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New Era of Indonesian Education “Freedom of Learning”

“I will not give you empty promises. Change is a difficult thing, and full of inconvenience. One thing is for sure, I will fight for the freedom to learn in Indonesia.”- Nadiem Makarim, Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture, 2019.

Well, that was one of the Indonesian Minister of Education and Culture’s statements during the Indonesian Teachers’ Day last November 2019, which then became viral in Indonesia.

Freedom of learning gives schools and teachers the right and responsibility to create a learning environment without pressure and with limits, so the students can be more innovative and develop good creative thinking.

One of his reasons for proposing freedom of learning in Indonesia is that he found out that the teachers were busy handling so many administrative tasks that they forgot that those were not the major things they should do.

The teachers know that the students need to learn how to survive in this world; they also know that their students have different ways of learning, but they could not do more since they have to stick to the regulations. They have to keep adjusting with the ‘everlasting change’. But, that’s the fact. Indonesian teachers should follow various stakeholders.

The other statement was, “However, change cannot begin from the top. Everything begins and ends with teachers. Don’t wait for permission, don’t wait for an instruction. Take the first step.” Being a teacher myself, I agree 100% with this one. We have to start thinking that we have to humanize the human by giving the best education for them, both morally and academically. We have to create students who have good critical thinking, proper manners and good morals, as well.

According to Nadiem Makarim, freedom of learning is also eliminating the National Exam. I also agree with this point, because the students have learned for six years and at the end, they will have 3 days of exam just to decide whether they pass the elementary school or not. The National Exam may not really measure the learning and is not meaningful for the students.

Hopefully through freedom of learning in Indonesia, the next best generations will be critical thinkers and be more innovative.


Merdeka Belajar, Guru Penggerak-Pidato Mendikbud untuk Hari Guru Nasional 2019.

Merdeka Belajar.

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