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Jakarta Post

Surakarta to apply school zoning system

  • Ganug Nugroho Adi

    The Jakarta Post

Surakarta   /   Wed, April 10, 2019   /   08:38 am
Surakarta to apply school zoning system Elementary school students cross a dilapidated suspension bridge in Srengseng Sawah, South Jakarta on Jan. 23, 2018. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

All state kindergartens and elementary schools in Surakarta, Central Java are going to implement a school zoning enrollment system aimed at reducing favoritism.

The head of the Surakarta Education Agency, Etty Retnowati, said on Tuesday that the achievement-based enrollment system would no longer be used. “No matter how bad the students' achievements are, they would be accepted if their homes are close to the school,” she said.

Previously, state schools applied an enrollment system that gave priority to students’ national exam results, which created a tendency among parents to choose popular schools.

Launched in 2016, the school zoning enrollment system is an effort by the Education Ministry to make state schools prioritize students who live close by, to boost the overall quality of education.

Etty said that 90 percent of Surakarta students would be accepted based on the proximity of their houses to the schools, while 5 percent would be accepted based on their academic achievements. The remaining openings would be for transfer students.

“The draft has been completed. We are just waiting for it to be established as a mayoral regulation,” Etty said.

“The way public thinks must change. All schools are the same. The capacity of teachers in all schools are the same. Moreover, state schools have been treated equally,” Etty said.

The education agency planned to familiarize every state kindergarten and elementary school in Surakarta with the system.

Meanwhile, the agency's secretary, Unggul Sudarmo, said the official public school enrollment website, PPDB Online, would rank student candidates based on their home-to-school distances.

He said the new system was expected to increase the competence of students and reduce social exclusivity in schools. (das)