Promoting Access and Success for Disadvantaged Students in Indonesian Basic Education: Social Justice in Education

Promoting Access and Success for Disadvantaged Students in Indonesian Basic Education: Social Justice in Education

Amirul Mukminin (Jambi University, Indonesia) and Akhmad Habibi (Jambi University, Indonesia)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9108-5.ch022

Abstract

Although Indonesia has made improvements in the basic education and secondary education, one of the biggest problems is regarding the provision of equitable access and success for disadvantaged children aged between 7-15 years old in obtaining basic education with an acceptable quality in rural, urban, and remote areas. The purpose of this paper is to explore the causes related to disadvantaged children's limited access and success and the social justice educational programs to promote their access and success in the Indonesian basic education. Data gathered from research articles and policy reports are the sources of the chapter. This chapter focuses on the contexts of access and success for disadvantaged children, the constraints on access and success in the Indonesian basic education for disadvantaged children, and how various policies and programs or groups (e.g., programs and policies at national government, local government, school district, and school levels) should address the problems to promote access and success for disadvantaged children in the basic education.
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Introduction

Education is a means to develop students’ intellectual, social, and personal potential to their highest level (Bennett, 2003; Nieto & Bode, 2008). Therefore, school’s mission is to provide all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, social class, ability, and other human differences with an equitable, equal, and high-quality education (Nieto & Bode, 2008). From the functional point of view, providing such an education is central in order to have “a highly integrated, well-functioning society” and to maintain social order, social cohesion, and harmony in a modern and democratic society (Sadovnik, 2007, p. 4) by creating programs, structures, policies, practices, curriculum that are “technically advanced and rational and that encourage social unity” (Sadovnik, 2007, p. 4). Failure to provide accessible education for all students will confirm what the conflict theorists perceive that society is held together based on the ability of dominant groups to impose their will and values on subordinate groups through force, subordination, and manipulation (Sadovnik, 2007).

Indonesia having population of children around 85 million introduced twelve years of the universal education, targeting to facilitate equal access to education for children between 7-15 years old and all adolescents between 16 and 18 years old in 2016. Through its programs and policies, Indonesia has made improvements for children in basic education consisting of 6 years of primary education and 3 years of junior secondary education. The national primary school net enrollment rates have remained above 90 percent (Unesco Indonesia, 2016) and the national secondary school’s net enrollment rates of students tended to move up from 62.74 percent in 2008 to 76.81 percent in 2015 (Unesco Indonesia, 2016). In addition, Indonesia keeps increasing its budget on education since 2009. The national education budget reached 207 trillion Indonesian Rupiah [IDR] in order to reach the level of 20 percent of the total State Budget target mandated by Law Number 20 of 2003 of the National Education System (the Ministry of Finance, 2009 as cited in Jalal et al., 2009). However, although Indonesia has made improvements in the basic education and secondary education, one of the biggest problems is regarding the provision of equitable access and success for disadvantaged children aged between 7-15 years old in obtaining basic education with an acceptable quality in rural, urban, and remote areas. Many school age children across the country have not been able to complete their elementary school. The data show that around one million children between the ages of 7 to 15 years were not attending primary or junior secondary school. Almost 3.6 million adolescents aged 16 to 18 are also out of school due to several factors (Unicef Indonesia, 2018). Additionally, the data indicate that 2.7 million Indonesian children are estimated either as child labour or working children (Unicef Indonesia, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Organizational Constraints: Are related to the issues such as low-quality schools and teachers in rural and remote areas and unfair curriculum and standardized exam.

Getting Into School: Is related to what problems that they face to attend schools (e.g., safety, child labor, tests, and available schools).

Social Justice Educational Programs: Mean all programs or policies should be created to provide all students to maintain social order, social cohesion, and harmony in a modern and democratic society.

Working Children: Are a group of children who are generally still in school but are required to work after school because of economic needs.

Child Labor: Is a group of youngsters who cannot go to school because they spend time working more than 40 hours a week.

Economic Constraints: Are related to the cost that students have to face when they go to school such as books, supplies, uniforms, shoes, textbooks, and transportation fees.

Getting to School: Means how students go to school, how far they have to travel, and how long it takes.

Equal Access to Education for Children: Means education should be intended to provide all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, social class, ability, and other human differences with an equal and high-quality education.

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