Violence Against Children
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children has been a global effort to paint a detailed picture of the nature, extent and causes of violence against children, and to propose clear recommendations for action to prevent and respond to it. This is the first time that an attempt has been made to document the reality of violence against children around the world, and to map out what is being done to stop it. Since 2003, many thousands of people have contributed to the study in consultations and working groups, through questionnaires and in other ways. Children and young people have been active at every level. On 11 October 2006, the UN General Assembly will consider the study’s findings and recommendations.
Here is an excerpt from the paper – a section of the introduction that provides us an overview of the situation:
Although the country already has several legal instruments concerning the development and respect for human rights and human dignity in the educational process, Indonesia does not have policies governing the prevention and handling of cases of violence in schools. Furthermore, cases of violence generally handled by the policy involve a prolonged time period and it is still uncertain whether this process considers the best interests of the child.
The absence of policies on the prevention and handling of violence in schools, leads to more exacerbated absence of codes of conduct or guidelines for teacher behavior that must be considered and adhered to in teaching and learning. The absence of these guidelines leads to the absence of rules of the game for teachers in implementing the learning process. Teachers are free to use all or any methods which he /she considers correct.
It is interesting to view the results of a survey conducted by UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund) some time ago. In Central Java as much as 80 percent of teachers claimed to have punished the children by shouting to them in front of the class, 55 percent of teachers claimed to have told the students to stand in front of the class as punishment. In South Sulawesi, 90 percent of teachers claimed to have punished students by having them stand in front of the class, 73 percent shouted at students in the class and 54 percent ordered the students to clean toilets. In Sumatra, 90% of teachers claimed to have ordered students to stand in front of the class as a punishment and 80% scolded the students in front of the class. The UNICEF report shows the practice of all forms of humiliating and degrading punishment, which affects self-esteem, and the ability of children in school.
With this ongoing condition, laws are needed to guarantee protection against violence in schools. Prevention, protection, and rehabilitation of schools against victimizing children should start from the government as the responsible implementor of the educational process, followed by teachers as educators. Unfortunately, the teacher certification process conducted by the government does not include these aspects. The certification process carried out is only as a competency test in order to obtain a certificate of education, i.e., portfolio assessment is recognition of teachers’ professional experience in the form of an assessment of collected documents, among others, description of the academic qualifications, education and training, teaching experience, academic achievement, and participation in scientific forums and so forth.
In accordance with the Regulation of the Minister of National Education Decree no. 16 of 2007 on the Academic Qualifications and Competency Standards of Teachers, teachers must have competence in accordance with the standards of competence, namely pedagogical competence, personality, social and professional. Pedagogic competence means that it is imperative for teachers to master the characteristics of learners from the aspects of physical, moral, social, cultural, emotional and intellectual. Competence in teacher personality refers to the ability to act in the learning process in accordance with religious norms, legal, social and national culture of Indonesia. In addition, teachers also have to present themselves as being honest, noble and as a role model for students and the community.
Social competence refers to the teacher’s competence in being inclusive, to act objectively, and not discriminate due to gender, religion, race, physical condition, family background or socioeconomic status. Finally, professional competence refers to a teacher’s mastery of the educational material, the structure, the concepts, and the scientific mindset that supports the learner. However, in reality, this fourth competency standard is not performed well and there is no system of supervision and monitoring for it. Likewise, certification that aims to test the teaching potential of teachers and lecturers, this fourth competency standard must be proven by various examination means, in addition to the academic qualification diplomas.
In other words, the assessment should not be made based solely on the portfolio, as is currently the process, but should be based on examinations of both the professional competency and pedagogical competency including social and personality, which in turn leads to the implementation of a teaching-learning process based on a human rights and child rights approach.