The government continues to encourage provincial and regency/municipality administrations across Indonesia to consistently implement the school enrollment zoning system policy to ensure the equal distribution of access and quality education across the country.
The Education and Culture Ministry’s director general for secondary education, Hamid Muhammad, said in Jakarta on Monday that all regulations/policies related to education were aimed to enhance the quality of education, which had become the government’s focus when it came to education.
“We started to boost the quality of education in 2016 when we launched the school enrollment education system policy. 2019 is the third year that we are implementing the zoning system,” he said in the opening of the coordination meeting on promoting the implementation of regulations/policies on elementary and secondary education in Jakarta.
Representatives of education agencies across Indonesia took part in the meeting, which ends on Wednesday.
Following three years of implementing the school enrollment system policy, it is high time to evaluate and re-manage the regulations/policies regarding elementary and secondary education and to come up with a national education standard.
According to Hamid, the zoning system was more than just a school enrollment issue, but it also addressed other issues, including collecting data (on school-age children), the management of institutions, redistribution of teachers, development of students and assessment.
In early January, the Education and Culture Ministry issued Education Ministerial Decree No. 51/2018 regarding the school enrollment zoning system policy for 2019. Under the decree that is implemented by regency/municipality administrations and provincial administrations for elementary and secondary schools, respectively, they are obliged to use three channels, one of which is zoning (90 percent). The other two are achievement (5 percent) and parent or guardian moving to a new region.
In general, there is no significant difference between Education Ministerial Decree No. 51/2018 and Education Ministerial Decree No. 14/2018 that regulates the school enrollment zoning system for the previous school year.
Through the new regulation the decree strives to drive the implementation of a non-discriminative, objective, transparent, accountable and just school enrollment.
“We have to safeguard the implementation of the zoning system for elementary, junior high and senior high school level in order to avoid possible overlapping,” said Hamid.
According to him, education agencies, either in the regency/municipality and provinces, could discuss together through the School Headmaster Working Discussion (MKKS) to map out the estimation regarding the number of students that pursue education at schools/Islamic schools or Paket (junior or senior high-school equivalency diploma) in one zone. “In this way, the target for 12-year compulsory education can be easily achieved,” he said.
“Education agencies are obliged to expand the zoning when necessary to allow for each student attend a school.”
Under Article 23 of Education Ministerial Decree No. 51/2018, the zoning system must be applied in all regions, except for those frontier, outermost and least developed regions often referred to as terdepan, terluar, tertinggal ( 3T ) regions.
Education and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy affirmed earlier that the new regulation on the 2019 school enrollment reinforced and refined the previously developed zoning system.
“The zoning system will become a blueprint that the ministry will use in its bid to identify problems pertaining to education, especially in the formal and non-formal education sector. Apart from that, it will also be used to seek solutions,” he said.
The implementation of the school enrollment system this year is expected to prompt schools to be proactive in collecting data on prospective students based on the data on the spread of school-age children. The major consideration in selecting new students is the distance from home to school, instead of grades or the result of the National Examination (UN).
In determining the zoning at every school level, the regency/municipality administrations should also consider the school’s capacity to accommodate students and the number of school-age children there are in the respective region, according to the technical guidance on the school enrollment system.