2009 Indonesia: EFA Mid-Decade Assessment Indonesia
Author: Prof. Dr. Bambang Sudibyo, MBA
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A. CREATING A HIGHLY CONDUCIVE EFA ENVIRONMENT
Indonesia is a large and diverse nation which derives its identity from both a homogeneity and heterogeneity in geographic, religious, cultural, ethnic and economic terms. Indonesia's population is 241 million covering more than 300 ethnic groups, speaking more than 583 local languages and dialects, with religious practices covering Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. Education reforms must therefore respond to these opportunities, address particular geographic and economic constraints, through systems which are responsive to Indonesia's size and diversity. The Government of Indonesia recognizes that, as a member of the E9 group of large country education systems, it has particular responsibilities if global EFA targets are to be achieved.
Since 2000, and especially since 2003/04, the Government has taken a number of measures to create a highly conducive environment for EFA planning and implementation. Through the Office of The President and Ministry of National Education, a comprehensive legislative and regulatory framework has been put in place, including specific Presidential decrees for eradicating of illiteracy and achievement of 9 years of basic education, which are guided by the revised National Education Law 20/2003. In 2005, a national education strategic plan (RENSTRA 2005/2009) was formulated which sets out the vision, mission, goals and targets for accelerating education reforms and achievement of EFA goals. The formulation of the RENSTRA and the subsequent revision of the National EFA Action Plan in 2005 has ensured harmonization of Government's education reform efforts.
The RENSTRA and EFA action plan are built on three main strategic pillars covering: i) ensuring expanded access and equity, ii) improving quality and relevance and iii) strengthening governance, accountability and public image. High priority is being accorded to institutional, organizational and financing reforms. An extensive array of operational guidelines have been issued to inform implementation planning and management. In 2004, minimum service standards of education were issued, alongside the establishment of a semi-autonomous Board of National Education Standards (BSNP) and revised examination systems, in order to secure strong governance and monitoring of quality assurance.
In 2005, the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) were reorganized to increase the results orientation of education reform planning and implementation. A new Directorate of Quality Improvement for Teachers and Education Personnel was established in 2005, alongside revised and strengthened mandates for the Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education, Non-Formal Education and Higher Education and MoRA. These mandates incorporate increased responsibility for forging effective partnerships with the private sector, faith based education foundations and community organizations.
Education reform plans incorporate accelerating the pace of achieving EFA goals and targets. Accordingly, Government has dramatically increased public expenditure allocations for education. Since 2000, education share of GDP has increased from 2.5% to 3.9% and share of public expenditure has risen from 12% to 16.8%. Overall education spending, including provincial and district sources has more than tripled since 2000. Central education spending has increasingly focused on achieving EFA goals through expanded primary and secondary school infrastructure programs, quality oriented school operational block grants and teacher upgrading programs. In 2005, Parliament approved a new teachers law and funding program to ensure that all school teachers and managers achieved graduate level qualification and performance accreditation by 2015.
Recognizing significant disparities in provincial and district education performance and resource provision, education financing strategies have increasingly focused on underperforming and under-resourced areas. School infrastructure programs are targeting low enrolment districts. School and textbook operational block grants (BOS) are designed to offset parental contributions for poor families which constitute significant access and quality improvement constraints. Teacher upgrading programs are focusing on rural areas where the proportion of better qualified teachers is lowest. non-formal adult literacy, early childhood education and life skills programs specifically target districts with the poorest performance indicators.
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