Primary Education in Remote Indonesia Survey Results from West Kalimantan and East Nusa Tenggara

The delivery of education services still faces challenges in many developing countries, especially in poor rural and remote areas. In Indonesia, despite success in achieving universal enrollment at the primary school level, the quality of education service delivery and student learning outcomes remains low. Starting in 2016, the World Bank has supported the Government of Indonesia to improve teacher performance and community participation in education through KIAT Guru. The first phase of KIAT Guru (Improving Teacher Performance and Accountability) was piloted in five districts ranked among the poorest of Indonesia. Prior to piloting the KIAT Guru, a baseline survey, which is summarized in this report, was conducted in 270 remote primary schools between 2016-2017 with respondents including principals, teachers, students, school committees, parents, and village heads.

This report presents a detailed description of the six main findings of the survey, along with policy recommendations: (1) Surveyed schools and villages face connectivity challenges that may discourage the best teachers from working in these areas; (2) Quality of education services in surveyed schools is hindered by teacher qualifications, teacher composition, and the necessity for multi-grade teaching; (3) Teacher incomes fluctuate substantially within schools, which may affect motivation; (4) Teacher absence is a serious problem, leaving 25 percent of classrooms with no teachers; (5) Most students tested were performing two grade levels below their current grade and had not mastered basic standards of their former grade level; and (6) Parents’ satisfaction with the quality of education and learning outcomes is in contrast with the factual findings.