Implementation of the Independent Curriculum in Indonesia

What is the background to the implementation of the independent curriculum in Indonesia ? The results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that 70% of students aged 15 years are below the minimum competence in understanding simple reading or applying basic mathematical concepts. This PISA score has not experienced a significant increase in the last ten to fifteen years. The study shows that there are large disparities between regions and between socio-economic groups in terms of the quality of learning. This is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To overcome this, the Ministry of Education and Culture simplified the curriculum under special conditions (emergency curriculum) to mitigate learning loss during the
pandemic. As a result, 31.5% of schools that used the emergency curriculum showed that using the emergency curriculum could reduce the impact of the pandemic by 73% (literacy) and 86% (numeracy).

The effectiveness of the curriculum in special conditions reinforces the importance of changes in curriculum design and implementation strategies in a more comprehensive manner. 

The implementation of the Independent Curriculum for learning recovery is carried out based on the following policies: 

1. Permendikbudristek No. 5 Year 2022
Graduate Competency Standards in Early Childhood Education, Elementary 
Education, and Secondary Education. Graduate competency standards are the minimum criteria regarding the unity of attitudes, skills and knowledge that show the achievement of students' abilities from their learning outcomes at the end of the education level. SKL is a reference for the 2013 Curriculum, the Emergency Curriculum and the Independent Curriculum.

2. Permendikbudristek No. 7 Year 2022

Content Standards for Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education. Content standards are developed through the formulation of the scope of material that is in accordance with the competence of graduates. The scope of the material is study material in learning content which is formulated based on: 1) mandatory content in accordance with statutory provisions; 2) scientific concept; and 3) track, level, and type of education. The content standards are the reference for the 2013 Curriculum, the Emergency Curriculum and the Merdeka Curriculum.

3. Permendikbudristek No. 56 Year 2022 :

Guidelines for Implementing Curriculum in the Framework of Learning Recovery. Contains three curriculum options that can be used in educational units in the context of learning recovery along with the structure of the Independent Curriculum, rules related to learning and assessment, and teacher workload.

4. Decision of the Head of BSKAP No.008/H/KR/2022 Year 2022:

Learning Outcomes in Early Childhood Education, Basic Education, and Secondary Education, in the Independent Curriculum. Contains Learning Outcomes for all levels and subjects in the Merdeka Curriculum structure.

5. Decision of the Head of BSKAP No.009/H/KR/2022 Year 2022:

Dimensions, Elements, and Sub Elements of the Pancasila Student Profile in the Merdeka Curriculum. Contains explanations and stages of developing Pancasila student profiles that can be used especially for projects to strengthen Pancasila students.

What is the Independent Curriculum in IndonesiaAs part of the learning recovery effort, the Independent Curriculum - Merdeka Curriculum (which was previously referred to as the prototype curriculum) was developed as a more flexible curriculum framework, while also focusing on essential material and developing the character and competence of students. The main characteristics of this curriculum that support recovery of learning are: 

·         Project-based learning for the development of soft skills and character according to the Pancasila student profile.

·         Focus on essential material so that there is sufficient time for in-depth learning of basic competencies such as literacy and numeracy.

·         Flexibility for teachers to carry out differentiated learning according to the abilities of students and make adjustments to the context and local content.

Principles of Learning in the Independent Curriculum

The Independent Curriculum - Merdeka curriculum includes three types of learning activities as follows:

·          Intracurricular learning is carried out in a differentiated manner so that students have enough time to explore concepts and strengthen competence. This also provides flexibility for teachers to choose teaching tools that suit the needs and characteristics of their students.

·          Co-curricular learning is in the form of a project to strengthen the Pancasila Student Profile, with  the principle of interdisciplinary learning that is oriented towards character development and general competence.

·        Extracurricular learning is carried out in accordance with the interests of students and the resources of the teaching unit.

The allocation of study hours in the curriculum structure is written in total in one year and is supplemented by suggestions for the allocation of study hours if delivered on a regular/weekly basis.

Implementation of learning in the Independent Curriculum - Merdeka Curriculum in indonesia is a cycle that goes through the following three  stages :

1. Diagnostic assessment

The teacher conducts an initial assessment to identify the potential, characteristics, needs, stages of development, and stages of student learning achievement. Assessments are generally carried out at the beginning of the learning year , so the results can be used to make further planning regarding the learning method that should be used.

2. Planning

The teacher arranges the learning process according to the results of the diagnostic assessment , and groups students based on ability levels. 

3. Learning

During the learning process, the teacher will conduct formative assessments periodically , to determine student learning progress and make adjustments to learning methods, if necessary. At the end of the learning process, the teacher can also carry out a summative assessment as a process of evaluating the achievement of learning objectives. 

Education units can implement the Independent Curriculum in stages according to their respective readiness. 

·         Since the 2021/2022 Academic Year the Independent Curriculum has been  mplemented in nearly 2,500 schools participating in the School Mobilization Program (PSP)  and 901  SMK Centers of Excellence (SMK PK)  as part of learning with a new paradigm. This curriculum is implemented starting from TK-B, SD & SDLB grades I and IV, SMP & SMPLB grade VII, SMA & SMALB and SMK grade X.

·         Starting from the 2022/2023 Academic Year, education units can choose to implement a curriculum based on their individual readiness  starting from TK-B grades I,  IV, VII, and X. The government is preparing a questionnaire to help educational units assess their readiness to use the Independent Curriculum.

·         Three choices that can be made by educational units regarding the Implementation of the Independent Curriculum in the 2022/2023 Academic Year: a) Implementing several parts and principles of the Independent Curriculum without changing the curriculum of the educational
unit that is being implemented; b) Implementing the Independent Curriculum
using the teaching tools that have been provided; c) Implementing the
Independent Curriculum by developing various teaching tools themselves.

What is the Pancasila Student Profile in the independent curriculum? Pancasila Student Profile is a form of translation of national education goals. The Pancasila Student Profile acts as the main reference that directs educational policies, including being a reference for educators in building the character and competence of students. Pancasila students are the embodiment of Indonesian students as lifelong students who are competent, have character, and behave in accordance with Pancasila values. In more detail, the character of the Pancasila Student is described in the Pancasila Student Profile which consists of the following 6 dimensions :

1. Believing, fearing God Almighty, and having noble character

Elements: religious morals, personal morals, morals towards people, morals towards nature, national morals.

2. Global diversity

Elements: knowing and appreciating culture, intercultural communication and interaction, reflection on and responsibility for the experience of diversity, social justice.

3. Work together

Elements: collaboration, caring, sharing. 

4. Independent

Elements: self-understanding and the situation at hand, self-regulation.

5. Critical reasoning

Elements: obtaining and processing information and ideas, analyzing and evaluating reasoning, reflecting and evaluating one's own thoughts.

6. Creative

Elements: generating original ideas, producing original works and actions, having the flexibility of thinking in finding alternative solutions to problems.

The six dimensions of the Pancasila student profile need to be seen as a whole as a whole so that each individual can become a lifelong learner who is competent, has character, and behaves according to Pancasila values. Educators need to develop these six dimensions thoroughly from early childhood education. The Pancasila Student Profile was formed as an effort to develop superior human resources that is holistic in nature , and does not focus on cognitive abilities only. Therefore, the Pancasila Student Profile is also an outcome of the cross-disciplinary learning process.


  1. Thank you, the article is very useful, especially for students studying in educational majors or study programs.

  2. Thank you for sharing a very useful educational article


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