What do our students need to learn?

Anita Lie, Surabaya | Opinion | Sat, September 22 2012, 11:30 AM

Paper Edition | Page: 6

As the Education and Culture Ministry is about to evaluate the school curriculum, schools need to be prepared for the reallocation of resources, a reduced number of subjects and longer school hours.

The results of the curriculum evaluation should input into the revision and development of the next curriculum and be used in elementary to senior high school levels. To assess what to retain and what to let go in the upcoming curriculum, it is important that we remember the three imperatives of schooling: personal, economic and social.

At the personal level, schools facilitate students to discover themselves, grow and enhance their interests and talents. Throughout their years of schooling, children learn to shape themselves to become better human beings, appreciate life, and glorify their Creator.

At the curricular level, certain subjects help students achieve this particular purpose of schooling. Religion, literature and the arts provide knowledge and values to lead young people to be whatever they are capable of becoming. Physical education helps them form healthy habits. In addition to these subjects, the hidden curriculum, including any human interaction happening in schools, also helps students enhance their personal growth.

Schools have also prepared students to contribute productively to the economy by providing vocation-related and skills-based subjects. A 21st century curriculum requires that students be equipped with information technology skills and media literacy. In this era of global competitiveness, the economic purpose of schooling has overridden the personal and social purposes of schooling.

It is easy to get rid of the seemingly less practical subjects such as literature, arts, history and philosophy to make room for the math, science, technology and vocation-related subjects. Focusing heavily on the economic imperative and neglecting the personal and social purposes of schooling will lead to the formation of individuals with capabilities to use their minds and skills but who lack an understanding of the purpose of their work.

The social purpose of schooling is to establish each student’s connection to humanity. A global economy, too, requires more knowledge of world cultures and world history. The study of humanities will enhance students’ lives and enable them to contribute productively to the economy while maintaining their sense of purpose as part of the human race.

A terrorist’s action is an extreme demonstration of a human capacity to utilize knowledge and skills to destroy life, when the learning process is disconnected from personal and social purposes. Terrorists who aim to destroy individuals and groups whom they label as infidels fail to understand the history of their nation-state building and to feel connections to the people they hate.

Less dramatic than these terrorists, but just as abominable, are individuals and corporations that accumulate wealth at the cost of ecological destruction and the impoverishment of local communities. They too are the product of a system and culture that celebrates economic success and competitiveness per se.

So, what do our students need to learn? Concerns that there are currently too many school subjects have been raised by educators as well as by stakeholders. The number of subjects does not automatically correlate with how much students learn in school.

By the same token, reducing the number of subjects in our next curriculum should not be equated with reducing essential knowledge content and values our students should be acquiring in schools.

To prepare our young people so they engage in personal growth and become contributing citizens of their country and the world, our national curriculum should cover general education that provides liberal arts and humanities, math and science, as well as 21st century skills such as information technology skills and media literacy.

Reducing the number of school subjects should mean simplifying the organization of units of studies into fewer subjects and making the scope and sequences of knowledge content more efficient, not watering down what our students ought to learn.

Furthermore, an effective curriculum takes into account the delivery or implementation levels, that is classroom instructions. A well-written curricular document will not result in its intended outcomes if teachers are not properly developed to deliver them at the classroom level. A competent teacher should be able to deliver the appropriate breadth and depth of a curriculum and translate it into engaging classroom activities.

The writer is a professor at Widya Mandala Catholic University, Surabaya, and a member of the Indonesian Community for Democracy.

School-based curriculum evaluation: Some caveats

Setiono Sugiharto, Jakarta | Opinion | Sat, September 15 2012, 2:12 PM

Paper Edition | Page: 7

The Education and Culture Ministry’s decision to evaluate the current school-based curriculum, Kurikulum Tingkat Satuan Pendidikan (KTSP) used in elementary, junior and senior high schools should be commended.

First, as far as curriculum theory is concerned, evaluation is a vital component that cannot be excluded in any educational system. Evaluation reflects an attempt to discover drawbacks in the implementation of a curriculum as well as to sustain quality assurance.

In other words, it is sort of an a posteriori validation of the merits and demerits of the present curriculum. Through a rigorous, systematic and well-prepared evaluation, the efficacy of the contents of the curriculum can be untangled and the extent to which they meet the instructional objectives can be revealed.

The classroom is like a microcosm of society that is dynamic and mutable, and is always in a constant state of change. The corollary of this is that predetermined contents of the curriculum cannot always be capable of catering to the evolving needs of their users, most notably students and teachers.

