With reference to Law No. 30/2003 on National Education System, Chapter XVI, the evaluation of students’ achievement is conducted by teachers. This evaluation can be used to monitor the process, progress, and to improve students’ achievement . Whereas, the evaluation of students’ learning achievement at the end of the program is conducted by Center for Education Assessment (CEA) for Junior and Senior Secondary Schools. In the near future, this evaluation will be conducted by independent body known as National Education Standard Body as it is stated in the Government Regulation No. 19/ 2005.
The assessments of students’ learning achievement at primary education is conducted at the school level in the forms of: (1) summative test given to students at each grade and it is mandatory; (2) school examination is conducted by schools under the supervision of District Office of Education.
The subject matters assessed in both tests include: civics education, religion, Indonesian language, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, music and arts, physical education, and local content subjects like local language and traditional arts.
In terms of the assessment tools used, the above tests mostly apply multiple choice type of test focusing more on lower cognitive levels, knowledge, comprehension, and application. Whereas, for subjects like religion, civics education, the tests are focused more on affective domains.
Nationally, the average score for school examination is 6.41. The highest average score is 6,90 attained by DKI Jakarta Province and the lowest average score is 5.55 attained by West Kalimantan Province.
At the secondary school level, the assessments of students learning achievement is also conducted with reference to the Law No. 20 on National Education System. The assessment is in the forms of both formative and summative tests that must be taken by all students. The summative tests which is given at the end of the semester is administered by school under the supervision of Regency Office of Education. The subject matters assessed at junior secondary schools include: civics education, religion, Indonesian language, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, English, music and arts, physical education, and computer. Whereas, for senior secondary schools include: civics education, religion, Indonesian language, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, English and other foreign languages, music and arts, physical education, and computer
At national level, the assessment of students learning achievement for secondary schools conducted through both school and national examination. The former is conducted by schools under the guidance of Center for Education Assessment (CEA) The later is administered by CEA. The subject matters assessed in school examination include all subjects in the existing curriculum like religion, civics education, physical education, natural and social sciences. In national examination, the subjects assessed are mathematics, Indonesian language, and English.
In terms of the assessment tools used, the above tests mostly apply multiple choice type of test focusing more on lower cognitive levels, knowledge, comprehension, and application ( 60%) except for the national examination covers relatively higher cognitive levels, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation (60%) Whereas, for subjects like religion, civics education the tests are focused more on affective domains.
Although the national examination failure rate for 2004/05 was higher compared to 2003/04, however actually when viewed from the scores achieved there has been a quite significant improvement in the average score of NE of 5.55 in 2003/04 to become 6.76 by 2004/05. The failure rate for 2004/05 higher than previous years due to the increase of the cut-off passing score from 3.0 in 2002/03 and 2003/04 to 4.0 in 2004/05. Next year, in 05/06, the passing score will be 4.26. The above graph shows an improvement in NE Score in three subjects, namely Indonesian language, English and Mathematics.
In the scope of the international academic quality, for example, through the Programme International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMS) in which the Indonesian students involved (PISA for 15 years old students and TIMS for 14 years old students). The purposes of the involvement in TIMS and PISA is to get information on students’ literacy competencies in mathematics, science, and reading literacy. The results of the study can be used for government policy on the improvement of the quality education particularly in the fields of mathematics, science, and reading literacy education.
The data of 2003 PISA shows that out of 41 countries that were surveyed, for the field of Science literacy (Indonesia) ranked 38, while for Mathematics literacy and Reading literacy ability we ranked 39. Compared to Korea and Thailand, we are far behind, for Science they ranked 8, Reading 7 and Mathematics 3. This can be seen in the table 3.2 -3.4 in the Appendices
This achievement is not really surprising due to the fact that compared to other countries, the allocation of the education budget in Indonesia is still quite low. The data of the report Human Development Index (2004) disclose that during the period 1999-2001 Indonesia only allocated public expenditure as much as 1.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Meanwhile during the same period, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines subsequently have allocated 7.9%, 5.0%, and 3.2% of their various GDP. However the 2003 National Social and Economic Survey discloses that the average expenditure per capita for education has reached 2.2% in rural areas and 4.5% in urban areas or a national average of 3.5%.
Lessons learned from the international assessments are: (1) comparative studies on reading, mathematics, and science literacy; (2) feedbacks for teachers and school management to develop quality learning and teaching; (3) feedbacks for the improvement of the quality of both school and national examination in terms of test coverage; (4) benchmarking with the international standard.