Schools In Indonesia

Schools In Indonesia
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A Sport area

Indonesia is a country that has a wide range of cultures, religions, and ethnicities. Likewise, education in Indonesia is tailored to the needs of the diverse communities

The types of schools in Indonesia are similar to those in other countries. There are Public schools, Private schools (e.g. Schools of nature, Religious schools), and International schools. Public schools are government run schools and the subjects studied in Public schools have been set by the Department of Education in Indonesia. Private schools are managed by private institutions or are owned by individuals and their standards remain the same in reference to the school system and government curriculum. The difference between them is that Private schools will usually add other materials to their curriculum.

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In the classroom


In  Religious  schools or boarding schools, besides the materials provided by the government, there are also extra subjects implemented. There may be additional subjects like Islamic Studies or memorizing the Qur’an.

International schools, however, are varied. In most instances, the curriculum at International schools are derived from the country of origin and the teachers are not Indonesian. Also, International Schools are English-speaking schools and the teachers are Indonesian but use English as their instruction language. Some of English-speaking schools in Indonesia are using a pure British curriculum but some are using a British curriculum with Islamic teaching methods and are called semi-boarding schools.

Education in Indonesia, beginning with the most basic education starts at kindergarten (TK) and Early Childhood Education (PAUD)  for children aged 4-6 years. The materials presented are an introduction to the environment, and learning by playing and interacting around their environment concerning the children’s lives such as family, plants, animals, air, etc.

From kindergarten they continue to the primary school level (elementary school) and the age group of 7-12 years. Public schools require their student to start year 1 at the age of 7, but Private schools may accept 6 year old students. In elementary school children study subjects ranging from the introduction of basic concepts to the study of multiple areas such as Indonesian, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Studies, Citizenship, Environmental Introduction, English, Sports, Computers, History of Islamic Culture, Arabic, Jurisprudence, Worship, Memorizing and Learning to read Qur’an, and Prayer.

The next level is Junior high school (SMP) at the age of 13-15, and is followed by Senior high school (SMA) at the age of 16-18. Junior and Senior high school levels are generally finished within 6 years but there are some schools that offer elementary studies, junior high or high school studies and that have an accelerated program (gifted). So the grade level will depend upon the abilities of the students, and they may finish school faster than their peersAt the high school level (age 18) students begin to prepare to enter Universities.

To proceed to the Junior and Senior high school level, the recipient of schools will refer to an applicants‘ final grades, and they have their own standard (GPA minimum) respectively.


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A school in Indonesia

High schools in Indonesia are diverse, there are regular high school which will learn Science, Social Studies, Math, History, Civics, English, Indonesian, Religion. In the regular high school, start year 1 (of Senior high school) they should choose their majors of study such as Science, Social studies or Language. But there is also type of vocational school, such as Upper Secondary School of Economics (SMEA), Secondary Technical School (STM),  School of Information Management and Computer Engineering (SMTIK), School of Telecommunications Technology  (STT Telkom)Tourism High School, etc.

School timing in kindergarten is at 8 am 11 noonMost Public schools in Indonesia has capacity of 40 children per class, and determine the school hours at 7 am to 1 pm, or finish after Dhuhur in congregation. But Private schools has capacity of 20-25 students per class and usually will finish school around 3 pm, or it is tailored to each school policies.

So …. what type of school would you send your children?

Euis Fauziah

The author is a mother of three, living in Indonesia. She loves children; and education is her expertise.

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