Teachers represent by far the most significant investment in public sector budgets.  Preparing teachers begins with the selection of those who are to enter teacher training.  Most governments have set standards that vary with the kind of schooling for which the training is designed.  Both in developing and developed countries there is a temptation to lower these standards.  In the developing world, it often stems from a need to attract large numbers of teachers in order to expand access to education quickly and reduce class size.  In the industrialized world, some countries face aging teaching forces and shortages of people interested in a teaching career, especially in mathematics, foreign languages, sciences, business studies and the technology fields, including information and communication technology.  All governments face a balancing act.  Expenditure on education is often subject to tight fiscal constraints, and teachers’ salaries and allowances typically account for two-thirds (often much more) of current public expenditure on education.


Practices concerning teacher deployment also differ.  Some systems are centralized, while others are devolved to regions, districts or even schools.  Certain practices can have a detrimental impact on the quality of education.  Concern about teachers’ salaries and deployment features are prevalent in discussions about conditions of service of teachers.  Collectively, such conditions help explain why some teachers leave the profession and many feel their professional status is undermined.


Indonesia also faces the same problems and issues mentioned above as the Government of Indonesia (GoI) drives to raise standards in schools in order to increase the quality of education.  A number of reports and studies indicate that the status of educational quality in this country to be low and declining.  This study, the Education Sector Review (June 2005), and a recent study of teacher salaries (Subianto, 2005) all reveal serious deficiencies in the performance of teachers on competency tests in subject fields.  Teacher absenteeism rates (around 19%), moonlighting, and low salaries – especially at the secondary level compared to other Indonesians with comparable qualifications and international standards – generate issues of major concern. These factors contribute to poor student performance, high pupil dropout and repetition rates, and widespread public complaints.


A key part of the solution to these problems is to upgrade the qualifications of teachers and to pay them more adequately based on their educational qualifications and competencies. There is also an opportunity for excessively low pupil teacher ratios to be corrected, thereby generating significant cost savings that can be used toward funding salary increases or other quality improvements.


With these concerns in mind, a new Directorate General for Quality Improvement of Teacher and Education Personnel – Direktorat Jenderal Peningkatan Mutu Pendidik dan Tenaga Kependidikan (PMPTK) – has recently been established.  The mission of this new Directorate General is to assure that teachers particularly and education personnel in general shall meet adequate academic and competency standards and receive appropriate remuneration and welfare.  For this purpose, the mapping of teacher employment and deployment becomes critical.  This mapping, with the help of GoI to determine strategic actions, plays a central role in raising the standards of education in Indonesia.


The new Teacher Law is intended to improve the quality of the workforce and recognise the competencies and professionalism of teachers through a series of professional and location incentives.  These incentives should encourage teachers to upgrade their qualifications and also to attract them to serve in remote or less desirable locations.  The new Teacher Law addresses a number of important employment and deployment issues.  Other matters that impact significantly on the quality, access, equity and cost effectiveness of educational delivery in Indonesia require separate detailed study and proposals for reform.   Those employment and deployment issues form the basis of this study.


With the support of World Bank, and financial assistance from AusAID and the Netherlands Government, the Directorate General PMPTK initiated a study using a case-study approach on 12 sampled districts/municipalities in Indonesia.  The study Team was comprised of the PMPTK team working in conjunction with consultants.[1]   The study aimed to investigate aspects related to teacher employment and deployment, in terms of both policies and practices, for primary and junior secondary schools.  The major issues covered include distribution of teachers, staffing of remote schools, teacher workload, the overall supply of teachers, teacher remuneration, and teacher quality.  Related studies are being undertaken in the areas of management structures relating to teachers, teacher competencies, and education finance.


A participative approach to the study was chosen for several reasons.  A study across 12 districts has the advantage of not only obtaining first hand, accurate data from the field, but can also build on local knowledge and insight into teacher employment and deployment issues facing educational administrators at the school and district levels.  District representatives included senior education officials, civil service officials and university personnel – three sectors that are each critical in their own right to the design of sound policy reform.  The partnership with university personnel allowed valuable relationships to be forged at the district level and provided a theoretical basis for deliberations.  It added to the intellectual rigour of the study and also gave the universities an opportunity to focus on practical issues.  The involvement of civil service personnel provided a valuable wider perspective.  The participative case study highlighted differences that exist within basic education, tapped a reservoir of talent and wisdom outside Jakarta and built both commitment to change and a platform of proposed policy reform.






Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: