Education and youth


Priority Issues

UNICEF in Action


Priority Issues

© UNICEF Indonesia/2017/Watson

Basic Education for All
UNICEF is working closely with Government, community groups, and other partners to enable Indonesia to meet SDG 4 for inclusive and equitable quality education for all children. Despite overall high enrollment rates, some 4.5 million Indonesians aged 7-18 years are not in school; children with disabilities, from poor families or living in rural areas are more likely to be out of school. In addition, many Indonesian children do not finish all levels of formal education; 1 in 10 children do not transition from primary to junior secondary level and almost 1 in 5 children who complete junior secondary do not continue into the final years of their education. Meanwhile, just one-third of children with disabilities participate in formal schooling. Much of UNICEF’s work is focused on building government capacity through evidence generation, knowledge sharing, capacity building and innovation to ensure that children are enrolling, staying in, and learning while in school.


Early Grade Literacy
Papua and West Papua Provinces have the highest rates of illiteracy in Indonesia. Some 37 per cent of Papuans and 12 per cent of West Papuans cannot read, compared to 8 per cent of Indonesians nationally. Illiteracy rates are much higher in rural areas (49 per cent) than urban areas (5 per cent) and these disparities become more pronounced in remote highland districts with poor access to education where between 48 and 92 per cent of the population are illiterate. UNICEF is working to develop culturally and developmentally appropriate learning materials to help empower children as learners, and on the job training to empower teachers as professionals.


Early Childhood Development
 UNICEF aims to increase participation in quality early childhood development (ECD) education by strengthening partners’ capacity to deliver high-quality early services and advocating for publicly funded pre-primary education. Providing universal access to ECD and developmentally appropriate school readiness programmes is essential to achieving the SDG goals. However, more than 22,000 villages do not have ECD centres (known as PAUD in Indonesia) and only 24 per cent of PAUD teachers have appropriate educational qualifications. Quality is further compromised by a lack of adequate classrooms, play areas, age-appropriate curriculum, and learning materials. The poorest quintile of children is far less likely to benefit from ECD and some of them start school late.


Education for Adolescent Development
 Adolescents account for 18 per cent of Indonesia’s population but despite Indonesia’s economic growth, opportunities have not always translated into gains for adolescents. This high proportion of young people hold the key to Indonesia achieving the SDGs by 2030; yet, adolescents face a wide range of risks and challenges including: child marriage, adolescent pregnancy, bullying as well as missing school due to menstruation and physical attacks in schools. Approximately 29 per cent of 16-18 year olds have dropped out of school. UNICEF works with government and communities to increase adolescents’ participation in both formal and life-skills based education programmes and advocate for policies and services that are responsive to their needs and capabilities and have the potential to break cycles of poverty, discrimination and violence.


Education in Emergencies
Most areas in Indonesia are prone to natural disasters and the number of climate-related extreme events is increasing significantly. Children are especially vulnerable to disasters, risking negative health, education and protection impacts. At least 75 per cent of schools are in disaster prone areas. UNICEF supports the government to play a leading role in ensuring safe schools and education for children affected by emergencies.



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