Policy failure and educational attainment in Indonesia

Vol: 
2018/17
Author name: 
Blane D. Lewis
Hieu T. M. Nguyen
Year: 
2018
Month: 
August
Abstract: 

By the late 1980s, child completion of primary education was near universal in Indonesia. The country has since turned its attention to increasing access to secondary school. We examine the causal impact of two classic education policies on secondary school participation in Indonesia: compulsory schooling and spending mandates. We find that the country’s 1994 nine-year compulsory schooling initiative had no impact on child educational attainment. We also determine that Indonesia’s 2002 constitutionally-imposed education spending mandate has been ineffective in influencing secondary school enrolments. Both policies suffer from weak enforcement. Improved enforcement would be beneficial in the case of compulsory schooling. However, the major risk in the case of spending mandates is that government begins to enforce them more rigorously, as they are applied to additional sectors, thereby constraining the efficient delivery of education and other local public services.

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