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Jakarta Post

Education: Ceremony over substance?

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 2, 2019   /  09:10 am
Education: Ceremony over substance? Home address verification: An administrative officer of SMAN 8 Depok state high school in West Java verifies a student’s home address during a new student enrollment session, as part of implementing the Education and Culture Ministry’s new school zoning enrollment system. The new system requires schools to prioritize enrolling students who live within a certain catchment area. (JP/Arief Suhardiman)

As the daughter of a diplomat who traveled with my parents to their various postings abroad, I both won and lost when it came to my education. I won when we went to Italy in 1968. According to my results on the entrance exams to an American international school in Rome, I was enrolled in the ninth grade. This meant that I could skip two grades, as I was in the school level equivalent to the seventh grade when I left Jakarta. Ironically, I lost when I returned to Indonesia three years later in 1971. Without putting me through any tests, the headmaster of the high school I enrolled in told me that I was only allowed to start in the first year of senior high school) — or equivalent to the 10th grade — if I wanted to enter the science stream. If I entered the humanities stream, then I could start in the second year of senior high, or 11th grade. I told him that I had ski...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.