Education and Literacy in Indonesia
National education is rooted in Indonesian
culture and is based on Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. It aims to
enhance the people's intellectual life, dignity and values, create the
Indonesian man and community to be faithful and devoted to the One and Only
God, qualified and self-sufficient so that they can develop themselves and
their neighborhood, and be able to fulfill national development needs and be
responsible for the national development.
To achieve the targets and policies in national
education, some main programs in Repelita VI have been implemented, covering:
the development of: (1) primary education; (2) secondary education; (3) higher
learning institutions; (4) extramural education, (5) services education; and
(6) teachers and other personnel.
In the efforts to surmount the impact of the
current economic crisis, the Government has distributed educational aid
through the main programs especially in the form of scholarships to assist
students who come from low income families to prevent drop outs. Besides,
operational funds for schools and higher learning institutions ensure that
all school children would be able to continue their studies. The Government
has taken several drastic measures to reduce the impact of recession on
education, including allocating special funds to help millions of needy
students, teachers and schools. School children are even allowed to attend
school with-out wearing their uniforms, as previously required.
In an effort to maintain the national Nine-Year
Compulsory Education scheme, the Government has decided to provide annual
scholarships worth Rp120,000 (US$9) each to four percent of the country's 29
million primary school pupils, and Rp240,000 for 16.1 percent of the 9.6
million junior high school students.
The Government will also annually allocate Rp2
million each for 69,300 primary schools to meet operational costs. This is 40
percent of government primary schools considered the most needy.
Furthermore, 30,391 junior high schools will
each receive Rp4 million in aid. These make up 40 percent of all junior high
schools in the country. The Government, however, is still unable to provide
financial assistance to the country's five million senior high school students
and 185,000 university students.
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PRIMARY EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Primary education in the first level of the
education system is to provide sufficient basic capability for students to
improve their life both as individual, as community member; and also to
prepare them to continue their study at higher levels.
The program of primary education covers
improving the standard of pre-school education, elementary school, lower
secondary schools improvement and extraordinary school (SLB) development.
Pre-school education aims to help pupils in
preparing their basic mental, intellectual, skill, and creativity in adjusting
to the environment and to prepare their future growth. Pre-school education is
carried out through nurseries and kindergartens for children under five and
six, organized mostly by private foundations and non-government organizations
including women's organizations. In fiscal year 1997/98, new state
kindergartens, and 138 classrooms have been established, and 29 kindergartens
had been rehabilitated.
Meanwhile, primary schools aim to give basic
education to children aged between six to 12 or between seven to 13, so that
they will be able to develop their life as an individual, community member,
citizen, and as member of mankind; while preparing the children for education
at a higher level in secondary schools.
To educate as many children as possible, since
1973 the Government have set up new primary school buildings through the
Presidential Assistance program (Inpres SD). Consequently education
participation figures rose from 112.4% in fiscal year 1996/97 to 113.6% in
fiscal year 1997/98. However, about 5.1% children aged between 7 to 12 still
can not attend school due to financial reasons and living in remote areas. In
addition, many physically and mentally handicapped children are not able to
attend school because there are not enough schools for them to prevent more
drop outs and bad nutrients which can hold back a class of healthy children,
the Government has developed a program for extra food for pupils. The
Government also grants scholarships to intelligent students particularly those
from low-income families. To improve the quality of primary education, more
textbooks and visual aid instruments have also been distributed.
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LOWER SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION
Lower secondary school education or junior high
schools provide basic education for children to expand and improve knowledge
and skill obtained in primary schools. Repelita VI stresses the creation of
greater access to lower secondary education as part of the Nine-Year
Compulsory Education Program, and the education participation figures (APK)
increased from 56.1% in fiscal year 1996/97 to 60.0% in 1997/98.
A package education program for physically and
mentally handicapped children has also been designed by establishing Extra
Ordinary Schools (SLB). Until fiscal year 1997/98, 1,148 SLB schools in
Indonesia, consisting of 24 state-run SLBs, 959 private SLBs, and 165
integrated SLBs. To improve their quality of education in SLB, 490,000 of
textbooks, 21,000 Braille books, 4,000 talking books, and 326,000 educational
aid devices have been supplied.
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UPPER SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION
Upper secondary education is directed into
senior high schools (SMU) and senior vocational schools (SMK). Wider study
opportunity had increased the education participation figures of upper
secondary education level from 34.4% in 1996/97 to 36.3% in 1997/98.
To promote even distribution of study
opportunities, senior high schools and vocational schools are provided with
textbooks, reading material, laboratory equipment, art and sports equipment.
Various research and training activities have also been provided.
Since Repelita V, senior high schools have been
accommodating high potential students both in academic capability and skill.
Until fiscal year 1997/98, 105 SMUs Plus have been established in 27 provinces
initiated by the regional government and the public through many foundations.
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HIGHER LEARNING INSTITUTIONS
Higher learning institutions have been giving
guidance and upgrading to prepare the students for the work market by
equipping them with academic capability, professionalism, and leadership
qualities needed for development. To meet those objectives, efforts have been
made such as the expansion of study opportunity, and enhancement of quality,
relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of the education program.
Consequently, education participation figures
of higher learning institutions increased from 10.6% in fiscal year 1996/97 to
11.2% in fiscal year 1997/98. Study in science and technology including the
restructuring of available study programs are enhanced, while the development
of polytechnics is continued and improved to meet the demand for professional
workers especially in the field of business and industry. Until the fourth
year of Repelita VI, 26 poly-technical school had been established, consisting
of six agricultural and 20 engineering fields of which 12 are running business
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The program of extramural education during
Repelita VI stresses the improvement of knowledge, attitude, and basic skills
of the community including children who are not able to attend formal
The activity to eradicate illiteracy in 1997/98
reached one million people and during four years of Repelita VI four million
people were involved. Since fiscal year 1995/96 the Indonesian Armed Forces
have also been active in the elimination of illiteracy.
"Package A" and "Package B"
programs on eradication of illiteracy and to support the Nine-Year Compulsory
Education program were attended by 43,000 and 95,500 people respectively in
1997/98, and during four years of Repelita VI they were followed by 370,000
and 441,300 people respectively.
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Information provided by the Directorate
of Foreign Information Services, Department of Information, Republic of