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Education reform in Indonesia : limits of neoliberalism in a weak state

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Item Summary

Title:Education reform in Indonesia : limits of neoliberalism in a weak state
Authors:Mappiasse, Sulaiman
Date Issued:May 2014
Publisher:[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2014]
Abstract:This is a study about the recent neoliberal education reform in Indonesia. With the strong support of the people, Indonesia has undertaken a large-scale education reform since the late 1990s. The government was highly confident that this would make Indonesia's education more efficient and competitive. After more than a decade, however, Indonesia's education has not significantly improved. Contrary to expectations, the series of policies that was introduced has made Indonesia's governance less effective and has deepened the existing inequality of educational opportunities. This study examines how and why this reform ended up with these unsatisfactory outcomes. The argument is that Indonesia's domestic politics and history have interfered with the implementation of the neoliberal policies and led to a distortion of the reform processes. Although neoliberal globalization was a powerful force shaping the process of the reform, domestic conditions played a more important role, especially the weakening of the state's capacity caused by the crisis that hit Indonesia in 1997/1998. In the process of decentralization, the new configuration of relations between the state, business groups and classes and the emergence of new local leaders brought about unintended consequences. The effort to transform schools and universities to become independent legal entities stagnated. Teacher professionalization faced problems. Principals and teachers were entangled in local politics. These conditions allowed the middle classes and capitalist groups to benefit most from the public resources. In the area of vocationalization, conversion of general secondary schools to become vocational did not work and was not cost effective because good vocational education became more expensive, yet more attractive to the poor. Public-private partnership that was supposed to solve this problem did not work, either, and as a result, the state had to spend, rather than save, more money to carry it out. Finally, in the area of internationalization, the government made some progress because this program was popular among the rich middle class. However, it deprived public schools of resources, excluded citizens from access to quality education, and created a new hierarchy in education. As a result, the state found it very difficult to continue implementing it.
Description:Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Sociology

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