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Jakarta Post

Insight: High time for SMP/SMA Inpres to transform Indonesian education

  • Jonathan Pincus
    Jonathan Pincus

    President of Rajawali Foundation and senior advisor for the Center for Public Policy Transformation (Transformasi)

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 4, 2020   /  09:11 am
Insight: High time for SMP/SMA Inpres to transform Indonesian education Hard times: Students of state vocational school SMK Negeri 2 Serang attend the 2018 computer-based national exam on April 2. (Antara/Asep Fathulrahman)

For Indonesia’s revolutionary leaders, public education was an essential building block of the nation. Universal access to schooling would forge a national identify from the archipelago’s thousands of islands and hundreds of ethnic groups. The adoption of Indonesian as the language of instruction was an important milestone in the formation of a national culture, as fewer than 10 percent of the population spoke Indonesian as their mother tongue in 1945. The common experience of a national curriculum, school uniforms, flag-raising ceremonies and the commemoration of national milestones would awaken a national consciousness in the young generation, the first to grow up in a free and independent Indonesia. Under Dutch colonialism, most Indonesians had not had a chance to attend school. Good progress was made in the 1950s, as the new government doubled elementary school enro...

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