Kompas, page 1
Education in primary school (SD) needs more serious attention. The greatest number of students who repeat classes and drop out of school occurs in SD. In further detail, repeating classes and school dropouts are most widely experienced by students sitting in lower grades or grades I – II. Based on 2015/2016 Education Highlights issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the number of students repeating classes in 2015 in SD reached 422,082 people. The number of students repeating in grade I was the highest, at 194,967 people. In grade II the total was 89,561 people, while in grade III the figure was 65,493 people.
Meanwhile, the number of school dropouts in SD in 2015 was noted at 68,066 people (0.26 percent from a total of 25,885,053 SD learners. The greatest number of dropouts is in grade I, i.e.: 16,447 people, while in grade II the total is 12,714 people.
Itje Chodidjah, education practitioner, said to address the high rate of repeats and dropouts in SD, the government should focus on ensuring the availability of qualified teachers in the SD level. According to Itje, the lower grades should be provided with teachers with very adequate understanding of children, considering not all SD children went through kindergarten education. If a child has a weakness, he/she should be accompanied intensively in order to have motivation for learning. The psychological effects resulting from repeating classes and dropping out since lower grades are great. At early childhood, the child is already introduced to failure instead of the need for success.
Meanwhile, Director of Primary School Development of the Directorate General of Primary and Secondary Education of Kemdikbud Wowon Widaryat said poor education conditions and governance in SD are experienced by schools in the frontier, outermost, and disadvantaged (3T) regions. In these areas, the quality of education is low because many classrooms are damaged/ in disrepair and there is inadequate number of teachers. Bappenas studies state children who do not complete SD and who do not continue on to junior high school (SMP) after passing, nearly half are children from poor families in disadvantaged regions.