not meet the standards.

National Education Goals

The National Education of the Republic of Indonesia aims to educate the nation. This indicates that the Indonesian people should have comprehensive intelligence about the past and present and prepare for the future.

Therefore, educational goals needed are derived from national education goals, which are also relevant to the 21st Century. Included in the 21st Century National Paradigm Document (National Education Standards Agency, 2010), are as follows.

To realize the ideals of the nation, namely the Indonesian people who are prosperous and happy, with an honourable and equal position with other nations in the global world, through the formation of a society consisting of quality human resources, namely individuals who are independent, willing and able to realize the aspirations of the nation. The word well-being includes spiritual welfare, which may be more accurately described as happiness in life and physical well-being, which can also be said to be an affluent life.

Based on the quote, the welfare and happiness of the people are the educational goals of the Republic of Indonesia in the 21st Century. The welfare and happiness in question include physical and spiritual well-being. In addition, national education is expected to improve the position of the Indonesian nation at the international level.

Indonesia can achieve these lofty goals or ideals if we have competent human resources and can positively contribute to themselves, the nation, the country, and the world. However, if human resources are lacking or incompetent, this goal will be difficult, even impossible, to achieve.

Therefore, it is important to develop community competencies as human resources to have skills relevant to the demands of life in the 21st century. 

Several educational programs have been launched as a derivative of the 21st Century national education goals, including the “Belajar Dari Rumah” and the “Kebijakan Merdeka Belajar”.

The “Belajar Dari Rumah” program is relevant to the 21st Century, which is synonymous with technological developments, especially digital technology. This program is a website developed by the Center for Information and Communication Technology for Education and Culture (PUSTEKKOM).

Educators, students, parents, and the general public can access this program for free. This website provides various textbooks, practice questions, professional development, and other important education information (Widayat, 2018). 

Another program is the “Kebijakan Merdeka Belajar”, which was first announced by the Minister of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, Nadiem Makarim, in 2019 (Bureau of Cooperation and Public Relations of the Ministry of Education and Culture, 2020; Ministry of Education and Culture, 2020).

The “Kebijakan Merdeka Belajar” seeks to provide freedom for educators, students, and educational institutions to realize and use their independence in learning.


Revised on 18 July 2022

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