Zoning System Needs to be Clarified

Kompas, page 11, Saturday, May 20

Implementation of the zoning system in new student admissions should be able to remove the gap in the Indonesian education world.  Hopefully the schools are heterogeneous with students from various socio-economic, academic, and even non-academic backgrounds. Prof. Dr. Hamka Muhammadiyah University lecturer of research and education evaluation, Elin Driana said so far education which should eliminate the gap, instead perpetuated the gap with the application of the superior school system. As a result, castes emerge and students become victims.

Elin said that ideally, the regulatory zoning system requiring that 90 percent of new students in the school come from surrounding areas could reduce the gap. On condition that the admissions system does not depend solely on the national exam (UN) scores.

If it only uses UN scores, the result will be the same as from the previous years. There are schools that accept new students with high UN scores and then these schools are appointed as flagship schools. On the other hand, students who are not accepted in those schools will be stigmatized for attending non-leading schools. The stigma affects their opportunities for higher education or future employment.

She explained that to be able to achieve equal education, the ability of teachers in managing classes should be improved. So far, every class is very homogeneous.  Actually, in heterogeneous classes the academic, emotional, psychological, and social skills of the students could develop. They learn to know different people and build team work. This prompts the school to have added value because it does not only succeed in building students’ cognitive aspects, but also holistically.

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