In our fifth series of blog posts, we are introducing education sector trends and opportunities, starting with Indonesia.
Indonesia has fourth largest education system in the world with around 55 million students, 3 million teachers and more than 236,000 schools in 500 districts according to Economist report from 2014 and it has a literacy rate of over 95% in 2015 as per UNESCO. Education is administered together with two ministries: 84% of schools being under the Ministry of National Education (MoNE) whilst 16 % are under the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), private schools playing an important role in the system role according to World Bank.
Education is one of the central themes in the Indonesian government’s development agenda, and education spending has tremendously increased after the economic crisis doubling from 2000 to 2006 to reach 3,4% of GDP in 2014 as per World Bank.
Despite the investment, Indonesian education system has been ranked one of the worst in the world. Indonesia ranked second last in the PISA results in 2012, down from PISA 2009 when it ranked 57th according to an article in Jakarta Post in December 2013. In 2006 PISA it ranked 50th out of 57 countries according to World Bank.
According to Economist report, for every 100 students who enter school, only ¼ meets the minimum international standards of literacy and numeracy. Average Indonesian 15-year-old is approximately 4 years behind his/her peer in Singapore in reading, math and science. In addition, out of over 400 teacher training institutes in Indonesia, approximately a tenth aren’t up to standard according to Economist. In order to improve the situation, a law on teacher certification was introduced in 2005, but according to a World Bank report of 2014 this certification hasn’t made a big difference on learning results.
The government has responded to critics by setting out plans for developing vocational-training institutes, especially agriculture and fisheries according to Economist in order to support the rural development, where locals are dependent on farming and fishing.
According to World Bank, Indonesia need to focus on improving student learning achievement, junior secondary school enrolment and allocate more budgetary resources on education.
With the increasing mobile internet connection, opportunities exist in mobile education games and interactive classroom solutions. Teacher training and curriculum development represent other good opportunities for international educational institutes or companies to make a positive impact in Indonesia’s education system.