Twitter in Indonesia abuzz about speech by Education Minister, who was ex-Gojek's head

The speech by Indonesia's Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim is slated to be read out on National Teacher's Day on Nov 25, 2019.
The speech by Indonesia's Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim is slated to be read out on National Teacher's Day on Nov 25, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST) - A speech by Education and Culture Minister Nadiem Makarim, which is slated to be read out on National Teacher's Day on Monday (Nov 25), has created social media buzz over the weekend.

Many praised the non-traditional language that will be used to address complex problems facing Indonesia's education system.

The text of the speech was published on his ministry's website and Instagram account.

In the text, Mr Nadiem starts by apologising for not being able to share inspirational words or rhetoric. He asks teachers to begin "small changes" in their classrooms.

The former CEO of Gojek, one of the country's largest tech companies, asked teachers to engage their students in discussion rather than telling them to listen and to give students a chance to try teaching in class.

He also asked teachers to initiate a social programme that students could participate in, to help students who lacked confidence to find their talents, as well as to offer help to other teachers who were in need.

"I won't make promises I cannot keep. Change is a difficult thing and full of discomfort. However, one thing that I can be sure of is that I will fight for the freedom of education in Indonesia," Mr Nadiem, 35, said.

His speech, which was uploaded on the ministry's website and its Instagram handle @kemdikbud.ri, has been reposted by thousands of Twitter users. This resulted in Mr Nadiem's name becoming a Twitter top trending topic under "Pak Nadiem".

Many Twitter users claimed to have restored their faith in Indonesian education after reading Mr Nadiem's speech.

 
 
 

"Although I'm not a teacher, but reading the ministry's speech allowed me to get a glimpse of light at the end of a dark tunnel," Indonesian writer Clara Ng said on her Twitter handle @clara_ng.

"Pak Nadiem I love you 6000," said @Annidannz, in a direct reference to a popular quote from the Avengers: Endgame movie.

President Joko Widodo appointed the entrepreneur as education minister for his second term in office, breaking the tradition of placing academics to lead the ministry.

Mr Joko said he expected Mr Nadiem to make breakthroughs that could improve the struggling education system to improve human resources.