Did you know that Indonesia launched a new curriculum last year that removed information technology, among other subjects, in favor of Bahasa Indonesia, nationalism and religious studies? Of course the move was controversial, as the information technology and communications (TIK) subject was recently created by the government, and technology skills are seen by many in and outside of Indonesia as key to the future of the country.
But in light of the many failures in incorporating ICT into education, the Indonesian government may have acted with foresight in canceling TIK as an independent subject and instead expecting it to be infused across the curriculum.
Students arguably will learn the tools of technology on their own, while completing their schoolwork for other subjects, or even just via mobile phones as Indonesian lead much of the world in social media use.
And the technology skills that were being taught in some schools, may not be all that useful in the age of mobile devices. The curriculum was designed in 2006, when students needed to lean how to turn on computers, and the use of Microsoft Office, or how to assemble and repair desktop hardware, was considered essential.
However, reducing the emphasis on technology, regardless of the focus of the instruction, is worrisome. Indonesia does need to make sure all its students are familiar with the tools of technology, not just the ones rich enough to own mobile phones or use computers outside of school.