affordable international education in indonesia

Indonesia’s need for Affordable International Education is clear. For years the Indonesian education system has failed huge numbers of its students in regards to recognising their interests and talents. Schools have restricted students from freely exploring their thoughts and views which in turn limits their academic freedom. This is often seen as one of the main reasons Indonesia performs so poorly on global education indexes. In the last PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) Rankings, Indonesia was in the bottom 10 countries out of 72 that take part. There are 64 million students in over 340,000 schools and higher education institution with close to 4 million teachers making Indonesia the 4th largest education system in the world.


Access to education has increased enormously in Indonesia with secondary education enrolment going from 21% in 1978 to 77% in 2015. Access is of course a good thing however current approaches have not kept up with the demand meaning there has been a lack of focus on student needs and millions of students become marginalised and forgotten about in the classroom. Those involved in the running of the national education system have been caught up in corruption scandals where expanding education has been used for political gain and personal wealth. There is a need for reform where teachers and students need to be empowered based on their interests and passions.

Affordable international education is a clear way to do this for the growing middle classes in Indonesia who want the best for their children but have no or little fair in the local system to get their children the possibilities to study abroad or at a high level. In many developing countries markets are crying out for affordable international education.

Weak Academic Freedom

A study revealed that 40% of teachers in Indonesia tend to reject sciences that don’t originate from Islam. Along with this censorship in states and society is very much alive and kicking a spokesman commented. In recent years students have been reprimanded for talking about and discussing certain issues such as religion, LGBT and political commentary. A former member of parliament stated “the essence of a university or school is academic freedom. Without that, no environment has the right to call itself a campus. Our constitution provides clear safeguards and the government must strongly implement them.”

Affordable International education, whilst conforming to government regulations, teach to an International context and allow a freedom for children to express their views in a safe and nurturing environment.

Poor Teacher Quality

There is a staggering and unfulfilled demand for teachers; a ratio of 7:100 teachers to students. This ratio is even worse on the outer islands, where schools have historically been underfunded and understaffed. OECD pinpointed the ‘low bar’ in regards to how ‘easy’ it is to become a teacher in Indonesia with an almost 100% pass rate. The poor quality of teacher training throughout the country is also compounded due to the major disconnect between what a teacher is taught in college or university compared to what is going on in the classroom. Many schools are still ‘teaching to a test’, whereby rote learning is favoured above all due to high class numbers, low quality training and the low pay of teachers and a lack of passion for the job.

At GSE, expert teacher training is just one of the cogs in the wheel that comes to a GSE School. Keeping up to date with best practice teaching techniques is important and allowing teachers the freedom to bring their own personalities to the classroom. Whilst top end international schools will have 100% native english teachers, affordable international education institutions need a mix, this is where quality teacher training becomes vital!

See how to set up a school in Indonesia

Nadiem Makarim

Nadiem Makarim

The Education & Culture Minister is Nadiem Makarim, the founder of Gojek, Indonesia’s answer to Uber and Grab. At the age of just 35 he breaks the mould in regards to who has come before. In the past the post has been reserved for Muhammadiyah, the countries largest urban based mass Muslim organisation, who had done little over the years despite the glaring need for reform. Makarim is a household name among millennials and indeed a role model to many as a self made billionaire. More importantly, for educations sake, he is the product of international education. His early education was in Indonesia, but he later enrolled in a Singapore boarding school, before an undergraduate degree at Brown University and an MBA at Harvard University. Many see his extensive overseas learning as an advantage as he seeks to match Indonesia with its neighbouring countries.

Makarim is already making changes with his decision to end the national examination in 2021 and replace it with ‘Assessment of Minimum Competency and Survey of Character’. He also aims to retrain teachers in new, modern classroom methods that earn them greater trust and allow schools the freedom to be more imaginative in their overall approach to education.

Who is Global Services in Education (GSE)

Global Services in Education is a company led by education experts. They are proven education leaders who know how to set up and manage international schools. GSE can lead the project from the initial idea to set up and full management. Kindergarten, Primary, Middle and High School, Universities and Adult education.

GSE Brand

– School Management
– Strategic Planning
– Feasibility Studies
– Architectural Conceptual Design
– Interior Design
– Resources

– ICT Planning
– Marketing
– Branding
– Admissions
– Staffing & Recruitment

– Curriculum Design
– School Policies
– School Audits & Action Plans
– Training & Development
– Accreditation & Licensing

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Duncan Douglas, Project Manager at Global Services in Education:
– A specialist in marketing, admissions, project management, Special Education Needs (SEN)
– Extensive experience in school start-ups and senior education pathways
– Worked across UK, China, Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Myanmar, India and Malaysia
– Expert in UK curriculum