GOAL | 04 | Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to ensure that all people have access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities. This goal focuses on the acquisition of foundational and higher-order skills at all stages of education and development; greater and more equitable access to quality education at all levels, as well as technical and vocational education and training; and the knowledge, skills and values needed to function well and contribute to society.

  • The participation rate in organized learning among 6-year-olds was nearly 96 per cent in 2015, though many children of pre-school age are already attending primary school.
  • All but one province have achieved universal or near universal access to primary education. At junior secondary level, the adjusted net attendance rate reached 87 per cent in 2015 while 57 per cent of youth aged 16–18 years were attending senior secondary or higher education.
  • Gender parity has been achieved at primary level – with a slight advantage for girls in several provinces – but the picture is mixed at secondary level. Adolescents and youth from the poorest households and those living in rural areas are much less likely to complete their education.
  • Only half of primary school children achieved the minimum national benchmark in reading and less than a quarter in mathematics.

Quality Education

What this goal is about

Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to ensure that all people have access to quality education and lifelong learning opportunities. This goal focuses on the acquisition of foundational and higher-order skills at all stages of education and development; greater and more equitable access to quality education at all levels, as well as technical and vocational education and training; and the knowledge, skills and values needed to function well and contribute to society.

Despite significant global investment in the previous decades, there are still persistent disparities and gaps in access to education. Indonesia has made impressive gains to ensure near universal primary education, but access to and completion of secondary education remains a challenge. There is also increasing recognition that attendance at school alone is not enough: learning outcomes need to be tracked to ensure that schools are genuine learning environments where children benefit concretely from the time they spend there. Indonesian pupils tend to perform poorly in both national and international assessments of basic reading, mathematics and other academic skills.

There is now a wealth of evidence that highlights the importance of early childhood education for developing cognitive and language skills and for fostering emotional development. In achieving this goal, Indonesia’s education sector will need to respond to a rapidly changing society to ensure that education at all ages is inclusive and relevant to the national context. Ensuring quality education for all throughout all stages of childhood is key to achieving not only this goal but many other SDGs.

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Quality Education

Key statistics & figures

Note: The indicators on WASH in school are discussed further under Goal 6 on water and sanitation. An indicator on bullying in school is covered under SDG 16

Indonesia has diverse early childhood development services for pre-school children
Percentage distribution of children 0–6 years old attending pre-school by type of pre-school, by age, 2015

Source: SUSENAS 2015

Indonesia has achieved near universal basic education, but participation rates lag in Papua province
Adjusted net attendance rates in primary and secondary education, by province, 2015

Note: The adjusted primary school net attendance ratio is the percentage of children of primary school age (7– 1 2 years as of the beginning of the 2 0 1 4/ 1 5 school year) who are attending primary or secondary school. Children of primary  school age at the beginning of the school year currently attending primary or secondary school are included in the numerator (attendance of secondary school is included to take into account early starters). Children that did not attend school in the current school year, but have already completed primary school are also included in the numerator. All children of primary school age (at the beginning of the school year) are included in the denominator. The adjusted primary school net attendance ratios for junior secondary ( 13– 15 years) and senior secondary school ( 16– 18 years) are calculated in the same way.

Source: SUSENAS 2015

There are large disparities in school completion rates, especially for secondary education

Source: SUSENAS 2015

Only half of primary school children achieve the minimum national benchmark in reading and less than a quarter in mathematics
Percentage of children in Grade 4 of primary education achieving at least a minimum proficiency in reading and mathematics, 2016

Source: INAP

School participation rates are high among children of primary school age but drop steadily among adolescents and youth
Percentage of children and youth attending school, by age and by type of education, 2015

Source: SUSENAS 2015

The participation rate in organized learning among 6-year-olds was nearly 96 per cent in 2015
Percentage of children one year younger than the primary school entry age who participate in organized early learning, by province, 2015

Source: SUSENAS 2015

Adolescents and youth from the poorest households and those living in rural areas are much less likely to complete primary and secondary education
Parity indices for school completion rates, 2015

Note: The parity indices are calculated by dividing the completion rate of one group ( female, rural and poorest quintile) by that of another group (male, urban and richest quintile). A value of 1 .00 indicates absolute parity, and values between 0.97 and 1 .03 are considered to be an acceptable parity level.

Source: SUSENAS 2015

Gender parity has not been achieved at all levels of education in all provinces
Gender parity indices for school completion rates, by province, 2015

Note: Each dot represents the gender parity index of a province. Different colours are used to distinguish between primary, junior and senior secondary. The dots between the shaded section indicate that an acceptable parity has been achieved at the respective education level.

Source: SUSENAS 2015

Learning outcomes are very low for disadvantaged students
Percentage of 15-year-old students who achieve at least a minimum proficiency level in reading and mathematics, by selected characteristics, 2015

Note: There are seven proficiency levels in the PISA 2015 assessment: Level 1 is the lowest described level, then Level 2, Level 3 and so on up to Level 6. Level 2 can be considered the baseline level of proficiency at which students begin to demonstrate the skills that will enable them to participate effectively and productively in life

Source: OECD, PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education, 2016