Disparate Access and Quality

Kompas, page 11

Although access to formal schools continues to improve, most poor/underprivileged students are in poor quality schools. Schools like these are characterized by low national examination scores and are accredited C. There needs to be policies that favor the poor.

The problem of inequality in access to quality education is revealed from the results of a study titled “Quality of Education for Whom? A Study on the Gap of the Poor’s Access to Quality Education”. The study was conducted by a research institute for social change Article 33 in cooperation with the Knowledge Sector Initiative (KSI) Program.

The results were presented in a discussion in Jakarta on Tuesday (9/5), by the Executive Director of Article 33 Indonesia, Santoso.  Santoso explained that the study was conducted in five regions, namely Makassar (South Sulawesi), Malang (East Java), Bogor (West Java), Bantul Regency (Special Region of Yogyakarta, and Bima Regency (West Nusa Tenggara). This study examines the poor’s access to quality education.

Santoso explained that if the poor have obtained educational services, but the school’s quality is low, the resulting output is also not good. Graduates cannot compete in the job market so they cannot get out of the poverty trap.

For approximately 13 years (2000-2013), the net enrollment rate (APM) of primary schools was consistently above 90 percent. There was no significant difference between rich and poor. At the junior high school level, APM rose from 60 percent to 70 percent, showing that the poor people rose from 45 percent to 65 percent. Whereas in high school level, APM rose from 40 percent to 53 percent, reflecting the poor rising from 20 percent to 30 percent.

According to Santoso, the analysis shows that the number of beneficiaries of Program Indonesia Pintar (for poor students) tends to be greater in schools with low national examination (UN) scores. As apparent in Bogor City; PIP recipient students are mostly in the outskirts and middle areas that correlate with low UN scores when compared to PIP beneficiaries in the city center.

According to Santoso, the condition is due to the disparity in quality education. The selection of new students generally refers to the results of the UN and ranking. As a result, poor students in low quality schools have no chance.

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