Following the high unemployment rate of Indonesian youths, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia urgently launched Character and Creativity Initiative (CCI) (Indonesia Launches GPF ‘Character and Creativity Initiative’ Education Initiative, 2013). The initiative, announced during 9 - 12 December 2013 educators training, recognises the lack of creativity development in Indonesian school system and the need of it. As creativity development begins in early age, Indonesian elementary schools should reform their current educational system in order to develop children’s creativity.
Starko (2013, p.12) defines creativity as novelty or originality and appropriateness. Not only does something need to be new and different, it must also fit in the cultural context to be recognised as creative (Starko, 2013). She also mentions the importance of creativity for learning, motivation and joy (Starko, 2013). Starko (2013) believes that without creativity, students will memorise without learning or understanding the content, they will aim for external approvals instead of mastering the content and finally, there will be no joy as creativity equals to joy.
The current education system in Indonesia is outdated and undermine creativity. It was introduced during Dutch colonialism era as part of the Dutch Ethical Policy (Benjamin, 2007). According to Sir Ken Robinson, an English educator, the current education system was developed during the industrialisation period and is modelled on the interest of it (TED, 2007). In a video by The RSA (2008), Robinson also explained that schools are organised on factory lines where subjects that are beneficial for works place higher in hierarchy. Learning is also separated into subjects and students are separated into age groups (The RSA, 2008). An example of this in Indonesian education system is that the National Exam of Indonesia only covers three subjects: mathematics, Indonesian language and science (Sidiknas, 2013).
There are many ways to improve the current education system of Indonesia and the first one is to balance academic subjects and artistic subjects. According to Starke (2012), artistic subjects are great outlets for creativity. Starko (2013) also voices similar opinion while adding the fact that art making process, which involves looking for ideas, choosing materials and creating art; requires a lot of time. Currently, art is only given an hour and art teachers, due to the constrain of time, prepares materials beforehand and give instructions for students to follow (Starko, 2013). This process according to Starko (2013) is not a creative development process but merely a reflection of the teacher’s creativity. On the other hand, additional hours of the subject is not an option as longer learning period may increase stress on children. An alternative is by integrating arts into academic subjects can be used as a way to foster creativity. Unlike the current technique that relay information through...