Driving Teacher, Leader of Change in Indonesian Education

Optimism about the future of Indonesian children is at least visible in the story about the ins and outs of their process of participating in the Teacher Mobilization Program. Their involvement in Indonesia’s educational transformation process and efforts to become drivers of change for the surrounding environment shows that the goals of the Teacher Mobilization Program are ingrained in them.

Of course, as one of the witnesses of the Teacher Mobilization Program (Merdeka Belajar Episode 5) since I was still an “embryo”, there was a special joy for me when I met them. Even though they always share various stories about obstacles in running the program, their enthusiasm never stops to bring about change. From the stories of these driving teachers, at least I know that this program is running well.

Also read: Facing the Future of Teachers

Leader of change

The concept of a teacher as a driving force has long been present in the education ecosystem of Indonesia. Before this program became part of the Merdeka Belajar policy, we may have already heard inspirational stories of teachers from one end of the country to the other.

They dedicate their time and lives to strive for the best education for the change of their surrounding environment. Despite all the limitations, they are able to make students “jump out”. They dare to innovate and make changes in the classroom, school, become the “captains” of community movements, as well as become companions for their colleagues.

The essence of the strength and struggle of great teachers is then summarized in the Teacher Mobilization Program. This program is designed as a leadership education module for prospective school principals and prospective school supervisors through mentoring for six months (previously nine months). Selection to take part in this program is based on the leadership competency of driving change. There are a series of procedures to be accepted as a driving teacher candidate, starting from curriculum vitae selection, essay writing, teaching simulations, and interviews.

This program is designed as a leadership education module for prospective school heads and school supervisors through mentoring for a period of six months (previously nine months).

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (Kemendikbudristek) realizes that educational transformation cannot be carried out only by the government, it will not be complete through curriculum policy alone, but must be built by mobilizing pockets. -small pockets in schools (learning communities).

These driving teachers are then given the mandate to become leaders of change in their schools and communities. Through the training they receive, they are entrusted with creating an ecosystem that encourages holistic student growth and development, as well as becoming role models for realizing the Pancasila Student Profile.


Data on preparation of driving teachers until 2024 by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Be on the side of students

One of the main narratives and concepts at the heart of the Merdeka Belajar policy is “prioritizing students”. This concept is expected to be the main foundation in transforming student learning and becoming one of the solutions to the biggest problem in education in Indonesia, which is the learning crisis.

This commitment to siding with students was then instilled in the Mobilizing Teacher Program, especially through the teachings of the Father of Indonesian Education Ki Hadjar Dewantara. Program participants are encouraged to become transformative leaders to change the feudal culture in the Indonesian education process so that change can be carried out more quickly.

Therefore, in one of the training materials, prospective teacher motivators are trained to develop student-centered learning practices. This practice is carried out for approximately two months, or about one-third of the entire time of the Teacher Motivator Program. In the training, prospective teacher motivators are invited to share, learn from each other, and implement differentiated learning to accommodate the different learning needs of students.

Also read: Reducing Education Gaps

The leader of change in schools and communities must be an example in creating learning that is suitable for the characteristics or uniqueness of students (readiness, interest, and learning style), so that students can develop according to their talents and interests.

In addition, through this practice, prospective school principals and prospective school supervisors are expected to be able to manage emotions and develop social skills. They are also trained to carry out communication practices as a basic skill as a coach and are able to apply coaching practices as leaders of change.

Prospective teacher facilitators are also trained to be able to design strategies for managing human resources, finances, time, and school facilities. They are invited to plan, organize, and direct school improvement and change programs, and are able to monitor them to ensure that they are carried out in accordance with the planned goals and objectives.

Equally important, candidate teacher facilitators are being prepared to develop regular activities that facilitate communication between students, parents, and teachers, as well as provide a role for parents to be involved in the learning process.

Commitment to change

Moving towards change is a commitment that is consistently upheld in every policy of the Ministry of Education and Culture/Ministry of Research and Technology. The Teacher Activator program is one of the proofs of how the ministry is keeping its commitment.

As the program progresses, the Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Anwar Makarim has issued Permendikbudristek Number 40 of 2021 and Permendikbudristek Number 26 of 2022 as regulations that make Mobilizing Teacher Education a program to produce educational leaders, especially to become principals and school supervisors.

We must acknowledge that not all teachers can become leaders, especially leaders of educational change. That is why becoming a driving teacher is a unique challenge.

Also read: Moving with Mobilization Teachers

It should be emphasized that this program is not intended to make a teacher exclusive, but rather to make them aware of their presence as agents and leaders of change. They are the spark to enable other teachers to continue creating, innovating, and taking on transformative roles.

To date (Education of Activating Teachers Class 8) Indonesia already has 49,733 motivating teachers, 43,930 prospective motivating teachers, and more than 9,000 of them have been appointed as school principals and school supervisors. We can imagine, if every leader in our schools was a driver of change who was a problem-solver who was empowered, collaborative, a lifelong learner, egalitarian, and pro-student, the future of education would be immeasurably beautiful.

Iwan Syahril, Director General of Early Childhood Education, Basic Education and Secondary Education (PAUD Dikdasmen) Kemendikbudristek

Instagram: iwan.syahril


Iwan Syahril

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