Curriculum evaluation is thus indubitably called for in order to reduce or minimize any possible gaps created by classroom dynamics.

It should be highlighted that curriculum evaluation presupposes changes (either minor or major) that can eventually lead to the unveiling of new curriculum. It is at this juncture that problems can potentially arise.

Unless shrewdly managed, curriculum evaluation can pave the way for curriculum change, which will likely create more problems, and stymie efforts to improve old curriculum.

In fact, Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh has recently hinted that it is likely that the results from the ongoing curriculum evaluation could be taken as recommendations for a curriculum revamp and change. But, some caveats are in order.

In retrospect, the alterations of school mandated curriculum created only incessant public tumults, with students, parents and teachers becoming the victims of these curriculum changes.

The criticism made against changes to every newly introduced curriculum by the Education and Culture Ministry is a waste and does not have any significant effects on the improvement of educational practices in the country.

Instead, confusion builds in respect to how the new curriculum can be successfully implemented in the classroom with a heterogeneous number of students abounded among teachers.

Furthermore, the psychological burdens teachers have to endure to adjust themselves with the mandated curriculum, not to mention with the textbooks (consequence of the curriculum change) they use are so tremendous that in the end, they often feel fed up and frustrated. As a result, teaching is seen as a banal and tedious activity.

Beset with too much pressure in carrying out their daily routines, teachers often have no choice but to succumb to submissive attitudes. Their role as experienced professionals is eventually vitiated.

However, if curriculum change is seen as a dialogic process which encourages continuous negotiations, teachers have reasons to provide critical feedbacks regarding the implementation of the new curriculum. Without a doubt, teachers are the key players in determining the success and failure of the implementation of new curriculum.

The central role of teachers has been acknowledged by H.H. Stern (1983), who argues that, “The finest and most up-to-date curriculum ideas can be vitiated if they are imposed upon the teachers concerned without having made sure that the changes the new curriculum demands are understood by them (p. 442)”.

The lessons learned from previous fiascos in curriculum evaluations and changes are evaluations and changes that should not be done hastily and in a haphazard way. Furthermore, the inclusion of concerned parties including teachers in the evaluation is paramount.

Curriculum evaluation should be done systematically in the sense that it is carried out with clear rationales, explicit problem formulations, a sounding methodology and explicit report findings. Without any one of these elements, evaluation is doomed for failure.

No less important, the shift of orientation from the top-down approach to the bottom-up is also necessary to ensure the involvement of those who are directly affected by the evaluation results.

If the goal of curriculum evaluation is intended for the improvement of curricular contents to reflect the pressing needs of students, then a thorough evaluation from the bottom-up is likely to yield more fruitful results as opposed to when it is carried out from top-down.

The writer is an associate professor at Atma Jaya Catholic University. He is also chief editor of Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching.

Alamat KEDUBES Asing di Indonesia

Kedutaan Besar Afghanistan

Jl. Dr. Kusumaatmaja S.H. 15, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 314-3169

Fax : (021) 335-390

Email: afghanembassy_indo@yahoo.com

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Kedutaan Besar Afrika Selatan

Wisma GKBI, 7th Floor, Suite 705

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No. 28, Jakarta 10210

Telepon : (021) 574-0660

Fax : (021) 574-0661

Email: saembjak@centrin.net.id

Website: http://www.saembassy-jakarta.or.id

Perwakilan Albania untuk Indonesia

2952, Jl. Bukit Ledang, Off Jalan Duta,

Kuala Lumpur 50480, Malaysia

Phone: (60-3) 2093-7808, 2093-8102

Fax: (60-3) 253-7359

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Kedutaan Besar Algeria/Aljazair

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. 10-1

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 525-4719 / 525-4809

Fax : (021) 525-4654

Email: ambaljak@cbn.net.id

Website: http://www.algeria-id.org

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Kedutaan Besar Amerika Serikat di Jakarta

Jl. Medan Merdeka Selatan No. 5, Jakarta 10110

Telepon : (021) 3435-9000

Fax : (021) 386-2259

Email: jakconsul@state.gov

Website: http://www.usembassyjakarta.org

Kedutaan Besar Amerika Serikat di Bali

Jl. Hayam Wuruk 188 Denpasar – Bali, Indonesia

Phone: (62-361) 233-605

Fax: (62-361) 222-426

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Kedutaan Besar Amerika Serikat di Surabaya

