Education in Indonesia
|Ministry of Education and Culture
Ministry of Religious Affairs
|Minister of Education and Culture
Minister of Religious Affairs
|Professor Muhammad Nuh
|National education budget (2006)|
|Budget||US $4.18 billion|
|Competency-based curriculum||October 14, 2004|
Education in Indonesia is under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan or Kemdikbud) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kementerian Agama or Kemenag). In Indonesia, all citizens must undertake nine years of compulsory education which consists of six years at elementary level and three in secondary level. Islamic schools are under the responsibility of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Education is defined as a planned effort to establish a study environment and education process so that the student may actively develop his/her own potential to gain the religious and spiritual level, consciousness, personality, intelligence, behavior and creativity to him/herself, other citizens and for the nation. The Constitution also notes that education in Indonesia is divided into two major parts, formal and non-formal. Formal education is further divided into three levels, primary, secondary and tertiary education.
Schools in Indonesia are run either by the government (negeri) or private sectors (swasta). Some private schools refer to themselves as "national plus schools" which means that they intend to go beyond the minimum government requirements, especially with the use of English as medium of instruction or having an international-based curriculum instead of the national one.
Early kingdoms 
Education system in the era of Hindu-Buddhist civilization is called karsyan. Karsyan is a place of hermitage. This method is highly religious, aimed to draw oneself closer to God.
Era of Islamic states 
The emergence of Islamic state in Indonesia is noted by the acculturation of both Islamic tradition and Hindu-Buddhist tradition. At this time period, pondok pesantren, a type of Islamic boarding school was introduced and several of them were established. The location of pesantren is mostly faraway from the hustling crowd of the city, resembling the location of Karsyan.
Colonial era 
Elementary education was introduced by the Dutch in Indonesia during the colonial era. Initially, it was reserved for the Dutch (and other Europeans) only. In 1870, with the growth of Dutch Ethical Policy formulated by Conrad Theodor van Deventer, some of these Dutch-founded schools opened the doors for bumiputera (lit. native Indonesians). They were called Sekolah Rakjat (lit. folk school), the embryo of what is called Sekolah Dasar (lit. elementary school) today.
The Dutch introduced a system of formal education for the local population of Indonesia, although this was restricted to certain privileged children. The system they introduced was roughly similar to the current structure, with the following levels:
- ELS (Dutch: Europeesche Lagere School) - Primary School for Europeans
- HIS (Dutch: Hollandsch-Inlandsche School) - Primary School for Natives
- MULO (Dutch: Meer Uitgebreid Lager Onderwijs) - Middle School
- AMS (Dutch: Algeme(e)ne Middelbare School) - High School or College
- HBS (Dutch:Hogere Burger School) - Pre-University
The segregation between Dutch and Indonesian in Education pushed several Indonesian figures to start educational institutions for local people. Ahmad Dahlan founded Muhammadiyah in November 1912, and Ki Hajar Dewantara founded Taman Siswa in July 1922. Pesantrens were also mushrooming rapidly during this time period.
- School tot Opleiding van Inlandsche Artsen or STOVIA, a medical school in Batavia
- Nederland-Indische Artsen School or NIAS, a medical school in Surabaja
- Rechts Hoge School, a law school in Batavia
- De Technische Hoges School, or THS, a technic school in Bandoeng
By the 1930s, the Dutch had introduced limited formal education to nearly every province of the Dutch East Indies.
Recent history 
Great progress has been made toward the goal of universal education since 1973, when nearly 20 percent of youth were illiterate. At that time, then-President Suharto issued an order to set aside portions of oil revenues for the construction of new primary schools. This act resulted in the construction or repair of nearly 40,000 primary-school facilities by the late 1980s, and literacy rates improved significantly nationwide. During 1997–98, the financial crisis affected the poorest families the most, resulting in their selectively cutting back on their education expenditures. Government funding struggled to keep up with rising costs during this period, but by 2002, according to the World Bank, only 2 percent of those between the ages of 15 and 24 could not read, and by 2009, the adult literacy rate was 90.4 percent.
