"By 2009, teachers' minimum take home pay is Rp 2 M (around US$ 200)" says our Minister of Education Bambang Sudibyo. This statement received enthusiasticly positive response from more than 5,000 teachers attending his Halal Bihalal in Probolinggo. Before the year comes, this statement opens our eyes on how much or more appropriately, how little, our teachers especially the part timers have been paid all this time.
For us to know, part time teachers have always suffered MORE. This suffering of course is in term of how much they make every month. It does not matter where they teach, be it private or public schools, they have been disadvantaged with this part-time teacher status. However, voicing concerns to the schools they work for is unlikely as it means sacking. I have talked to them and salary conversation has always found its way to be their favorite topic. This is unavoidable; when you are being paid Rp 800,000 per month (less than what you need to survive the expensive Jakarta), then you are disposed to this salary talk.
And this is what I have found and for political correctness I am not to mention names:
1. One of Indonesia's biggest Islamic schools pays only Rp. 700,000 for its teacher every month.
2. One Catholic school pays Rp. 1,000,000 for the teachers who teach fro from morning to afternoon. Teaching has always been a ministry and someone asking more salary in this kind of school is considered out-of-mission.
For your information, each school above their students pay at least Rp 400,000 per month and each class there at least comprises of forty students.
What makes this condition prevail is that there is no mechanism that regulates these part timers; the government has not been clear-cut on this issue.
So before that day comes, I think it is better for parents to ask the school if it does not only brag about how best it can give to their children. Ask also how much it has done to its teachers; that it is doing its best to the most important element in your kid's education, the teacher.
After all, no one can't expect very much from someone whose basic rights are denied to do his or her best for their children.