Jakarta-wapresri.go.id. Vice President Jusuf Kalla said, a large portion of budget for education in the state budget (APBN) should be followed with improvement in the quality of education as it is what would determine the national progress.

“In general, the income of teachers is now much higher than that of other professions. This should be followed with efforts by teachers to continuously improve their knowledge,” said the Vice President when giving his speech before leaders of universities that are members of the Association of Indonesian Teaching Universities (ALPTPNI) at the Vice Presidential Palace in Jakarta, on Wednesday (Sept. 7).

To be able to keep up with the ever-growing world, the Vice President added, teaching universities should also continue to upgrade their knowledge.

“A university does not have to always develop something new from scratch. More importantly, a university should always keep up with the current knowledge”, he said. Teaching universities that educate teachers or prospective teachers should always make such an effort continuously,” he said.

This, he further said, is an attempt to restore the dignity of teaching institutions.

“We have so far made evolution on teaching education for 10 times. But it seems such an organizational change has not resulted in improved quality,” he said.

The Vice President also argued that education should always look at the future.

“This is what distinguishes between education and a museum. Education is always looking forward, while a museum is there to look back (at the history),” he said.

The Vice President then compared education in Indonesia and that in neighboring countries.

In 2003, he said, education in Indonesia was lagged 3 years from Singapore, and two years left behind Malaysia.

“This is what lies behind the idea to improve national education standards. Changes in the period that is not too short, say 10 years or so, is reasonable as we need to make innovation,” he said.

Earlier, Jakarta University Rector Prof. Djaali, who led the delegation, complained about constraints faced by teachers in Indonesia, ranging from inadequate teaching education, teacher career system that is not based on competency and development needs, to the issue of teachers’ competence and welfare.

“In fact, education is the frontline of the national character revolution that becomes one of the national development agenda,” he said.

At the end of the meeting, Prof. Djaali invited the Vice President to officially open the National Convention of Indonesian Education which will be held on October 15 to 12, 2016.