Early education 
From the age of 2, some children in Indonesia attend pre-school playgroup, known as PAUD (Pendidikan Anak Usia Dini). From the age of 4, they attend kindergarten (Taman Kanak-Kanak). This education is not compulsory for Indonesian citizens, as it is aimed to prepare them for Primary Schooling. Of the 49,000 kindergartens in Indonesia, 99.35% of them are privately operated schools. The kindergarten years are usually divided into "Class A" and "Class B" students spending a year in each class.
Public primary and secondary education 
Indonesians are required to attend nine years of school. They can choose between state-run, nonsectarian public schools supervised by the Department of National Education (Depdiknas) or private or semiprivate religious (usually Islamic) schools supervised and financed by the Department of Religious Affairs. However, although 86.1 percent of the Indonesian population is registered as Muslim, according to the 2000 census only 15 percent of school-age individuals attended religious schools. Overall enrollment figures are slightly higher for girls than boys and much higher in Java than the rest of Indonesia.
A central goal of the national education system is not merely to impart secular wisdom about the world but also to instruct children in the principles of participation in the modern nation-state, its bureaucracies, and its moral and ideological foundations. Beginning under Guided Democracy (1959–65) and strengthened in the New Order after 1975, a key feature of the national curriculum—as was the case for other national institutions—has been instruction in the Pancasila. Children age six and older learned by rote its five principles—belief in one God, humanitarianism, national unity, democracy, and social justice—and were instructed daily to apply the meanings of this key national symbol to their lives. But with the end of the New Order in 1998 and the beginning of the campaign to decentralize the national government, provincial and district-level administrators obtained increasing autonomy in determining the content of schooling, and Pancasila began to play a diminishing role in the curriculum.
A style of pedagogy prevails inside public-school classrooms that emphasizes rote learning and deference to the authority of the teacher. Although the youngest children are sometimes allowed to use their local language, by the third year of primary school nearly all instruction is conducted in Indonesian. Teachers customarily do not ask questions of individual students; rather, a standard teaching technique is to narrate a historical event or to describe a mathematical problem, pausing at key junctures to allow the students to call out responses that "fill in the blanks". By not identifying individual problems of students and retaining an emotionally distanced demeanor, teachers are said to show themselves to be sabar (patient), which is considered admirable behavior.
Children aged 6–11 attend primary school, called Sekolah Dasar (SD). Most elementary schools are government-operated public schools, accounting for nearly 93% of all elementary schools in Indonesia. Students spend six years in primary school, though some schools offer an accelerated learning program in which students who perform well can complete the level in five years.
Three years of middle school (Sekolah Menengah Pertama, or SMP) follow elementary school.
After completion of the six-year primary-school program, three years of junior secondary school (Sekolah Menengah Pertama, or SMP) may be followed by three years of senior secondary school (Sekolah Menengah Atas or SMA.); or students can choose among a variety of vocational and pre-professional junior and senior secondary schools (Sekolah Menengah Kejuruan or SMK), each level of which requires three years of study. There are academic and vocational junior high schools that lead to senior-level diplomas. There are also "domestic science" junior high schools for girls. At the senior high school level, three-year agricultural, veterinary, and forestry schools are open to students who have graduated from an academic junior high school. Special schools at the junior and senior levels teach hotel management, legal clerking, plastic arts, and music.
Students with disabilities/special needs may alternately opt to be enrolled in a separate school from the mainstream called Sekolah Luar Biasa (lit. Extraordinary School).
