The decentralization of administrative control has progressed in Indonesia since 2001 in a range of areas including education administration, in which meeting local needs has become a focus. School administration is another area that has been strengthened through the decentralization process, helping to accommodate school needs. Despite this progress, however, local governments and individual schools do not yet have adequate capacity to analyze and solve problems without outside assistance.
Since 1998, JICA has assisted in the development of models for participatory-type school administration and class research as well as putting the developed models into action at the regency (sub-provincial) level. The focus of the models is improving the capacity of schools so they can independently address the problems they face. This is done by boosting the capacity of those involved in school and local administration such as parents and guardians, community members, educators and principles, and local education administration officials as well as by training educators in how to improve lessons. This has resulted in higher quality school administration and education in the regencies targeted in this program. For example, communication has improved among the people involved in schools, the level of commitment has risen among educators and principles, teaching methods have improved, and the interest that students have in their lessons has risen along with their comprehension.
One way in which the Ministry of National Education directs its efforts is to enhance the relevance and reliability of education and school administrations while improving the quality of education through an enhanced approach to community and school needs. To achieve this, the Ministry has a policy of presenting its models of participatory-style school administration and lesson research as successful methods to improve education, encouraging their replication throughout the country.
The aim of this project is to work within these parameters to spread these models throughout Indonesia while strengthening the capacity of central and local education administrations as well as administrations at the individual school level. To that end, JICA provides support for planning and coordination capacity at the central level and master training capacity at the provincial level. The Ministry of National Education of Indonesia is currently establishing one model school for classroom research in each of the country’s 400 provinces.
To replicate the models, relationships need to be strengthened, both top-down to pass information from the central administration to the local education and school level, and bottom-up so that feedback on local and school needs and problems can be communicated back up. Lateral relationships also need to be strengthened because cooperation between organizations in the public and religious school systems is deficient at the central, provincial and regency levels. As the Ministry of Religion is in charge of religious schools just as the Ministry of Education is charge of secular schools, JICA is coordinating also with the Ministry of Religion as its local counterpart in providing cooperation to religious schools in Indonesia.