Transforming education in Indonesia

Indonesia’s education system is the third largest in the Asia region and the fourth largest in the world, with more than 61 million students and 5 million teachers.

The right to education is included in the Indonesia Constitution, and it aims to ensure equal opportunity, be of quality and relevance, and be responsive and resilient to the changing needs of learners. To ensure adequate financing to education, the Constitution mandates a 20% national budget allocation, which is met every year by the government.

The ministry of Education (MoECRT) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs are responsible for the education system, with approximately 85% of enrollment overseen by the ministry of Education.

The education system is fairly decentralized, with districts and provinces having the largest roles in education service delivery. Policies in the sector are guided by 5-year plans, and the 2020-2024 Medium Term Development Plan guides current implementation.

The Indonesia has made improvements in enrolment and gender parity, but low learning outcomes and learning inequality are major challenges. Improving education quality is a priority for the government, and the MoECRT is implementing the Merdeka Belajar (Emancipated Learning) initiative, a vehicle for creating transformational change in Indonesia’s education system.

The initiative is reinforced through a new national curriculum and a new annual assessment framework, and sets out to:

  • Improve students’ literacy and numeracy skills through giving teachers more autonomy to determine how learning takes place in their classrooms
  • Leverage digital technology and innovations to optimize teaching and learning practices
  • Create equal opportunity to learn for all.

Result story

Translating education commitments into action: Examples from Asia

Six months after the Transforming Education Summit in 2022, countries from Asia and the Pacific gathered to share and learn from good practices and innovations they have initiated to transform their education systems and address the learning crisis. Here are key takeaways.


(data as of July 24, 2024)

  • Type: Program development

    Years: 2024

    Allocation: US$243,965

    Utilization: 0

    Grant agent: Save the Children Australia

  • Type: System capacity

    Years: 2022 - 2025

    Allocation: US$700,000

    Utilization: US$177,656

    Grant agent: UNICEF

Civil society engagement

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Network for Education Watch (NEW) Indonesia for the 2020-2023 period. This builds on previous support from the Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF).

Learn more

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