Improving the performance of district boards of education in a decentralized era: a case study of four districts in Indonesia

Moch, A 2010, Improving the performance of district boards of education in a decentralized era: a case study of four districts in Indonesia, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Management, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Improving the performance of district boards of education in a decentralized era: a case study of four districts in Indonesia
Author(s) Moch, A
Year 2010
Abstract In mid 1997, Indonesia was seriously affected by the Asian economic crisis. This quickly spread into monetary, political, and social crises. Following a new presidential appointment, pressures and demands from the grass-roots to reform government systems become stronger and more persistent. Several provinces, particularly those having rich natural resources, pressed for greater autonomy. They felt that their natural resources were being taken by the central government but only a small part came back to them. If the central government did not respond to their pressures and demands, they threatened to proclaim independence from Indonesia.

Education in Indonesia has been a decentralized system since the issuance of Law Number 22/1999 on Local Government. This law was reviewed in 2004 and became Law Number 32/2004 on Local Government. The essence of Law Number 22/1999 was that education was devolved mostly to local government which in Indonesia is at the district level. As a consequence, education was no longer dominated by the central government; local government had voices in policy, planning, management, finance and delivery of education. Law Number 32/2004 revised some earlier decisions and provided more authority to Provinces.

Despite an initial impression that the Ministry of National Education (MONE) has real power, its reach is limited and constrained by political and bureaucratic structures and the capacity of those working in the system at all levels. It is worth noting that the MONE’s role is rendered even more complex by the fact that education in Indonesia falls under three ministries: MONE, Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) and Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA). While MONE has the responsibility for coordinating education, each ministry has its own political and administrative agenda and processes, complicating the already complex and demanding tasks associated with decentralization.

Implementation of education decentralization in Indonesia is not easy because of its political dynamics and geographic and administrative complexity. The dynamics and complexity of Indonesia can be seen in its demography – population size and variations in density and ethnicity, and its geography – the 13,000 islands causing serious communication problems. From the political perspective, issues such as bureaucratic complexity, complex processes of decentralization due to it being driven by political and donor forces, and implementation complexity involving a range of actors and arenas have also contributed to the challenges. From the administrative view point, the challenges included rapid implementation (big bang), simultaneous political, administrative, and fiscal decentralization, and delays in establishing legal frameworks stipulating the divisions of obligatory functions between central, provincial, and district levels. In addition, the lack of capacity amongst local managers to do their jobs created real problems at the district level.

Decentralization of education in Indonesia has brought a lot of changes and one of the most important of them is community participation in education. The community must now take part in the quality improvement of educational services, which includes planning, monitoring, and evaluation of educational programs through Boards of Education.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Management
Keyword(s) Indonesia
Decentralization of Education
Community Participation
Boards of Education
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Created: Thu, 20 Jan 2011, 13:02:29 EST
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