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Indonesia Table of Contents

Indonesia

EDUCATION

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Elementary school children and teacher, Jember, Jawa Timur Province
Courtesy Hermine L. Dreyfuss

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College students, Jember, Jawa Timur Province
Courtesy Hermine L. Dreyfuss

The character of Indonesia's educational system reflects its diverse religious heritage, its struggle for a national identity, and the challenge of resource allocation in a poor but developing archipelagic nation with a young and rapidly growing population. Although a draft constitution stated in 1950 that a key government goal was to provide every Indonesian with at least six years of primary schooling, the aim of universal education had not been reached by the late 1980s, particularly among females--although great improvements had been made (see table 9, Appendix). Obstacles to meeting the government's goal included a high birth rate, a decline in infant mortality, and a shortage of schools and qualified teachers. In 1973 Suharto issued an order to set aside portions of oil revenues for the construction of new primary schools. This act resulted in the construction or repair of nearly 40,000 primary school facilities by the late 1980s, a move that greatly facilitated the goal of universal education.

Data as of November 1992