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World Bank Supports Indonesia’s Teacher Improvement Program through New US$86 million Program

Available in: Bahasa (Indonesian)
Press Release No:2007/011/EAP

Contacts

In Jakarta: Prabha Chandran/Achmad Sukarsono

Tel: (62 21) 5299-3084.3259; pchandran@worldbank.org, asukarsono@wordbank.org

 

JAKARTA, 7 July, 2007 -- The World Bank Board yesterday approved US$ 86 million in support of the Government’s plan to improve the skills and performance of teachers, widely recognized as a key challenge to improving education standards in Indonesian schools. The Better Education through Reformed Management and Universal Teacher Upgrading Project (BERMUTU)  broadly supports the Government’s December 2005 Teacher Law which aims to improve the qualifications and class room performance of Indonesia’s 2.7 million teachers,  who make up at least  70 per cent of the country’s civil service.

 

The program will address critical challenges in Indonesia’s education system, reflected most sharply in recent studies which show Indonesian students score less in scholastic tests like maths and reading, then those in other countries - even after taking family socio-economic status into account. To respond to some of the reasons for this poor performance, BERMUTU will help the Government in specific areas:

 

  • At present only half of Indonesian students are taught by teachers with a university degree. The program will support reforms for university-based teacher education, build capacity of the national accreditation board, provide incentives to universities to train teachers through distance learning and scholarship programs.
     
  • Teacher absenteeism is another reason students do not learn. A  multi-country survey found that  Indonesian teachers were absent at a rate higher than five of the eight countries surveyed. Therefore, reforming procedures for teacher accountability and policy incentives that promote performance and career advancement will be an important component of this program.
     
  • One reason for teacher absenteeism is low salaries which drive many to pick up second jobs. A study shows that primary school teachers in the Philippines and Thailand earns over twice as much (as a proportion of GDP per capita) as Indonesian teachers.  The new Program will help local government’s upgrade systems for improving teacher’s skills so that they are qualified to earn higher salaries as per the new Teacher Law. Over the next five years the Program hopes to double the number of teachers with the new standards mandated by the Teacher law to over two million.
     
  • The fourth component of the program will be improvement of the monitoring and evaluation system through development of an improved teacher’s database and a range of research and evaluation studies to document the effects of the project on teaching standards and performance of students.

The World Bank’s commitment to help Government improve education in Indonesia has involved a series of projects since the ‘90s, which have helped the country reach the goal of universal basic education,” says World Bank Country Director Joachim von Amsberg. “While building schools and providing text books is important, the essence of learning is the transmission of knowledge from teacher to student. We are particularly happy to be supporting the government in this.

 

The Bank is currently supporting two other projects in the education sector, The US$ 67.5 Early Childhood Education and Development  Program which targets children of 0-6 year old age in the poorest districts and the US$ 80 million Higher Education program. As in the case of these programs, a large part of the BERMUTU loan, US$ 61.5 million, consists of an International Development Agency credit which is an interest free loan payable over 20 years with a grace period of 5 years. In addition, the Government of Netherlands has given a grant of US$ 52 million for the Program.

 

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For more information, please visit the Projects website.

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