The completion rate for Indonesian primary schools is high. Indeed, 100 percent of the relevant age-group had completed primary education as of 2003. The gross enrollment rate for primary schools was 100 percent, but it decreased to 62 percent for secondary schools and 16 percent for postsecondary schools. There were nearly equal numbers of girls and boys in primary and secondary schools; in the late 2000s, the ratio was 96.7 girls to 100 boys. Depdiknas reported that in school year 2007–8 there were 63,444 kindergartens, with a total enrollment of 2.8 million pupils and 176,061 teachers. Later statistics are available for primary and secondary levels for school year 2008–9. They indicate that there were 144,228 primary schools, with a total enrollment of 26.9 million students and 1.5 million teachers; 28,777 junior secondary schools, with a total enrollment of 8.9 million students and 629,036 teachers; 10,762 general senior secondary schools, with a total enrollment of 3.8 million students and 314,389 teachers; and 7,592 vocational senior secondary schools, with a total enrollment of 3 million students and 246,018 teachers. Additionally, there were 1,686 special education schools from kindergarten to senior secondary levels, with a total enrollment of 73,322 and 18,047 teachers.
Teacher-training programs are varied and gradually being upgraded. For example, in the 1950s anyone completing a teacher-training program at the junior high school level could obtain a teacher’s certificate. Since the 1970s, however, primary-school teachers have been required to have graduated from a senior high school for teachers, and teachers of higher grades have been required to have completed a university-level education course. Remuneration for primary- and secondary-school teachers, although low, compares favorably with that in other Asian countries such as Malaysia, India, and Thailand. Student–teacher ratios also compare satisfactorily with those in many Asian nations: They were 23.4 to 1 and 18.8 to 1, respectively, for primary and secondary schools in 2004; that same year, the overall averages for Asia-Pacific countries were 22 to 1 and 18 to 1, respectively.
By 2008 the staff shortage in Indonesia's schools was no longer as acute as in the 1980s, but serious difficulties remain, particularly in the areas of teacher salaries, teacher certification, and finding qualified personnel. In many remote areas of the Outer Islands, in particular, there is a severe shortage of qualified teachers, and some villages have school buildings but no teachers, books, or supplies. Providing textbooks and other school equipment to Indonesia’s 37 million schoolchildren throughout the far-flung archipelago continues to be a significant problem as well, especially in more remote areas.
School grades 
The school year is divided into two semesters. The first commences in July and ends in December while the latter commences in January and ends in June.
|Tertiary education (College or University)||Ages vary (usually four years,
referred to as Freshman,
Sophomore, Junior and
|#||Name||#||Name||Primary School||Middle School||High School|
|1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th||8th||9th||10th||11th (NS)||12th (NS)||11th (SS)||12th (SS)||11th (H)||12th (H)|
|4||Information Technology and Communication|
|2||Language (and Literature)||1||Indonesian Language|
|3||Traditional/Local Language (Sundanese, Javanese, Balinese, et al.)|
|4||Foreign Language (Mandarin, Arabic, Japanese, German, French, Korean, et al.)|
|3||Foreign Language (Higher Level)|
Islamic schools 
The secular and nationalist emphasis in public schools has been resisted by some of the Muslim majority. A distinct and vocal minority of these Muslims prefer to place their children in a pesantren, or Islamic school. Usually located in rural areas and directed by a Muslim scholar, pesantren are attended by young people seeking a detailed understanding of the Quran, the Arabic language, the sharia, and Muslim traditions and history, as well as more modern subjects such as English, mathematics, and geography. Students can enter and leave the pesantren any time of the year, and the studies are not organized as a progression of courses leading to graduation. Although the chief aim of pesantren is to produce good Muslims, they do not share a single stance toward Islam or a position on secularism. Some pesantren emphasize the autonomy of modern students to think for themselves and to interpret scripture and modern knowledge in a way that is consistent with the teachings of Islam. Others are more traditional and stress the importance of following the wisdom of elders, including their teachings on science, religion, and family life. Although the terrorist bombings in Kuta, Bali, in 2002 raised suspicions about whether pesantren promote extremist views, the majority of these schools in Indonesia are theologically moderate, reflecting the views of the Indonesian population as a whole. For those who opt for a pesantren education, a sixth-grade equivalency certificate is available after successful completion of a state test.
