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Education statistics for Indonesia

24 July 2011

There are some good resources online that tell us about the current state of education in Indonesia:

These links go directly to the data about Indonesia.

The literacy rate is about 90 percent, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Here are the notes about the Indonesian education system that I took at the Fulbright pre-departure meeting:

  1. The bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees are called, respectively, S1, S2 and S3.
  2. A D3 is a post-secondary diploma, less than an S1, possibly equivalent to an associate’s degree in the U.S.
  3. Children go to kindergarten at ages 5–6. They start primary school (sekolah dasar or SD) at age 7.
  4. Middle school (grades 7–9) is called SMP.
  5. There are two types of high school: SMA leads to university, and SMK provides various vocational programs. In SMA, students must choose one of three majors for the final two years: science, social sciences, or linguistics.
  6. The national achievement test is called Ujian Nasional (UN). A test is administered after grades 6 and 9 and at the end of high school. A student must pass the test in order to advance to the next level. Students may not retake the test unless they repeat all the grades leading to that test. Therefore, those who fail the test after grade 6 usually do not continue in school.
  7. English language is tested at every level except SD.
  8. Each university has its own admissions test. Although the UN scores have influence on a student’s acceptance to a given university, that university will also require the student to take another test.
  9. Students in the Islamic and other religious schools must pass the same test as all other students.
  10. The schools called madrasah are the public Islamic schools, and they are administered by the Ministry of Religion (MoRA). All other religious schools (Islamic or other) are administered by the Ministry of Education (MoNE).
  11. The Islamic schools called pesantren are privately owned, and students there are separated by gender. According to Pringle (2010), pesantren are always boarding schools. He also says that any Islamic school that is not a boarding school may be called madrasah. “There are about 14,000 pesantren and 38,000 madrasah in Indonesia, with about ten million students, or approximately one-fifth of Indonesia’s secondary enrollment” (p. 120).
  12. Both pesantren and madrasah are less expensive for students than other schools, including public schools.
  13. Qualified teachers would prefer to work in the schools administered by the Ministry of Education (MoNE); the pay is higher.
  14. Many teachers in the madrasah do not have a university degree.

If I have made any errors, please post a correction in the comments here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. jingting permalink
    10 February 2012 5:56 pm

    Hello, I’m wondering: do students get to choose whether they want to go to SMA or SMK or are they streamed according to academic ability (low performers are automatically tracked to SMK)?

  2. 10 February 2012 7:19 pm

    Sorry, jingting, but I do not know the answer to that.

  3. Hardi permalink
    15 September 2012 1:48 pm

    Hi, maybe I can help jingting. Students can choose whether they want to go to SMA or SMK. Main motivation to enter SMK is to be able to get to the job market straight after graduated.

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