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Education in Indonesia

Rising to the Challenge

image of Education in Indonesia

Having made impressive progress in widening access to basic education, Indonesia must now consolidate these gains and develop an education system that will support better the needs of a rapidly emerging economy in its transition towards high-income status. This report provides guidance on how Indonesia can rise to this challenge. It highlights three main policy directions which, pursued together, would help Indonesia advance on the path towards stronger growth and more inclusive and sustainable development. The first priority is to raise the quality of education and ensure that all learners acquire the skills they need to succeed in life and work. The second goal is to widen participation, requiring a concerted effort to improve access for disadvantaged groups and expand provision beyond the basic level. The final challenge is to increase efficiency, with a more data-driven approach to resource allocation, better tailoring of provision to local needs, and stronger performance management.

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Assessment and recommendations

Indonesia is well-positioned geographically in terms of world trade flows, with extensive natural resources and immense potential, deriving not least from its large young population – some 43% of its 250 million people are under 25 years old. It will not realise its potential as one of the world’s major emerging market economies, however, if it relies merely on exploiting its natural resources and its demographic structure. It will need to develop its human capital through education that leads to effective learning and skills formation. It must do so urgently, given the lead that comparator and competitor nations, especially in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) but also in other regions, have over Indonesia on many indicators of physical infrastructure, educational attainment and performance, advanced human capital and research capacity, and the pace and scale at which they are moving ahead.

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