By the Numbers: Indonesia’s New School Curriculum

The data driving Asia

Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture launched a new curriculum in over 6,000 schools across the country on July 15. Initially, the ministry planned to launch the program of studies in over 100,000 schools, but reduced its target when many schools said they were not prepared to implement it. The curriculum has drawn fierce criticism, especially from the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle.

The new program is designed to teach students to be tolerant and peaceful by dropping primary education in English, math, and science in favor of religious studies and civic education courses. The ministry says math and science lessons will be integrated into the new classes. A sample from the curriculum requires students to learn discipline by studying how electrons remain in their orbits. We look at Indonesia’s efforts to revise the curriculum by the numbers.

$82.9 million

The amount of money allocated to the implementation of the new curriculum. The Ministry of Education and Culture was criticized for hastily implementing the curriculum in order to spend government funds.


Indonesia School

Teacher of Sentarum elementary school in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Source: CIFOR’s flickr photostream, used under a creative commons license.


The number of  teachers the ministry enlisted to be trained in the curriculum. Minister of Education and Culture Mohammed Nuh said he hopes the curriculum will be implemented throughout the archipelago by 2015, but that only a small number of schools were ready in July 2013.


The number of days of training teachers will receive before being asked to implement the new program in their classrooms. The ministry’s director general for secondary education Hamid Muhammad said teachers should easily be comfortable with the new curriculum after this training period.

5th, 6th, and 8th

The school grades for which there are not yet textbooks designed for use with the new program of studies. Nuh announced the curriculum will apply to students who are starting first, fourth, seventh, and tenth grades this year. Beginning in 2014, the ministry will need to appropriate additional funds to pay for textbooks for all grades.


The percentage of the national budget that is constitutionally mandated to go toward education. Most political parties agree that access to education, rather than the curriculum, is the most daunting challenge  facing Indonesian educators and policymakers. This is because some 18 ministries usually stake claim to the education budget for programs related to their agencies. Major political leaders have argued for the need to regularly review the budget in order to ensure efficient use of government funds.


6 comments for “By the Numbers: Indonesia’s New School Curriculum

  1. August 9, 2013 at 15:00

    that’s such great yet valid number to reveal that actually Indonesia not ready to implement those “Dream” curriculum… this “flash innovation” just to fulfill some “budget” ego to be spend during year of 2013. new curriculum by 5 days of training.. “Wake Up”!!!!

  2. Jennifer
    August 14, 2013 at 23:06

    The local newspaper just published a story today that most of the students in targeted schools have not even received their textbooks. When asked, the ministry’s response was: get creative, search the materials on the internet, and photocopy them!

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