Private Schools Need Support

Kompas, page 11

Private education should be viewed as the government’s partners in effort to jointly educate the nation’s children.   Unfortunately in its development, the existence of private schools is more considered as “rivals” of regional administration (Pemda) owned state schools. Many private schools today lack students because state owned schools continue to expand. This was addressed by Chairman of the Council for Christian Education in Indonesia (MPK) David J. Tjandra. There are 320 foundations with about 7,000 schools joined in MPK throughout Indonesia. David invites Christian-based schools to contribute in real terms in the development of education.

He said that there were already many private schools that took part in providing education access long before the Republic of Indonesia was born. Private schools have been used to being independent/ self-reliant, but government support is needed, including funding subsidy and assistance of teachers. This is because only about 10 percent of all private schools are in the top level category.

David added that many private schools are threatened to close due to lack of students. This was due to one of the local administration’s policy that allowed state schools to continually accept more students. Actually, there are private schools in the vicinity that could be an option. There should be fair treatment for private schools.

Meanwhile, Expert Staff/Advisor on Character Development Sector to the Minister of Education and Culture, Arie Budiman said that the government appreciated the contribution of MPK in the country’s education. According to Arie, the golden generation of 2045 must be prepared with strong character, literacy skills, and also skills of the 21st century. In order to realize this, the support of MPK is needed in delivering good education.

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