Ministry of Education Indonesia Clarifies Graduation Ceremony is Not Mandatory for Schools

MRN, Jakarta – The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Indonesia (Kemendikbudristek) has finally affirmed that the organization of school graduation ceremonies is not mandatory as a farewell event for graduating students.

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This statement was conveyed through Circular Letter Number 14 of 2023 from the Secretary General of Kemendikbudristek.

The policy applies to graduation ceremonies in early childhood education (PAUD), elementary schools (SD), junior high schools (SMP), and senior high schools (SMA). One important point emphasized in the circular letter is regarding the graduation process.

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In the circular letter, Kemendikbudristek states that school graduation ceremonies should not be a burden for parents/guardians. This applies to all levels of education, including PAUD, SD, SMP, and SMA.

“We request all education office heads, both at the provincial and district/city levels, to disseminate this circular letter to all educational institutions in Indonesia. Kemendikbudristek emphasizes that school graduation ceremonies are not mandatory and should not burden parents,” said the Secretary General of Kemendikbudristek, Suharti, in Jakarta on Friday (June 23, 2023).

Kemendikbudristek also reminds all educational institutions, along with school committees, to discuss and consult with parents or students in determining activities.

This aligns with the mandate of Minister of Education and Culture Regulation Number 75 of 2016 concerning School Committees.

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Ministry of Education
Sumber: Siedoo

Through this circular letter, Kemendikbudristek also requests education office heads at both the provincial and district/city levels to provide guidance and supervision to all educational institutions in their respective areas. This is aimed at improving the quality of learning and services for students.

“We hope that the school committees, consisting of parents, school communities, and education advocates in the community, can provide input in determining and implementing educational policies related to school programs and activities,” stated Suharti.

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“What needs to be considered is the essence of the graduation ceremony. Is graduation a preparation for further education or just a cultural event? However, what is more important is to improve the quality of learning and the quality of educational services for students,” Suharti concluded.

The letter, dated June 23, 2023, is addressed to education office heads at the provincial and district/city levels, as well as heads of educational institutions throughout Indonesia.

Since the beginning of the previous week, protests have been echoing on social media, expressing concerns about the elimination of graduation ceremonies from preschool to high school levels due to the perceived burden on parents.

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The grievances of these parents have finally been addressed by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek).

“Regarding the phenomenon and cultural tradition of graduation ceremonies carried out by educational institutions from preschool to high school levels, Kemendikbudristek emphasizes that graduation ceremonies are optional activities,” explained the Acting Head of the Cooperation and Public Relations Bureau of Kemendikbudristek, Anang Ristanto.

Ministry of Education
Nadiem Makarim. Sumber: Kemdikbud

Anang further stated that Kemendikbudristek, through Ministerial Regulation Number 75 of 2016 concerning school committees, emphasizes that joint activities involving educational institutions and parents can be discussed and deliberated within the school committee.

“In addition, we would like to convey that Kemendikbudristek urges schools to communicate and cooperate with the school committee and the parent-teacher association to determine the best options for each school. The choices made should not burden the parents,” he concluded.



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Graduation itself is considered a celebratory moment that signifies the completion of education. However, not all parents agree with the tradition being implemented from kindergarten to high school, and they have protested this to the Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Mendikbudristek), Nadiem Makarim.

These concerns from parents were expressed through comments on one of Nadiem Makarim’s posts. The post originally contained a short video of Nadiem expressing appreciation for an artist, which was shared on Monday, June 12, 2023.

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“Please, Mr. Nadiem, eliminate graduation ceremonies from kindergarten to high school because they only burden parents financially. Graduation should only be for university graduates, not from kindergarten,” wrote the user @mikhaylaeka2023 in the comment section. They continued, “Also, don’t complicate the process of entering elementary school like it is now. Bring it back to the way it was before. Admission to public elementary, junior high, and high schools should be based on merit, not age or zoning. Don’t make it difficult for parents.”

Other parents also responded, agreeing to abolish the tradition of kindergarten to high school graduation. They expressed their hope that the heartfelt concerns of parents would be heard by Mendikbudristek, Nadiem Makarim.

(Editorial)

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