Every junior and senior high school is obligated by the government to appoint a science laboratory head. This is in accordance with the Government Regulation Number 32 of 2013 based on the amendment of the Government Regulation Number 19 of 2005 about the National Education Standard that is specifically described in chapter 35 paragraph 1 (c). It is stated that every junior and senior high school or equivalent at least should have education personnel consisting of (1) principal, (2) administration staff, (3) librarian, (4) laboratory staff, and (5) janitor.
In the National Education Regulation Number 17 of 2016 it is asserted that teacher workload should meet the minimum 24 face-to-face teaching hours and maximum 40 hours per week for each subject. This workload must comply with the teaching certificate the teacher has with the exception of those with additional tasks such as principal, vice principal, laboratory head, library head, and other tasks. Thus, by becoming a laboratory head, a science teacher has fulfilled 12 teaching hours and only needs another 12 hours to meet the minimum 24 teaching hours. This means that the 12 hours left can be allocated for other science teachers for equitable distribution of working hours.
Almost all junior high schools in Jayapura have laboratories managed by a laboratory head appointed by the principal to conduct all laboratory’s activities. However, the issue is that the insufficient number of qualified teachers who can be laboratory staff while the laboratory heads still have to meet the minimum 24 teaching hours. This is due to the fact that they do not have official appointment letter as laboratory heads. Moreover, acquiring such certificate is not easy as they should earn a certificate of laboratory head candidates training from a university or an institution under the government first. This problem could be overcome by managing such training in Jayapura.
SEAMEO QITEP in Science (SEAQIS) is a regional Centre under the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation focusing on the professional development of teachers and education personnel in science. Collaborating with the Science Teachers Forum and the Education Office of Jayapura City, SEAQIS tried to solve the problems—qualification of laboratory head and teaching hours—by holding a training and giving technical supervision to the science laboratory head candidates. Not only the teachers enthusiastically welcomed the programme, the Education Office of Jayapura City also prepared a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the relationship between the two parties. It was expected that the programme could benefit the teachers especially in fulfilling the needs of competent laboratory heads that would result in a better education quality in Jayapura City.
The training will generally last for 150 teaching hours with 45 minutes for each teaching hour. It consisted of the In Service Training I for 40 teaching hours, the On the Job Learning for 70 teaching hours, and the In Service Training II for 40 teaching hours. The In Service Training I has been conducted on 25-29 April 2017 at SMK 3 Jayapura and opened by the Head of Education Office of Jayapura City, Mr I Wayan Mudiyasa SPd MMPd. The On the Job Learning will be held at each school where the participant teaches while the In Service Training II will be convened in the second week of September this year. The technical supervision for the candidates were participated by 50 teachers comprised of 48 participants from Jayapura city and regency, a participant from Biak regency, and a participant from Timika regency.
The Education Office and the Science Teachers Forum of Jayapura City deeply appreciated SEAQIS’ contribution to enhance the candidates’ skills in managing science laboratory. The training was also possible with the help of SMKN 3 Jayapura that provided the place. All teachers wished that the Memorandum of Understanding that has been signed could be realised through the completion of activities of the On the Job Learning and the In Service II as well as other trainings for developing teachers’ competence in Jayapura.
All in all, the writer as a member of the Science Teachers Forum would like to extend sincere gratitude particularly to fellow science teachers in Jayapura city who eagerly involved in the training. I personally hope that the teachers in Jayapura could continuously participate in all programmes held by SEAQIS. In addition, SEAQIS could make similar trainings in the future.