Quality education cannot yet be accessed evenly by the poor. SMERU Research Institute researcher, Heni Kurniasih, said there are indications of differences in the quality of education between poor/underprivileged students and wealthy students. The economic level correlates positively with the ability to access quality education.
This is apparent from school accreditation and the results of the National Examination (UN). Community groups with higher per capita expenditure, she added, in terms of the national exams the results tend to be higher; it occurs for primary school, junior high school, and high school. They get better education access. From 1997-2000 data, there is not much change.
According to Heni, there are still some challenges to improve the quality of education. She said the minimum education service standard has not been achieved. In practice, there are still many schools lacking textbooks, limited laboratories, unqualified teachers, and lack of subject teachers.
Meanwhile, Paramadina University education expert Totok Amin Soefijanto also said poor students’ access to quality education is still lacking. Improving the quality of schools should be a priority so that the quality gap between schools diminishes. Alternatives such as charter school, entrusted school and bundled school could be considered.
Totok assesses the need for accountability and transparency of underprivileged student quota in new student admissions because it is very vulnerable to deviation. Government assistance in the field of education more effectively improves the people’s welfare. In addition, the quality of teachers should be improved to support learning besides improving the problem of uneven teacher distribution in Indonesia.