Jl. Raya Dr. Sutomo No. 33

Surabaya, Jawa Timur

Phone: (62-31) 568-2287, 568-2288

Fax: (62-31) 567-4492

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Kedutaan Besar Arab Saudi

Jl. M.T. Haryono, Kav. 27 Jakarta 13630

Telepon: (021) 801-1553 / 801-1537

Fax : (021) 801-1527

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Kedutaan Besar Argentina

Menara Mulia Building, 19th Floor, Suite 1901

Jl. Jenderal Gatot Subroto, Kav. 9-11

Jakarta 12930

Telepon : (021) 526-5661

Fax : (021) 526-566

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Kedutaan Besar Australia

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav. C15-16

Jakarta 12940, Indonesia

Telepon : (021) 522-7111

Fax : (021) 522-7101

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Kedutaan Besar Austria

Jl. Diponegoro 44, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 338-090 / 338-101 / 310-7451

Fax : (021) 390-4927

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Kedutaan Besar Bangladesh

Jl. Denpasar Raya 3, Block A-13

Kav. 10, Kuningan Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 525-1986 / 522-1574

Fax : (021)526-1807

Kedutaan Besar Belanda

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. S-3, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 525-1515

Fax : (021) 570-0734

Kedutaan Besar Belgia

Deutsche Bank Building 16th Floor

Jl. Imam Bonjol 80, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 316-2030

Fax : (021) 316-2035

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Kedutaan Besar Brasil

Menara Mulia Building, 16th Floor, Suite 1602

Jl. Jenderal Gatot Subroto Kav. 9-11

Jakarta 12390

Telepon : (021) 526-5656

Fax : (021) 526-5659

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Kedutaan Besar Brunei Darussalam

Wisma GKBI, Suite 1901

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman 28, Jakarta 10210

Telepon : (021) 574-1437 / 574-1438 / 574-1439

Fax : (021) 574-1463

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Kedutaan Besar Bulgaria

Jl. Imam Bonjol 34-36, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 390-4048 / 390-4049

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Kedutaan Besar Chile

Bina Mulia I building, 7th Floor

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav. 10, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-1131

Fax : (021) 520-1955

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Kedutaan Besar Cina

Mega Kuningan No.2, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 576-1037 / 576-1038 / 576-1039

Fax : (021) 576-1034

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Kedutaan Besar Czech (Ceko)

P.O. Box 1319

Jl. Gereja Theresia 20, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 390-4075 / 390-4077

Fax : (021) 336-282

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Kedutaan Besar Denmark

Bina Mulia Building, 4th Floor

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav. 10, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520.4350

Fax : (021) 520-1962

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Kedutaan Besar Emirat Arab

Jl. Sisingamangaraja C-4, Kav. 16-17

Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-6518 / 520-6552

Fax : (021) 520-6526

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Kedutaan Besar Filipina

Jl. Imam Bonjol No. 6-8

Menteng, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 310-0302 / 314-9329 / 310-0334

Fax : (021) 315-9773 / 315-1167

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Kedutaan Besar Finlandia

Bina Mulia Building I, 10th Floor

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav. 10, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-7408

Fax : (021) 525-2033

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Kedutaan Besar Hungaria

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav. X No. 3

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-3459 / 520-3460

Fax : (021) 520-3461

Kedutaan Besar India

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, S-1, Kuningan

Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-4150 / 520-4152 / 520-4157

Fax : (021) 520-4160

Kedutaan Besar Inggris

Jl. M.H. Thamrin 75, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 315-6264

Fax : (021) 314-1824 / 390-2726 / 390-7493

Kedutaan Besar Iran

Jl. H.O.S. Cokroaminoto 110

Telepon : (021) 331-391 / 334-637 / 331-378

Fax : (021) 310-7860

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Kedutaan Besar Irak

Jl. Teuku Umar 38, Jakarta 10350

Telepon : (021) 390-4067

Fax : (021) 390-4066

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Kedutaan Besar Italia

Jl. Diponegoro 45, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 337-445 / 323-490

Fax : (021) 337-422

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Kedutaan Besar Jepang

Jl. M.H. Thamrin 24, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 324-308

Fax : (021) 325-460

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Kedutaan Besar Jerman

Jl. M.H. Thamrin 1, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 390-1750

