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publication April 13, 2021

Student Learning and Diagnostic Assessment Tools for Remote Primary Schools in Indonesia's Lagging Districts


A World Bank survey found that learning outcomes of students in remote primary schools are two grade levels behind the curriculum targets in five disadvantaged districts of Sintang, Landak, Ketapang, West Manggarai, and East Manggarai.

Since 2016, the World Bank has supported the government to pilot KIAT Guru, which empowers communities and ties the allowances of teachers in remote area with their performance. After one year of implementation, an impact evaluation found that KIAT Guru significantly improved learning outcomes compared to non-KIAT Guru schools.

As existing learning assessments could not be used to identify where remote primary school students are along the learning continuum, KIAT Guru produced two assessment tools: Student Learning Assessment and Tes Cepat, or Quick Test.


Student Learning Assessment (SLA)

  • Building upon Indonesia’s 2006 national curriculum and international assessment frameworks (TIMSS and PIRLS), the SLA is designed to measure reading and math learning outcomes of primary grade student in Indonesia’s remote areas.
  • SLA differs from its predecessors in Indonesia (EGRA, BERMUTU, and INAP), as it covers all primary grade reading and math, and  is tailored to measure learning in remote area contexts of disadvantaged regions. It also covers more cognitive aspects, which allows the tool to detect granular changes in students’ knowledge of concepts, ability to apply knowledge to a certain context, and reasoning to critically consider solutions to a problem.
  • The SLA has been piloted and tested with 64,565 students in 324 remote primary schools across eight Indonesian provinces. The pilot testing of SLA covered remote schools in advantaged and disadvantaged districts. Figure 1 shows results of the piloting in grade 1 level, where the distribution of reading results for students in KIAT Guru’s 270 remote schools spread more evenly across the ability range. However, the student test results from remote schools of Yogyakarta, which is an advantaged region, fell within the mid- to- high ability range, deeming the test to be easier for them relative to students in KIAT Guru’s schools. This trend also applies to grade 1 students in math, as portrayed in Figure 2, and in the rest of the grade levels.



Tes Cepat

  • Tes Cepat, which in English means ‘Quick Test’, is a rapid and low-stake diagnostic test for primary grade reading and math that quickly maps student learning outcomes against the national curriculum standards. It consists of core SLA test items but administered adaptively to students’ knowledge level regardless of their grade levels.
  • The administration and dissemination of Tes Cepat, which involve local parents and community members, was developed in the spirit of citizen-led assessment movements.
  • The Tes Cepat was initially developed as a paper-based version and utilized in 203 remote primary schools. An Android-based mobile phone application is now also available and has been piloted in 410 schools to strengthen local administration, result scoring, and data storage.
  • From each class, six students are selected randomly to represent their grade and are also gender-balanced. The most difficult question that a student can answer marks their grade-level competency. Student’s results are plotted into a visual map (Figure 3) that indicates where they are in the learning continuum. If a student’s skills are at her grade level, she is accounted for in the correlated green box. Lagging students are represented to the left of the green boxes, as are those who are illiterate or innumerate. Table 1 presents an example of Tes Cepat result from a school. 

  • Tes Cepat results inform parents with benchmarked learning outcomes in their local classrooms on a semesterly basis. It is a powerful advocacy tool to increase education accountability. In KIAT Guru, the Tes Cepat results improve parental awareness, demand, and engagement in education of their children.
  • The test was the first of its kind in Indonesia, with the digital version adapted by the Ministry of Education and Culture for its AKSI Sekolah mobile application, available for all schools nation-wide.


Related publications on the SLA and Tes Cepat are available below.

Student Learning Assessment (SLA) Publications:

Tes Cepat