POLICY BRIEF: Improving teacher working groups in Indonesia, October 2019

The Indonesian system of school clusters (gugus) and teachers’ working groups (kelompok kerja guru or KKG) is well established, but is not yet used to best effect as a vehicle for teachers’ professional development. In 2017, the Ministry of Education and Culture issued guidelines for the development of the teacher working groups. The guidelines stress the role of the teachers’ working groups in supporting professional development and the urgent need for them to realize this role. Not withstanding this national policy, INOVASI school surveys found that teachers do not regard the teachers’ working groups as a forum for professional development. Their motivation to attend teachers’ working group meetings is generally low; the meetings are mainly used for developing test items and for routine tasks, such as completing requirements for education administration. There are few resource persons available to facilitate professional development, and the teachers’ working group is rarely used as a vehicle for in-service training or continuing professional development.

This October 2019 policy brief explores key strategic issues and policy recommendations for strengthening local teacher working groups (KKG) in Indonesia. The brief draws on INOVASI’s work and body of evidence to date, including emerging pilot endline data from Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara. A further update of the brief will be done in late 2019, with additional endline evidence from INOVASI’s four partner provinces. 

POLICY BRIEF: Early grade literacy in Indonesia, October 2019

Basic literacy is the foundation for all learning, including for science, technology, mathematics, character education and higher-order thinking. Literacy is recognised as a key skill for the 21st century, and the national literacy movement (Gerakan Literasi Nasional, or GLN) has identified four strategies for schools: disseminating and coordinating strategy through local government and technical units; engaging literacy, arts, science and community organisations at the regional level; training literacy trainers in the regions; and literacy mapping.

This October 2019 policy brief explores key strategic issues and policy recommendations for early grade literacy in Indonesia. The brief draws on INOVASI’s work and body of evidence to date, including emerging pilot endline data from Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara. A further update of the brief will be done in late 2019, with additional endline evidence from INOVASI’s four partner provinces. 

POLICY BRIEF: Inclusive education, October 2019

Education for all has been Indonesian  policy since it was first agreed in 2000 through the Dakar Declaration. Responding to the agreement, the Government of Indonesia implemented an education-for-all program in the 2000–2015 period. The program included: basic education, equality, gender mainstreaming and education quality improvement. Indonesia also adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. The fourth goal is to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.

Primary school enrolment, attendance and completion rates for Indonesia’s children with disabilities are noticeably low. Data from the 2010 census indicated that only 53 per cent of people with disabilities ever attended school compared to 98 per cent of people with no disability.

Ensuring that all Indonesians participate in a quality, relevant education will contribute directly to the improvement of workforce and employment – and regional economic competitiveness – and, at the same time, will help ensure that citizens live healthy and productive lives.

This October 2019 policy brief explores key strategic issues and policy recommendations for inclusive education in Indonesia. The brief draws on INOVASI’s work and body of evidence to date, including emerging pilot endline data from Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara. A further update of the brief will be done in late 2019, with additional endline evidence from INOVASI’s four partner provinces. 

POLICY BRIEF: Assessment for improved learning outcomes, October 2019

An effective assessment system provides students, teachers, parents and government with valid and reliable information about learning outcomes. Assessment informs teachers’ planning so they can tailor lessons to students’ needs, it improves accountability, providing a basis for teachers to report to parents and the wider community on children’s learning outcomes, and it informs schools and government so they can plan and devise policies based on the evidence.

This October 2019 policy brief explores key strategic issues and policy recommendations for the use of assessment in Indonesia. The brief draws on INOVASI’s work and body of evidence to date. A further update of the brief will be done in late 2019, with additional endline evidence from INOVASI’s four partner provinces. 

POLICY BRIEF: Multi-grade teaching, October 2019

According to the World Bank, over 30 per cent of the world’s children are taught in multi-grade classes. In many small primary schools and madrasah in Indonesia, there is no option other than to group children in multi-grade classes, for example, combining grades three and four in one group. There are simply not enough funds or enough teachers to provide one certified teacher for each grade group in all schools in Indonesia.

