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Zoning Policy for Indonesia’s Educational Equality : An Overview

“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth” ~ Djorgenes.

Indonesia’s future dreadfully depends on the attainment of well-educated citizens. According to the latest Human Development Index, reported by the UNDP, Indonesia ranked 121st out of 185 countries, with an HDI of .629. The report shows that Indonesia is ranked lower than two of its neighboring ASEAN countries, Malaysia (64th) and Singapore (18th). The average score for the region was 0.683.

Education plays a significant role in both intellectual and professional development of our people. Nevertheless, the education in Indonesia still possesses an abundant of crucial problems regarding its quality and access as well as the uneven distribution of well-trained teacher. Inadequate access to education in Indonesia leads to the discernment of the “favorite” and “less favorite” school. Parents’ perception of a good education for their children is for them to attend a well-known and prestigious school, no matter how far the school is from their domiciles, as the complete educational facility is often offered in the district’s capital.

Over the years, parents and students strives to the idea of the favorite and less favorite school. To their point of view, favorite schools have better input and indubitably greater output to offer whereas the less favorite ones are lacking of well-trained and experienced teachers as well as any other educational facilities. While parents encourage their kids to struggle their way to the favorite schools, the less favorite ones distressed from not gaining enough student to start their semester. The judgement of the society in general makes a bad publicity for the less favorite schools. The ones who actually go there are considered as the ones who failed to be admitted to the favorite ones. Thus makes the pressure put amongst the students is beyond what they can bear.

In virtue of this issue, Indonesia’s Minister of Education and Culture, Prof. Dr. Muhajir Effendy, M.A.P provides a solution called the Zoning Policy (Kebijakan Zonasi) wherein the admission of new students is determined by the distance of their domiciles to the school. The zoning policy is regulated in the Fourth Section of Permendikbud No. 14 of 2018, Article 16. It reads as follows:

Section Four

Zoning System

Article 16

(1) Educations held by the local government shall receive prospective learners domiciled in the nearest zone radius of the School at least 90% (ninety percent) of the total number of students received.

(2) The domicile of prospective learners as referred to in paragraph (1) shall be based on the address on the family card issued no later than 6 (six) months prior to the implementation of the PPDB.

(3) The nearest zone radius as referred to in paragraph (1) shall be determined by the regional government in accordance with the conditions in the area based on:

[if !supportLists]A. [endif]availability of school age children in the area; and

[if !supportLists]B. [endif]the number of available capacity in the study group in each school.

(4) In determining the zone radius as referred to in paragraph (3), local government involves deliberations / working groups of school principals.

(5) For schools located in provincial / regency / municipal border areas, the percentage and radius of the nearest zones as referred to in paragraph (1) can be applied through written agreements between local and border areas.

(6) Schools held by local governments may receive prospective learners through:

[if !supportLists]A. [endif]achievement trails domiciled outside the nearest radius zone of the School at most 5% (five percent) of the total number of students received; and

[if !supportLists]B. [endif]pathways for prospective learners residing outside the nearest zones of the School for special reasons include transfer of parent / guardian domicile of learners or natural / social disasters, at most 5% (five percent) of the total number of students received.

The aim of this new policy is clear, to diminish the assessment of favoritism amongst schools and to provide a brand new system in school admission that is objective, accountable, and transparent. As it is stated in the second section, Article 2 of Permendikbud No. 14 of 2018:



Article 2

(1) The PPDB aims to ensure the acceptance of new learners in an objective, transparent, accountable, non-discriminatory, and fair manner in order to encourage improved access to education services.

(2) Non-discrimination as referred to in paragraph (1) shall be exempted for schools that specifically serve learners of certain gender or religious groups.

Questions: does the zoning policy succeed in meeting the objectives? Quo Vadis? Every policy holds its own contradiction. The writer humbly sees the zoning policy as a magnificent step towards the attainment of equivalent education in Indonesia, however, the government could have done much greater efforts in order to minimize the undesirable impact of it. Yes, with the zoning policy being enforced, the assessment of favoritism amongst the school can be vanished, but is it really the right thing to force the student with the highest level of intelligence being taught by someone who is incompetent and being served with such poor educational facilities? Is it really the right thing to give the 6 months prior notice to assume one’s domicile? There are plenty ways in transferring your kid to another Kartu Keluarga (Family Identity Card), making them look as if they live near the desirable school.

With the obligation of kids to go to the nearest school from where they live, there is no guarantee that the school has the best thing to offer. Everyone evidently wants to get the best education, to accommodate the best use of the zoning policy the government should have ensured the distribution of well-trained teachers and educational facilities before applying it. It truly is a shame to see potential kids to go wasted in the appliance of a policy that is meant to fix the problems.

Moreover, if the zoning policy really is meant to devalue favoritism of schools, let it be clear that any ways in counterfeiting domicile is fairly prohibited and severe consequences will be applied to those who does it.

Lastly, The writer believes that with the right approach, the zoning policy is the revolutionary method to accommodate the idea of favoritism amongst the schools which puts a great deal of pressure for the students.


Permendikbud No. 14 Tahun 2018 -

Human Development Reports provided by UNDP -


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