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Education ministry's scout regulation change ignites public controversy

Jakarta Globe - April 2, 2024

Thomas Rizal, Jakarta – A regulation issued by Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Minister Nadiem Makarim recently has ignited controversy, as it removes the requirement for Scout (Pramuka) participation as compulsory extracurricular activities for students.

Anindito Aditomo, Head of the Education Standards, Curriculum, and Assessment Agency within the ministry, has stepped forward to address the public regarding this matter.

"Every school up to the secondary education level is required to offer Scouting as part of the Merdeka Curriculum," said Anindito Aditomo in Jakarta on Monday. "However, participation in Scouting activities will now be voluntary."

Regulation Number 12 of 2024 by the Education Minister, which outlines the curriculum for Early Childhood Education, Basic Education Level, and Secondary Education Level, mandates schools to organize at least one extracurricular activity, with Scouting being one of the options.

This regulation is in line with Law Number 12 of 2010 concerning the Scout Movement, which mandates educational institutions to have Scout groups.

Anindito clarified that the intention was never to abolish Scouting. Rather, to strengthen the legal framework, emphasizing the significance of extracurricular activities in educational institutions.

In practice, the regulation only revises the Scouting education aspect, removing the mandatory camping requirement. However, schools are still permitted to organize camping activities if they choose to do so.

Furthermore, student participation in extracurricular activities, including Scouting, is now voluntary, aligning with Law 12/2010, which emphasizes the voluntary and non-political nature of the Scout movement.

"In accordance with this, Regulation Number 12 of 2024 stipulates that student participation in extracurricular activities, including Scouting, is voluntary," he added.

Scouting education in the National Education System focuses on instilling the values of the Scout movement, aiming to cultivate noble, patriotic, law-abiding, disciplined individuals with essential life skills.

Therefore, Anindito stressed that every student has the right to participate in Scouting education, considering all these aspects.

The National Scout Council (Kwarnas) has requested Minister Nadiem Makarim to review the policy, emphasizing the strategic importance of the Scout Movement in shaping the nation's character and contributing to the goals of national education.

Bachtiar Utomo, Secretary General of the National Scout Council (Kwarnas), highlighted the alignment between the Scout Movement and the efforts of the education ministry and various other ministries and state institutions. This collaboration is evident through the establishment of Scout Work Units in several ministries and state institutions, facilitating the implementation of Scout activities tailored to specific fields.

"For instance, in the Ministry of Education and Culture, Saka Widya Budaya Bakti focuses on practical education in fields such as art, tradition, and cultural values. Similarly, Saka Bakti Husada in the Ministry of Health provides Scouts with knowledge in health-related areas such as disease prevention, nutrition, and clean living habits," he said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/education-ministrys-scout-regulation-change-ignites-public-controvers