Freedom to Learn: How Pearson is helping Indonesia empower its students and educators

By Pearson Languages (Heather Gilmore)

Indonesia, 20 September 2023 – How did a man more famous as a tech startup founder end up transforming Indonesia's education system? And how is Pearson helping realise his vision?

Minister for Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Nadiem Makarim, better known as one of the architects of the widely popular rideshare and delivery app Gojek, also created Kurikulum Merdeka, the new Indonesian School Curriculum.

Under the concept of Merdeka Belajar, or Emancipated Learning, the curriculum was launched in early 2022 with mandatory adoption due in 2024.

Minister Makarim's ambitious reforms focus on improving learning outcomes and promoting better quality and more equitable education for all Indonesian students - with an emphasis on literacy and numeracy.

The Minister's office reports the new curriculum is already widely adopted across government and independent schools, with teachers welcoming its flexibility and accessibility.

Not surprisingly, a major part of the curriculum is English. Pearson Languages has leapt to the challenge of mapping the new curriculum to the Global Scale of English because we know data-driven decision making improves educational outcomes.

That's where Mike Mayor and the team at Pearson Indonesia come in.

Following months of consultations with teachers and administrators across the country, Mr Mayor, along with Pearson Regional Head Jason Polim and Business Development Manager Christian (Aan) Puguh Sulistyo, hosted a Global Scale of English Roadshow this September.

Held across schools in Medan, Bandung and Jakarta, the roadshow involved over 600 students and teachers who are members of the Global Scale of English Partner School Program.

The key launch event in Jakarta, “Data Driven Decision Making in Education,” highlighted how important the right data is to be making informed choices and improving educational outcomes.

Audiences also learned how many schools across the nation have already mapped Kurikulum Merdeka to the Global Scale of English, acting as a vital data source to measure English proficiency outcomes.

During the events, Mr Mayor explained how more administrators can adopt the Global Scale of English to help lift English in their school.

"The Global Scale of English is a must-have tool to fast-track learner progress,” Mr Mayor said.

"It’s been designed to build learners’ confidence by understanding exactly where they are on their learning journey, setting personalised goals to focus their learning, and accurately measuring their progress.

"It’s the first of its kind. A truly global standard in English language learning."

During the roadshow Pearson announced Ministry of Education consultant and Executive Chair of the Indonesian National Commision for UNESCO Mrs Itje Chodidjah has added another esteemed title to her resume as Global Scale of English Ambassador to Indonesia. A welcome addition to the Pearson Languages team.

The roadshow has proven a huge success, with many more schools signing up to become Global Scale of English partners – and many more are welcome and encouraged to join. Please contact Jason Polim at for further information.

About Pearson

At Pearson, our purpose is simple: to add life to a lifetime of learning. We believe that every learning opportunity is a chance for a personal breakthrough. That’s why our c.20,000 Pearson employees are committed to creating vibrant and enriching learning experiences designed for real-life impact. We are the world’s leading digital media learning company, serving customers in nearly 200 countries with digital content, assessments, qualifications, and data. For us, learning isn’t just what we do. It’s who we are. Visit us at