Schools in Jakarta start 'teaching' students about Omnibus Law

CNN Indonesia – October 28, 2020
Police stand guard over students arrested for protesting against Omnibus Law – Undated (Antara)

Jakarta – The head of the Jakarta provincial Education Office for junior and senior high schools, Muhamad Husin, says that as of today, Tuesday October 27, they have begun implementing lessons about the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.

"It's already come into effect", Husin told CNN Indonesia in an SMS message.

Husin explained that the teaching materials on the Omnibus Law will be integrated into existing lessons at schools and will apply for all levels of junior high-school (SMP), senior high-school (SMA) and vocational schools (SMK).

Teachers or teacher lesson discussions (MGMP) are tasked with preparing classroom teaching plans (RPP) which will invite students to discuss the Omnibus Law.

The Jakarta Education Office, he said, will provide a number of classroom teaching plans that can be replicated in lessons, although individual teachers can put together lesson plans in accordance with the context of the courses being taught.

"[They can be] put together by teachers or MGMPs for other courses, in line with the materials", said Husin.

Quoting from classroom teaching plans available from the Jakarta Education Office, lessons on the Omnibus Law can be conducted over 4-5 class meetings.

For junior high-school levels, students can for example be asked to explain the impact of the Omnibus Law on social interactions in society, both in associative and dissociative terms.

This will be done with assistance from resources on YouTube, the draft text of the Omnibus Law, related resource people or from students' families. The student can explain the impact in writing, videos, posters, caricatures and other means.

Along with this, teachers can provide a variety of information on the law which has been the subject of lively discussion in the print and social media. Teachers can also facilitate discussion between students and family members.

For senior high-school and vocational school students meanwhile, students can be empowered to analysis the role of state institutions in drafting laws or describe the relationship between the Omnibus Law and job opportunities.

Earlier, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said he hopes that the discussions on the Omnibus Law in schools can stimulate students' concerns about national issues.

"So the situation being discussed can stimulate our children to care about the issues that our nation is facing", he said during a press conference at the Metro Jaya regional police headquarters on Monday October 26.

Baswedan said that the example lesson teaching plans provided by the Education Office can be used as a guide for teachers to present lessons on the bill.

As has been reported, there has been unending discussion about the Omnibus Law by the broader public, particularly among labour and student groups. Arguments for and against have been thrown back and forth between civil society groups and the government, debating the pros and cons of the law.

The debate also ended in massive demonstrations in several parts of the country, particularly in Jakarta. At several of the demonstrations, underage students were found to be involved. (fey)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Siswa SMP-SMA DKI Mulai Belajar UU Cipta Kerja".]