Education and Adolescents
Helping children and adolescents reach their full potential
Children in Indonesia stand a better chance of being in school than ever before. Yet around 4.4 million children and adolescents aged 7–18 years are still out of school.
The poorest children, children with disabilities and children living in under-developed parts of the country are most at risk of school exclusion.
For example, 13 to 15-year-old junior secondary school (JSS) children from the poorest households are five times more likely to be out of school than those from the wealthiest households.
Geographically, the JSS out-of-school rates range from 1.3 per cent in Yogyakarta – a a relatively affluent city – to 22 per cent in Papua – the country’s easternmost province and the poorest.
Recent analysis of the Intercensal Data (SUPAS 2015) suggested that 57 per cent of school-aged children with disabilities are not in school.
Meanwhile, many children who do attend school struggle to acquire even basic academic skills. Less than half of 15-year-old students in Indonesia achieve a minimum proficiency level in reading and less than one third of them did so in mathematics (PISA 2015).
Adolescents are also missing out on opportunities to develop their full potential. Out of the 46 million adolescents in Indonesia, nearly a quarter of 15 to 19-year-olds are not in education, employment or training. Youth unemployment is around 15 per cent.
Children’s potential is nurtured from the early years, and access to early childhood development (ECD) has been steadily increasing under the government’s ‘One Village, One ECD Centre’ policy. However, the quality of ECD services requires major improvement in most places. The national ECD gross enrolment ratio stands at 72 per cent in 2016–2017 but is just 51 per cent in Papua Province.
UNICEF works with the Government of Indonesia to improve access to, and quality of education for the most marginalized children aged 3–18 years, including children with disabilities and those in humanitarian situations.
Reducing the high numbers of out-of-school children remains a key priority for Indonesia to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 on inclusive and equitable education by 2030.
UNICEF support focuses on evidence generation, policy advocacy and system strengthening for equitable access to education, improved learning outcomes, and skills development for adolescents.