The Importance of Honesty in Class
Dikirim pada hari Senin - 15 Desember 2008
A Surabaya state senior high school teacher has told an education conference that cheating is rife throughout Indonesian schools and that honesty needs to be enforced among students.
Sumarno told the 2008 Teachers Congress that he was “amazed” by the speed with which his students could complete their tests. He said that his students could finish at least 30 problems less than 15 minutes after the examinations were distributed.
“I always wondered how they could possibly do it in such a short time,” he told the congress, organized by the Samporena Foundation Teachers Institute and the Ministry of National Education in Jakarta.
“Then I realized that the whole class had cheated.
“The thing that surprised me was that this happened in most state schools,” said Sumarno, who has supervised national exams in Surabaya for several years.
This week, Sumarno joined one of the seminars in the congress that discussed holistic learning to instill honesty in students. The seminar was led by Mohammad Zahri, the head of the Education and Human Resources Department at the Al Hikmah Islamic Education Foundation in Surabaya, who outlined how his schools had been successful in teaching honesty to its students.
Zahri said he often overheard students claiming they had cheated during exams. Vee Swarens, a student at State Senior High School 3, or SMA 3, in Jakarta, admitted that she and her classmates often cheated in exams.
“When I do not understand and cannot work out the problem, I cheat,” she said. “As long as the teachers don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t mind.”
Zahri said cheating is unethical behavior.
“It is a dishonest act and we will not allow our students, the future leaders, to act dishonestly.”
His schools have been developing a standard curriculum and educational activities to detect student dishonesty since 1945. The curriculum and activities were supported by both the schools and parents of the students.
At Zahri’s schools, teachers set activities to test student honesty. The activities included Business Day and Warung Luhur , or the Honesty Canteen. For both activities, the teachers leave all of the financial management to the students. The students become cashiers and buyers, to test whether students pay for what they have taken and manage the money honestly.
At school, students are told stories about the Prophet Muhammad detailing the honest conduct he practiced in life.
The schools had also built up communications with the parents, as part of the holistic learning system. Students, with their parent’s permission, fill in a buku penghubung , or connection book.
The text contained questions relating to what time students woke up, which subjects they studied the previous night and whether they prayed on time. Parents are encouraged to write in the book if their children do not complete the tasks.
The students are required to bring the book to school and show their teachers.
“From the book, we can see whether the parents and students are being honest,” he said.
By the end of the year, the book and all honesty test activities will be scored. Students who maintained a high level of honesty in all activities receive a high score.
“We choose our student of the year based on both academic and honesty criteria,” Zahri said, adding that the 2007 winner ranked ninth in academic performance but received the highest score in honesty activities.
Gantina Komalasari, head of the counseling department at the state Jakarta University said that cheating hurt student confidence. Those who cheated often suffered from personal insecurities, she said.
“Teachers should not let this happen. It is not good for the student’s confidence or their future study,” she said adding that not being able to understand in class would lead students to fall behind in future classes.
Last month, the Corruption Eradication Commission, or KPK, and the Ministry of National Education launched study modules on corruption prevention education for primary and secondary schools across the archipelago.
They contained stories about honesty, worksheets, reading materials, guide books and forms for assessing honest students and guide books on establishing an “honesty” food stall. (sul)
Source: Jakarta Globe Daily