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Accelerating Equal and Qualified Education

COMMENTARY 02.05.2017

Every May 2nd, Indonesia celebrates National Education Day. The day coincides with the birth of Indonesian hero, Ki Hadjar Dewantara who was born in Yogyakarta in 1889. Ki Hajar Dewantara whose real name is Raden Mas Soewardi Soerjaningrat vigorously fought for the fate of Indonesian indigenous people in the Dutch colonial administration era so as they were able to get decent education.

For his hard work and great efforts to initiate education in the country, Ki Hajar Dewantara is named the Father of National Education of Indonesia based on the Presidential Decree in 1959, and Ki Hajar Dewantara's birthday was designated as Indonesian National Education Day.

Education is one of the factors that determines the quality of human resources. The higher the quality of education of a nation is, the higher the quality of human resources is. One way to improve the quality of human resources is to accelerate the distribution of education, in accordance with the theme of National Education Day this year, namely Accelerating Equal and Qualified Education.

Equity, especially equal distribution of the right to education, is one of the problems in Indonesia. To overcome this, the government of Indonesia gradually launches the Compulsory Education Program, which started in 1984 with the Six-Year Compulsory Education Program and continued in 1989 with the 9-Year Compulsory Education Program. Under the programs, the government requires all Indonesian children aged 7- 12 years and 12-15 years old to finish 6-year primary education and 3-year junior high school (SMP). To achieve this, since July 2005, the government has launched School Operational Assistance (BOS) Program which has played a significant role in accelerating the achievement of the 9-year compulsory education program.

The government feels that the 9-year compulsory education program is not enough to improve the quality of Indonesia's human resources. To that end, since June 2015, the Indonesian government under President Joko Widodo has launched the 12-year Compulsory Education Program in which all Indonesian children aged 7-18 years old are entitled and are required to obtain education up to the High School level. But to realize it is not easy. It takes a lot of money and assistance from all elements of society.

The government has made efforts to increase the education budget each year. In 2006, the education budget was 175 trillion rupiah. In 2016, it increased to 400 trillion Rupiah. The 1945 Constitution also states that the State must allocate at least 20 (twenty) percent of the State Budget (APBN) for education. Increasing the education budget is not enough to realize an equal and qualified education. Therefore, it requires assistance from all elements of society such as the central government, regional government and private sector. Hopefully with the help of all elements of society and the momentum of the National Education Day, an equal and qualified education can be realized soon.


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