The Ministry of Religion, through the Directorate General of Catholic Community Guidance (Dirjen Bimas Katolik), held an academic selection of candidates for the Teacher Profession Program (PPG).
The requirement is for the position of Catholic Religious Education Teachers as part of PPG. First of its kind, the academic selection was held simultaneously throughout Indonesia for two days on November 26 and 27.
PPG is an educational program organized to improve teacher competence following national education standards. The aim is to boost the competency of the teaching professionals with an educator certificate.
Yohanes Bayu Samodro, the Director-General of Dirjen Bimas Katolik, strongly supports this PPG activity.
"I want to make sure the PPG implementation process goes well and can get the expected results. The results of this monitoring can be used as an evaluation material for the implementation of academic selection in the following years," said Samodro.
The Director-General has assigned some staff to monitor different locations throughout Indonesia to ensure the event runs smoothly.
"PPG in this position can be a gateway to increase the professionalism and welfare of Catholic Religious Education teachers," he continued.
To date, Indonesia, in several provinces in Indonesia, is still experiencing a shortage of Catholic religious teachers, especially in Jakarta.
Salman Habeahan, the Catholic Community Advisor for the Jakarta Provincial Office, expressed his concern over the lack of Catholic religion teachers who teach religion in public schools.
The program guides Catholic religion teachers who teach Catholic students at public schools in the Church/parish of Jakarta Province.
"Catholic religious teachers (government teachers) who teach in public schools are only 76 and the number of public schools is 2,545 schools (from elementary to senior high school as of 2020 Data)," said Habeahan.
Currently, in Jakarta, only 3% of public schools have Catholic religion teachers out of the total number of public schools. There are about 85 public schools with more than 15 Catholic students without the service of religious teachers in these schools.
According to Dirjen Bimas Katolik Statistics, there are currently around 11,000 active Catholic teachers in Indonesia, with more than 147,000 schools.
According to a report from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the number of students in Indonesia are more than 45 million in the 2020/2021 academic year.
The Directorate General of Catholic Community Guidance is the implementing division under the Minister of Religion of Indonesia.
Barnabas Ola Baba, the chairperson of the Catholic Education Directorate, said that the academic selection is the second stage of the selection process for PPG student candidates in the Catholic Religious Education Teacher Position. The first stage has been administrative selection.
"The teachers who passed the administrative selection were 2,676 people. They have the right to take part in the academic selection," said Ola Baba, as reported by infopublik.id.
Agustinus Tungga Gempa, Director of Catholic Education, said that the PPG was first time program organized by Dirjen Bimas Katolik.
"Therefore, it is necessary to make as much effort as possible, establish synergy, work together, and communicate with all parties for the smooth implementation of the academic selection of PPG candidates," explained Gempa.