Development of geography education and research at the national and world level experienced many obstacles. Geography at the world level shifts and integrates with the various fields of science such as spatial science, geosciences, regional planning and the environment while geography in Indonesia still hangs on to holistic geography that examines physical, human, and environmental as well as system information aspects.
"Education and research of geography, especially in Indonesia, will generally need to be re-managed," Dean of the Faculty of Geography, who is also General Chairman of Indonesian geographers association (IGI), Prof. Dr Suratman Worosuprojo, said in his speech at the Seminar on Geography’s Education and Research Directions in Indonesia, Saturday (16/10) in the Faculty of Geography UGM.
Suratman added that some constraints in the field that still can be found related to the development of geography’s education, among others are the inconsistencies of geography teaching materials from the primary level, secondary to higher education, teachers who do not have a certificate in geography, the insufficient number of teaching hours in high school, and the fact that geography is not taught in high schools for students majoring in science.
"In college, geography is still classified either in the science or social studies group," he explained.
Geography’s education and research in Indonesia continue to a convincing competence to solve national and global issues. Geography has been studied for a long time in the era of qualitative descriptive, quantitative descriptive and up until now in the era of experimental and quantitative mathematical models.
"Given the importance of this science, geographers need to provide a way to develop spatial intelligence, which is indispensable for future generations. Moreover, in the rapidly and easily development of technology of remote sensing and GIS (geographic information system)," Suratman said.
In the same place, Secretary 1 of IGI, Prof Dr Hartono, DEA, DESS, revealed in addition to the constraints, geography’s research developments are even more encouraging. Spatial, ecological and regions models with the support of multivariate geographic data are becoming apparent in their representation.
"The study of geography is characterized by the field, stage of development and sectoral orientation that develops in the activities of each institution," said Hartono who is also Director of the Graduate School of UGM.
Meanwhile, during his presentation, Secretary general of Indonesian Geography Teachers Association who is also a geography teacher of SMA 34 Jakarta, Tony Prasetyarto, mentioned about the curriculum. Curriculum of Geography in high school is an integral part of the curriculum established by the related educational unit. This means that a teacher must carry out the teaching of geography based-on the curriculum that has been agreed upon or used in the respective high school.
"So when a teacher of geography in schools formulates the syllabus, he must follow the standards set by the government," Tony said.
He also showed some usual facts and challenges encountered by teachers of geography such as the requirement for S1 graduate majoring in geography and a Certificate IV, the frequent occurrence of the geosphere phenomenon especially around the environment that compels the geography teachers to deliver information to students, as well as the Earth Olympyad where the material is intersecting with the matter of geography.
This seminar also presented a revised geography curriculum that includes 5 aspects learned from elementary to high school level. The five aspects includes the natural and social phenomena, resources and regional development, environment preservation, disaster mitigation, and geographic information system.