Fax : (021) 390-1757

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Kedutaan Besar Kamboja

Panin Bank Plaza, 4th Floor

Jl. Palmerah Utara 52, Jakarta 11480

Telepon : (021) 548-4840 / 548-3716

Fax : (021) 548-3684

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Kedutaan Besar Kanada

Wisma Metropolitan I, 5th Floor

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 29, Jakarta 12920

Telepon : (021) 525-0709

Fax : (021) 571.2251

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Kedutaan Besar Korea Utara

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav.X No. 5, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 521-0181 / 522-2442 / 526-0066

Fax : (021) 521-0183

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Kedutaan Besar Korea Selatan

P.O. BOX 4187 JKTM

Jl. Jenderal Gatot Subroto 57, Jakarta Timur

Telepon : (021) 520-1915

Fax : (021) 525-4159

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Kedutaan Besar Kroasia

Menara Mulia building, Suite 2101

Jl. Gatot Subroto, Kav. 9-11, Jakarta 12930

Telepon : (021) 525-7822 / 525-7611

Fax : (021) 520-4073

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Kedutaan Besar Kuba

Villa Pejaten Mas, Block G, No. 4

Pejaten, Pasar Minggu, Jakarta 12520

Telepon : (021) 780-6673

Fax : (021) 780-7345 / 780-6673

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Kedutaan Besar Kuwait

Jl. Denpasar Raya Block A-XII No. 1

Kuningan Timur, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-2477 / 520-2478 / 520-2479

Fax : (021) 520-4359 / 522-4931 / 526-5886

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Kedutaan Besar Laos

Jl. Kintamani Raya C-15 No. 33, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-2673 / 522-9602

Fax : (021) 522-9601

Kedutaan Besar Libanon

Jl. YBR V No. 82, Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021)526-4306 / 525-3074 / 520-7121

Fax : (021) 520-7121

Kedutaan Besar Libia

Jl. Pekalongan 24, Menteng, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 335-308 / 335-754

Fax : (021) 335-726

Kedutaan Besar Malaysia

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav. X/6 No. 1-3

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 522-4947

Fax : (021) 522-4974

Kedutaan Besar Mali

Jl. Mendawai III No. 18

Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta 12130

Telepon : (021) 720-8472 / 726-8504

Fax : (021) 722-9589

Kedutaan Besar Maroko

Kuningan Plaza, South Tower, Suite 512

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav. C 11-14

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-0773 / 520-0956

Fax : (021) 520-0586

Kedutaan Besar Meksiko

Menara Mulia Building, Suite 2306

Jl. Gatot Subroto Kav. 9-11, Jakarta 12930

Telepon : (021) 520-3980

Fax : (021) 520-3978

Kedutaan Besar Mesir

Jl. Teuku Umar 68, Menteng, Jakarta 10350

Telepon : (021) 314-3440 / 331-141 / 335-350

Fax : (021) 314-5073

Kedutaan Besar Myanmar

Jl. Haji Agus Salim No. 109, Jakarta Pusat

Telepon : (021) 314-0440 / 327-684

Fax : (021) 327-204

Kedutaan Besar Nigeria

P.O. BOX 3649

Jl. Taman Patra IV No. 11-11A

Kuningan Timur, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 526-0922 / 526-0923

Fax : (021) 526-0924

Kedutaan Besar Norwegia

Bina Mulia Building I, 4th Floor

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. 10

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 525-1990

Fax : (021) 520-7365

Kedutaan Besar Pakistan

Jl. Teuku Umar No. 50

Menteng, Jakarta 10350

Telepon : (021) 314-4008 / 314-4009 / 314-4011

Fax : (021) 310-3947 / 310-3946 / 310-3945

Kedutaan Besar Papua New Guinea

Panin Bank Centre, 6th Floor

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No. 1, Jakarta 10270

Telepon : (021) 725-1218

Fax : (021) 720-1012

Kedutaan Besar Perancis

Jl. M.H. Thamrin 20, Jakarta Pusat

Telepon : (021) 314-2807

Fax : (021) 314-3338

Kedutaan Besar Peru

Bina Mulia Building 2, 3rd Floor

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav.11

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-1176 / 520-1866

Fax : (021) 520-1932

Kedutaan Besar Polandia

Jl. Diponegoro No. 65, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 314-0509

Fax : (021) 327-343

Kedutaan Besar Qatar

Jl. Taman Ubud I No.5

Kuningan Timur, Jakarta 12920

Telepon : (021) 527-7751 / 527-7752

Fax : (021) 527-7754

Kedutaan Besar Rumania

Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro No. 42A

Menteng, Jakarta Pusat

Telepon : (021) 310-6240 / 310-6241

Fax : (021) 390-7759

Kedutaan Besar Rusia

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav. X7 No. 1-2

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 522-2912 / 522-2914 / 522-5195

