Inclusive Education in Indonesia

Based on the direction letter of the Directorate General of Primary and Secondary Education No 380/C.66/MN/2003, inclusive education in Indonesia has begun in January 20, 2003. Every district has to have at least four inclusive schools, comprising of a primary, a secondary, general high and vocational higher type.

Every district must have at least one inclusive high school, too, according to the Decree of the Minister of Education No. 70-2009. Every sub district must have at least one primary and one secondary inclusive school, and would have up to 50 million rupiahs each.

Indonesia was motivated to implement inclusive education after the publication of “The Standard Rules on Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities” by the United Nations in 1993 and convention on the World Conference on Special Needs Education, Access and Quality” held in Salamanca in 1994. Its regions that have conducted inclusive education in their regular schools are the Yogyakarta Province (12 schools) and the DKI Jakarta Province (35 schools).

The “process” towards inclusive education in Indonesia, though, started in the early 1960s. A couple of blind students in Bandung were disillusioned that educational service was only provided up to the junior high school level, after which vocational training on handicrafts or massage only were given.

In the late 1970’s, the Helen Keller International, Inc. helped Indonesia developed integrated primary schools in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya. It resulted in the issuance of the Letter of Decision by the Minister of Education in 1986 encouraging children with disabilities to attend regular schools.

Towards the end of 1990’s, the Ministry of National Education and the Norwegian government develop inclusive education through a cooperation project. More and more universities have also introduced inclusive education as a subject or as topics in other related subjects, inspiring students to take aspects of inclusive education as topics in their research. The Pertuni (Indonesian Blind Union), ICEVI, Nippon Foundation, UNJ-Jakarta, UPI-Bandung, UIN-Yogyakarta, Unesa-Surabaya have all established support service centres for students with visual impairment.

Recently, 33% of children with disabilities in Indonesia live in families earning less than $2  a day. With the Inclusive Community Development and School for All (IDEAL) program and the Save the Children-IKEA Foundation, access to quality inclusive education in the country was increased, letting them attain their right to education and protection.

“A community that is convinced about inclusive education, believe that living and learning together is a better way of life, that is profitable for every one, because this type of education can accept and respond to every student’s individual need so that the school become a learning friendly environment for the students.” ~ Prof DR. Fawzia Aswin Hadis

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Plan Indonesia

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