Mapping the supply of teachers in seven provinces and over 50 districts and cities in the 2013–2016 period revealed: (a) a shortage of permanent civil servant (PNS) teachers in nearly 50 per cent of primary schools and madrasah as well as in junior-secondary schools; this is partly due to teachers who were appointed during the major school construction Inpres program in the 1970s now reaching retirement; (b) the average number of pupils in government schools is small with fewer than 60 students per school in some districts (such as Wajo in South Sulawesi); and (c) many isolated primary schools and madrasah cannot be merged or ‘regrouped’ due to geographical barriers. The 2015 – 2019 National Development Plan (RPJMN) and the Ministry of Education and Culture’s (MoEC) five-year strategic plan for the same period both refer to multi-grade (and multi-subject teaching for junior secondary) as a means of improving teacher deployment. This is a step in the right direction, but more can be done.

This October 2019 policy brief explores key strategic issues and policy recommendations for multi-grade teaching in Indonesia. The brief draws on INOVASI’s work and body of evidence to date. A further update of the brief will be done in late 2019, with additional endline evidence from across INOVASI’s four partner provinces. 

POLICY BRIEF: School leadership and learning, October 2019

The critical role of school leaders and especially principals in delivering quality education has long been recognised. Since the reforms of the early 2000s, the Indonesian government has implemented a policy of school-based management that gives principals the authority to develop and implement school plans and budgets in partnership with teachers and the school community through school committees.

This October 2019 policy brief explores key strategic issues and policy recommendations for school leadership and learning in Indonesia. The brief draws on INOVASI’s work and body of evidence to date, including emerging pilot endline data from Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara. A further update of the brief will be done in late 2019, with additional endline evidence from INOVASI’s four partner provinces. 

POLICY BRIEF: Mother language transition in education, October 2019

Research from the Global Education Monitoring body, appointed by UNESCO, found that 40 per cent of the world’s population don’t access education in a language they understand. This situation occurs in Indonesia on an even larger scale due to the diversity of regional languages across the country. Based on language mapping conducted by Indonesia’s Language Agency (Badan Bahasa) in  2015, a total of 659 regional languages are spoken as a mother tongue in Indonesia and each of these has dialectal or sub-dialectal variations. It is estimated that there could be as many as 1,318 Indonesian mother tongues. As a result of this language diversity, many Indonesian children are disadvantaged and fall behind their peers from the beginning of schooling.

This October 2019 policy brief explores key strategic issues and policy recommendations for the use of mother tongue language in education in Indonesia. The brief draws on INOVASI’s work and body of evidence to date, based on pilot implementation in Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara and Bima district, West Nusa Tenggara. A further update of the brief will be done in late 2019, with additional endline evidence from selected INOVASI implementation locations.

POLICY BRIEF: Early grade numeracy, October 2019

The relationship between a skilled work force and the achievement of basic competencies in literacy and numeracy is an important one, underpinning higher order thinking skills (HOTS) such as critical thinking and problem solving. Simply put, if students have not developed minimum competence in literacy and math, the prospect for a highly skilled and relevant workforce remains slim.

When it comes to international test results across Indonesia, it is clear that students are failing to grasp mathematical concepts used in real-world problems. Over the last four PISA assessments, spread across the past decade, Indonesia’s performance has remained much the same. Approximately 40 per cent of children age 15 are still below the lowest level of the international standard.

This October 2019 policy brief explores key strategic issues and policy recommendations for early grade numeracy in Indonesia. The brief draws on INOVASI’s work and body of evidence to date based on pilot implementation in four provinces, namely in West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, North Kalimantan, and East Java – including emerging pilot endline data from Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara. A further update of the brief will be done in late 2019 with additional endline data.