Fax : (021) 522-2916 / 522-2915

Kedutaan Besar Selandia Baru

P.O. BOX 2439

BRI II Building, 23rd Floor

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman, Kav. 44-46, Jakarta 10210

Telepon : (021) 570-9460 / 570-9470

Fax : (021) 570-9457 / 570-9471

Kedutaan Besar Singapura

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Block 4, Kav. 2

Kuningan Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-1489

Kedutaan Besar Slovakia

P.O. BOX 1368

Jl. Prof. Moh. Yamin, S.H. No. 29

Menteng , 10310 Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 310-1068 / 315-1429

Fax : (021) 310-1180

Kedutaan Besar Spanyol

Jl. Haji Agus Salim No. 6, Jakarta 10350

Telepon : (021) 335-937 / 335-940 / 335-771

Fax : (021) 325-996

Kedutaan Besar Sri Lanka

Jl. Diponegoro No. 70, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 314-1018 / 316-1886 / 391-9364

Fax : (021) 310-7962

Kedutaan Besar Sudan

P.O. BOX 403

Wisma Bank Dharmala, 7th Floor, Suite 1

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman, Kav.28

Jakarta 12910

Telepon : (021) 521-2075

Kedutaan Besar Swedia

Menara Rajawali, 9th Floor

Jl. Mega Kuningan Lot 5/1, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 576-2690

Fax : (021) 576-2691

Kedutaan Besar Swiss

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Block 3 No.2

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 525-6061

Fax : (021) 520-2289

Kedutaan Besar Syria

Jl. Karang Asem I No. 8

Kuningan Raya, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-4117 / 520-1641 / 525-5991

Fax : (021) 520-2511

Kedutaan Besar Thailand

Jl. Imam Bonjol No. 74, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 390-4052 / 314-7925 / 391-5651

Fax : (021) 310-7469

Kedutaan Besar Tunisia

Wisma Dharmala Sakti, 11th Floor

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No. 32, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 570-3432 / 570-4220

Fax : (021) 570-0016

Kedutaan Besar Turki

Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said, Kav.1, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 525-6250 / 526-4143 / 522-7440

Fax : (021) 522-6056 / 527-5673

Kedutaan Besar Ukraina

Jl. Simprug Permata I No.39, Jakarta 12220

Telepon : (021) 726-7575 / 720-5356

Fax : (021) 726-6969

Kedutaan Besar Uni Eropa

P.O. BOX 6454 JKPDS

Wisma Dharmala sakti, 16th Floor

Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav.32, Jakarta 10064

Telepon : (021) 570-6076

Fax : (021) 570-6075

Kedutaan Besar Uzbekistan

Jl. Brawijaya Raya No. 7, Block P-5, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 739-9009 / 722-1640 / 913-4212

Fax : (021) 722-1640

Kedutaan Besar Vatikan

P.O. BOX 4227

Jl. Medan Merdeka Timur 18, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 384-1142 / 381-0736

Fax : (021) 384-1143

Kedutaan Besar Venezuela

Menara Mulia, Suite 2005, 20th Floor

Jl. Jenderal Gatot Subroto Kav. 9-11, Jakarta

Telepon : (021) 522-7547 / 525-7548

Fax : (021) 522-7549

Kedutaan Besar Vietnam

Jl. Teuku Umar, Jakarta 10350

Telepon : (021) 910-0163 / 315-8537 / 310-0358

Fax : (021) 314-9615

Kedutaan Besar Yaman

Jl. Yusuf Adiwinata No. 29, Jakarta 10350

Telepon : (021) 390-4074 / 310-8029 / 310-8035

Fax : (021) 390-4946

Kedutaan Besar Yordania

Jl.Denpasar Raya Block A-13, Kav.1-2

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-4400 / 520-4401

Fax : (021) 520-2447

Kedutaan Besar Yugoslavia

Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto No. 109, Jakarta 10310

Telepon : (021) 314-3560 / 334-157

Fax : (021) 314-3613

Kedutaan Besar Yunani

Plaza 89, 12th Floor

Jl. HR. Rasuna Said Kav. 7 No. 6

Kuningan, Jakarta 12950

Telepon : (021) 520-7776

Fax : (021) 520-7753