In order for students to adapt to life in the modern nation-state, in the 1970s the Muslim-dominated Department of Religion (now the Department of Religious Affairs) advocated the spread of a newer variety of Muslim school, the madrassa. This kind of school integrates religious subjects from the pesantren with secular subjects from the Western-style public-education system. Although in general the public believes that Islamic schools offer lower-quality education, among Islamic schools a madrassa is ranked lower than a pesantren.
Madrasah Ibtidaiyah (MI) is the Islamic schooling alternative to SD, following a curriculum with more focus on Arabic and Islam. Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs) is the Islamic schooling equivalent of SMP. Madrasah Aliyah (MA) is the Islamic schooling equivalent of SMA while Madrasah Aliyah Kejuruan (MAK) is the equivalent of SMK.
Higher education 
The higher education institution is categorized into two types: public and private. Both are supervised by the Ministry of National Education. There are four types of higher education institution: universities, institutes, academies, and polytechnics.
Indonesia's institutions of higher education have experienced dramatic growth since independence. In 1950 there were 10 institutions of higher learning with a total of about 6,500 students. In 1970, 450 private and state institutions enrolled about 237,000 students, and by 1990 there were 900 institutions with about 141,000 teachers and nearly 1.5 million students. By 2009 there were 2,975 institutions of higher education and more than 4.2 million students. Of these institutions, 3 percent were public, with 57.1 percent of the student enrollment, and 97 percent were private, with 42.9 of the student enrollment. Even though government subsidies finance approximately 80 to 90 percent of state-university budgets, universities have considerably more autonomy in curriculum and internal structure than do primary and secondary schools. Whereas, tuition in such state institutions is more affordable than private-university tuition, enabling attendance by students from relatively modest backgrounds, faculty salaries are low by international standards. Lecturers often have other jobs outside the university to supplement their wages.
Private universities are generally operated by foundations. Unlike state universities, private institutions have budgets that are almost entirely tuition-driven. A onetime registration fee (which can be quite high) is determined at the time of entry. Universities with a religious affiliation may receive donations or grants from religious organisations. The government provides only limited scholarship support for students wishing to attend private universities.
Most of the 6,000 foreign students studying in Indonesian universities hail from Malaysia. In particular, they are in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, literature, humanities, Islamic studies and engineering and the majority are sponsored by the Malaysian government. These foreign students are dispersed across Indonesia in almost all government universities such as Universitas Sumatera Utara, University of Indonesia, Gadjah Mada University, Bandung Institute of Technology and also in private institutions such as Universitas Kristen Krida Wacana (UKRIDA).
Indonesian degrees 
|Type of degree||Indonesian term||Equivalent in English-speaking countries|
|Diploma 1 (D1)||Profesional ahli pratama||Associate degree|
|Diploma 2 (D2)||Profesional ahli muda||Associate degree|
|Diploma 3 (D3)||Profesional ahli madya||Associate degree|
|Diploma 4 (D4)||Sarjana sains terapan||Bachelor's degree|
|Sarjana 1 (S1)||Sarjana||Bachelor's degree|
|Sarjana 2 (S2)||Magister||Master's degree|
|Sarjana 3 (S3)||Doktor||Doctoral degree|
See also 
- Indonesian National Academic Exam
- List of schools in Indonesia
- List of universities in Indonesia
- List of Indonesian agricultural universities and colleges
- "Nicht verfügbar". Infocondet.com. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
- "Sedikit Uraian Sejarah Pendidikan Indonesia « Tinulad". Tinulad.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
- "Hendry's Site - 1. SEKOLAH MENENGAH". Attaubah60.multiply.com. 1946-04-10. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
- Kuipers, Joel C. "Education". In Indonesia: A Country Study (William H. Frederick and Robert L. Worden, eds.). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (2011). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Kindergarten statistics between 2004-2005 http://www.depdiknas.go.id/statistik/thn04-05/TK_0405.htm
- Primary School statistics between 2004-2005 http://www.depdiknas.go.id/statistik/thn04-05/SD_0405.htm
- "Foreign students in Indonesia mostly Malaysians". Waspada.co.id. 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2012-11-01.