The free 6-year primary school, where children start at
the age of 6-7, has been compulsory since 1987. In 1993, 97%
of the compulsory school pupils stated that they attended
primary school, but the shortage of rooms and teachers is
great, especially in the countryside, and many children
leave school early. In secondary school, divided into two
stages every three years, in 1992, 41% of boys and 34% of
girls in the current age classes attended. The percentage is
4 percentage points lower than five years earlier. Technical
and vocational education is least developed, but vocational
subjects have been introduced in secondary school. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Indonesia.
According to UNESCO estimates in 1995, just over 10% of
men and 22% of women aged 15 and up were illiterate. Bahasa
Indonesia is officially the language of instruction, but in
the lower classes local languages are also used. First
foreign language is English.
In 1995, Indonesia had 45 state universities, 26
technical colleges and just over 100 private universities.
At post-secondary level, a total of 2 million Indonesians
study. In the 1993/94 financial year, almost 10% of the
state budget expenditure went to education.
1975 East Timor is invaded
In 1971, the students defied the threat of oppression and
took to the streets to protest the alliance between corrupt
generals, Chinese traders and Japanese investors. In order
to curb dissatisfaction among the lower officers and
dissidents in the population, Suharto in 1975 ordered the
military to invade East Timor, which had just detached
itself from Portugal. US President Gerald Ford visited
Jakarta a few hours before the invasion and apparently gave
his consent. The people of East Timor did not accept the
Indonesians as liberators, but as colonialists of a new
type. Instead of curbing Indonesia's problems, they were
reinforced by the East Timorese's fierce opposition to the
new colonial rulers.
In May 1977, dissatisfaction was once again expressed.
This time at the election for partial replacement of the
MPs. Despite the ban on left-wing parties, censorship and a
number of other repressive measures, the Golkar
ruling party in Jakarta lost to a coalition of Muslim
parties that had severely criticized the widespread
corruption. At the same time, Golkar went back into rural
areas, despite the fact that political control there has
traditionally been more effective.
In order to secure its victory in the 1982 parliamentary
elections, the regime further restricted political activity,
restructured the electoral system and placed it under the
Ministry of the Interior. On March 10, 83, the People's
Consultative Assembly unanimously elected Suharto for a
fourth 5-year term as president despite mounting opposition
to his government.
Indonesia is pursuing a policy of controlling population
growth, which is therefore declining. While the 1984 census
indicated a growth of 2.34% per year, for the decade 1980-90
it ended up being 1.8%. Nevertheless, the population
pressure - especially in Java -, the radical opening of the
economy to the outside world and the rapid industrialization
have led to a deterioration of the environment and depletion
of available land resources. As early as 1979, therefore,
the government initiated a program of transfer of surplus
population to the less populated islands. The
transmigration program has already transferred 2.5
million people - especially Javanese.
During the 1980s, over 300 ethnic minority groups
experienced a deterioration in their living conditions.
Especially on Irian Jaya - western Papua New Guinea -
extensive protest actions were demanded for
self-determination and the opening of the border with
neighboring Papua New Guinea, with which the people of Irian
Jaya have historically and culturally far more in common.
Indonesia's occupation of East Timor continued to give
the country a damning reputation. In 1988, therefore,
Indonesia was once again barred from taking the chair of the
Alliance Free Countries Movement. At the same time, the
European Parliament recognized East Timor's right to
With the 1988 election, Suharto began his 5th
presidential term, while opening up a wider discussion of
political issues in the media.