Education has become an increasingly important policy tool in most countries. As many governments strive to expand education, they also face the challenge of ensuring that students stay in school long enough to acquire the knowledge they need to cope in a rapidly changing world. Changing skill requirements, high unemployment and the potential growth effects of human capital investments are major factors behind this development. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has share his vision about education sector in his Independence Day speech last year. “We want our children to benefit from a quality education,” (Jakarta Post 22/08/07). As a citizen, we always support our President’s dream that all children have to get the best quality of education. Quality influences what students learn, how well they learn and what benefits they draw from their education.
However, the fact is Indonesia face numerous problems in education sector. Lack of access to get formal education is become one greatest problem this country have to deal. Poverty, rural residence, gender inequality persist as strongest inverse correlates of school attendance and performance (UNESCO, 2005). Furthermore, poor infrastructure is also significant source of this inequality. Thus, only few children could get access to excellent quality of education. School becomes a prestige and could not be afford by many pupils. Balitbang Depdiknas has released more than 1,2 million Indonesian students in total dropped out from school in 2004-2005.
On the other hand, the success of teaching and learning is likely to be strongly influenced by the resources made available to support this process. It is obvious that teachers in education development play an important role, though we also have problem with uneven distribution of qualified teacher. Only few people intent to choose teacher as their career option. Teacher are not promising option since low perception on competitiveness on teaching profession on labour market. Moreover, large proportions of schoolteachers are lack adequate academic qualification, training and content knowledge (Republika, 02/02/05). These are other issue need to address in order to improve education quality.
For Indonesia, which consists of 13,000 islands with more than 200 million citizens, reside, participation by other partners to support education sector become extremely important. Government have to cooperate with local bodies, private sector, civil society, teacher, parents, religious bodies, etc. The quality and effectiveness of partner participation are vitally important. Initially, the support is needed in targeting activities to enhance the quality of education, including renovating and increasing the infrastructure.
Every child deserves the best possible education. Every student needs to fill with the confidence, creativity and imagination to seize every opportunity and to contribute productively to the nation’s future. As well as, innovative teaching can also make an enormous difference to student learning and life outcomes. Support teachers innovation builds the capacity of schools to cater for all students.
As a philanthropic organisation, Poetra Sampoerna Foundation is being challenged to contribute for Indonesian education development. Poetra Sampoerna Foundation could focused efforts on improving the quality of education by removing barriers to participation and learning, as well as experimenting with innovative solutions for the effective and adequate provision of appropriate out-of school education. As an independent organisation, Poetra Sampoerna Foundation could have role to facilitate the efforts of private sector entities to support the development of national education through their Corporate Social Responsibility programs by managing their CSR funds professionally and accountably.
It needs a lot of work in planning, implementation and oversight to make sure that the fund goes to the right projects and right targets, especially those who cannot afford education The quest to ensure that students achieve decent learning outcomes and acquire values and skills that help them play a positive role in their societies.
This paper was written as part of selection process in Sampoerna Foundation.
February 7th 2008