The Jakarta Post
Every year on May 2, the birthday of Indonesian educationalist Ki Hajar Dewantara, the archipelago commemorates National Education Day.
As emphasized in our editorial, quality education remains elusive in Indonesia. Below is a list of the most popular education stories on our website and a number of premium articles you need to read to understand the challenges facing Indonesian education.
Indonesian education index lower than Philippines, Ethiopia (Mar 25, 2017)
A 2016 study commissioned by the Network for Education Watch Indonesia (JPPI) revealed that the archipelago achieved a score of 77 percent in the Right to Education Index (RTEI), lower than the Philippines and Ethiopia. Indicators used to compile the index include education governance, availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability.
Indonesia second-least literate among 61 nations (March 12, 2016)
Indonesia is the second-least literate nation in the world in a list of 61 measurable countries, besting only Botswana, according to research by Central Connecticut State University in the United States. The study looked at literacy and literate behavior in 200 countries, but only 61 countries made the list because the rest lacked relevant statistics.
Following the recent four-day national examination for high school students, the Education and Culture Ministry’s official Instagram account was flooded with complaints of the test being “too hard”. This year’s exam questions, according to Education and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy, were formulated according to an internationally approved education reform concept, namely the High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS).
Indonesian state universities are welcoming the latest policy of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration allowing foreign academics to serve as permanent lecturers in the country's universities. The new policy is the latest move by Jokowi to implement a sturdy foreign academic culture in Indonesia's higher education system, after announcing in February that foreign universities would be allowed to operate in Indonesia.
Indonesian teachers struggle to promote tolerance (Feb. 6, 2017)
With intolerance on the rise across the country, many have pointed the finger of blame at religion teachers and their failure to instill the values of tolerance and inclusivity in students. A 2016 study by the Center for the Study of Islam and Society (PPIM), for instance, found that 80 percent of Islamic education teachers refused to provide shelter for followers of Ahmadiyah and Shia Islam should they require it.
Selected premium articles:
Several studies have confirmed that Indonesia continued to struggle with its education system and the challenges it faces. Education and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy spoke to The Jakarta Post’s Moses Ompusunggu about the state of Indonesia’s education.
Efforts to expand access to education have resulted in a significant increase in Indonesia’s gross school enrollment rates between 1972 and 2015. But this alone is not enough; other challenges include instilling teacher reform and collaborating with regional governments.
A presidential regulation stipulating that character education may be carried out within either a six-day or a five-day school week has become the object of criticism among education experts, who said it “lacks clarity and detail” on how to implement character values in daily academic activities.
Businesses pin hopes on vocational education (Nov. 18, 2017)
Indonesian Workers Association (APINDO) executive director Agung Pambudi said vocational education could be the key in equipping the youth with the necessary skills for the job market. The government launched a national apprenticeship program in 2016, which aims to upgrade workers’ skills through internship programs.
Students embracing minority religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism are striving for their right to religious education in their own faiths. Jakarta Education Agency deputy head Bowo Irianto said schools in the city generally did not provide teachers for those three religions for efficiency reasons, considering that few students held those beliefs.