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Improving Education in Indonesia

Education is a very important thing in our country life. A country without a well structured educational system is doomed because education is the key to any form of development in a country. Education in Indonesia is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of National Education of Indonesia. According to the Indonesian Constitution, all citizens must undertake nine years of compulsory education, six years at elementary level and three in junior high school. The constitution also notes that education in Indonesia is divided into two major parts, formal and non-formal.

Since our independence in 1945, our Government has steadily made efforts to improve and expand our education system. Over the years, significant efforts have been made to develop all levels of formal education in Indonesia, from elementary to university education.

The extent to which a nation has achieved success in improving its education is a barometer for measuring its development. Education in Indonesia far behind many other countries. The slow progress in the education sector in our country is reflected in the Human Development Index report 2007, which ranked Indonesia number 107 with a score of 0.728. The Human Development Index is an indicator that measures a nation's quality of life, access to proper education, life expectancy, living standards and the level of literacy.

Education is essential to development. It opens doors to all and helps people to lift themselves out of poverty. It empowers people. The best and only way to produce qualified human resources is the provision of a education system. Then we have to know why the Quality of Education is.
Quality education encompasses the following aspects:
• Schools that are in good condition, both in physical infrastructure and teaching resources
• A well balanced curriculum that meets the needs of the students and includes many forms of skills training, including technology
• Teacher-based education where the welfare and abilities of the teachers are satisfactory
• Education that is implemented using contextual learning that prepares children for the challenges of the future

Indonesia has made significant developments in education in the last 10 years in terms of quantity. However, in terms of quality, not much advancement has been made. Educational institutions do not have consistent quality across the board. Only institutions that charge high tuition fees can provide high quality teaching and learning systems. As a result, they are able to attract only the upper class students.

To improve the quality of education in Indonesia, the Government is making efforts to:
• Create a national movement for completion of basic education, involving communities, especially parents and community leaders, the private and industrial sectors.
• Enhance and strengthen existing essential programme for increasing school enrolment
• Mobilize resources for improving the Basic Education Programme.
• Provide better opportunities for private schools and community-based educational institutions to participate in basic education provision.
• Use alternative education approaches and programmes to reach unreached poor and remote communities

This is where the global community can be a part of our efforts. For example, many non-profit organizations from Canada like Mustard Seed Canada have been involved in providing quality education to students in Indonesia by:
• building and running schools for children
• rebuilding schools destroyed by natural disasters
• providing teacher-training facilities for pre-service as well as in-service programs
• fostering student exchange programs and study tours
• launching university partnership programs.

There are also other communities or organizations that offer to cooperate with us that serve Student Exchange, Scholarship, and many other programs. Students who have finished their study can be back to their country to build their education.


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