Urgent reforms needed to boost competitiveness of Indonesian human capital
JAKARTA, June 6, 2018 – An investment-led economic expansion has kept Indonesia’s economy growing at a solid pace, reaching 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018, according to the World Bank’s June 2018 Indonesia Economic Quarterly released here today.
High global commodity prices have spurred higher investment, especially in machine, equipment and vehicles, leading to the fastest growth in gross fixed capital formation in more than five years. The outlook for Indonesia’s economy continues to be positive for the rest of the year with GDP growth projected to reach 5.2 percent in 2018 on stronger domestic demand. Risks to this outlook include continued volatility in global financial markets and disruptions to international trade.
“Indonesia’s sound macroeconomic fundamentals continue to provide a solid buffer against rising global volatility. Sound economic management has kept inflation in check and debt levels at about only half of the legal threshold,” said Rodrigo A. Chaves, World Bank Country Director for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. “Looking forward, however, Indonesia’s progress will depend on crucial structural policies such as those seeking to provide the population with the right skills for the future.”
This latest edition of the Indonesia Economic Quarterly takes a closer look at 15 years of education reforms and assesses their impact in improving education outcomes and human capital in Indonesia, and the challenges that remain. While schooling attainment has grown significantly, student learning remains below the levels of other countries in the region, compromising Indonesia’s competitiveness in the global economy, according to the report.
“More educational reforms are needed urgently to significantly enhance the quality of learning by all students. With a large number of teachers retiring in the next decade, there will be a crucial opportunity to upgrade Indonesia’s teaching force,” said Frederico Gil Sander, Lead Economist for the World Bank in Indonesia. “Only with sustained efforts to improve the quality of learning outcomes, graduates of secondary and tertiary education will have the necessary skills to find jobs in a changing labor market.”
Key recommendations for further education reforms include: defining and enforcing teacher qualifications; complementing existing education financing mechanisms with a targeted, performance-based transfer for lagging schools and districts; and launching a national campaign to generate public pressure to improve student learning.
The launch of the June 2018 Indonesia Economic Quarterly is part of Voyage to Indonesia, a series of activities leading up to the 2018 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Bali on October 12 to 14, 2018. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade supports the publication of this report.