indonesia expands compulsory schooling

By Gunkarta Gunawan Kartapranata (Own work)
 licensed image, via Wikimedia Commons
Indonesia is expanding compulsory attendance to increase the length of time the large number of young people attend school. The investment in educational services for young people is a wonderful thing and the actual provisioning of services will boost the economy as Indonesia invests in the many jobs needed to provide these services. But a quick study of the history of mass coerced schooling should create a bit of caution. The basis of compulsion means it is an undemocratic system where input from its users does not really exist and there is no real incentive for administrative layers to care.


Tempointeraktif.com - Foke Plans 12 year Compulsory Education Program: "TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Coinciding with National Education Day, the Jakarta provincial government on May 2, 2012, unveiled its plan to launch a 12 years compulsory education program in 2013 till 2015. "
Education Key to Future of ‘Golden Generation’ | The Jakarta Globe"In about two decades, Indonesia will hit the demographic jackpot, according to Education and Culture Minister Muhammad Nuh.

In 2010, about 46 million Indonesians were aged between zero and 9 years — the largest slice of the country’s demographic pie.

The next largest chunk comprised young people between the ages of 10 and 19, with about 44 million. The older the age group, the smaller the proportion of the population. The education minister sees all this as a bonus for Indonesia.

If the country can provide good education and health care — the “software” and “hardware” of human development, he says — for the 90 million Indonesians now aged zero to 19, then Indonesia will shine in the future. "
...
In 2045, we are not talking about high school graduates anymore. We need more people with master’s degrees or even doctorates,” he said. 

Haris added that the ministry also needed to tackle a cultural problem of parents not seeing the importance of education and get them behind the plan.  ... 
If the country can provide good education and health care — the “software” and “hardware” of human development, he says — for the 90 million Indonesians now aged zero to 19, then Indonesia will shine in the future. "...In 2045, we are not talking about high school graduates anymore. We need more people with master’s degrees or even doctorates,” he said. 
Haris added that the ministry also needed to tackle a cultural problem of parents not seeing the importance of education and get them behind the plan.    via Blog this'
The many jobs within the system that are created will be hard to rearrange over time in a compulsory system that restricts feedback by not building fundamental relationships with families and the children themselves. Only a model that allows feedback from users, that is driven by that in a democratic way, will be sustainable. Already, families are estranged and some surely feel an erosion of family significance in a compulsory system that easily defines their concerns as "non-belief." Using a mechanism like compulsory attendance may grow the system faster but , like using artificial fertilizer, the plant will not be as strong nor as well anchored in healthy soil. A less coercive approach would strengthen mediation and interaction instead of fostering an administrative body that has police power over families.

Also worrisome, the acceptance of a system where more degrees and more schooling are always needed. There is no stabilisation or way of regulating this and there are clearly limits to the amount of time people should spend in school or so one would think. The problem is very clear in the US where over half of those who completed high school are now low-income families. This is a problem of credentialing and jobs, not of schooling. Schools are used to filter out rather than opt in and the compulsory nature of schools undergirds their control of credentials. These could be separate: education services could stop attempting to manufacture credentialed persons and let individuals control what credentials they seek to attain. 

That said, reading of the enthusiasm with which Indonesia make a large investment in their children and young people and the belief in doing that is something I have not read much about in the US lately. The US has already invested in a school system but grasping system dynamics is too hard for US politicians and they prefer handing over the whole public system to charters and other privatization schemes even if it means destroying the public nature of the institution.

Having a mass coercive educational system is not a guarantee of child well-being. The US now has 20% of children in poverty and another 23% near that are "food insecure." Healthcare, too, is a struggling institution in a country where some want to fund weapons instead of children. That's always a bad sign. 
No real warrior takes bread out of children's mouths. Many call it corruption and that is a huge problem but it is also a sign of structures that are not designed to be democratic or fully aligned with citizens in a deep way.


background
real democracy
think twice India:  learn from mistakes made in the US
related
A to Z:homeschooling resources in Indonesia



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