In Indonesia education is centrally controlled by the ministry of national education. 6 years in primary school and 3 years in junior high school are compulsory. The primary phase follows on after optional pre-school playgroups that may commence in a child’s third year. Most elementary schools are government controlled. Some offer accelerated programs that compress the phase to 5 years. As Islamic education system operates in parallel to this.
Junior high school offers a bridge between the gentler pace of the elementary phase, and the challenges of senior high school that may follow. It also assists educators to determine a possible future direction for their students. The Islamic education system continues to provide an alternative.
There are two different kinds of Indonesian high schools providing two streams of education for those who choose to optionally enrol. One of these is aimed at those who intend to go on to university. The other is for those who plan to find jobs right away. Other young people choose the Islamic alternative.
Vocational training is mainly provided by private training colleges and initiatives by donor countries. Unfortunately this continues to occur mainly in the cities. This continues to condemn most of the rural poor to a life of drudgery and manual labor.
There are 4 kinds of tertiary education institutions in Indonesia, namely polytechnics, academies, institutes and universities. Some of these are state controlled, some are religiously affiliated and some are privately funded.
The oldest is the University of Indonesia founded in 1947. It enjoys a prestigious local reputation and was ranked among the top 50 in Asia in May 2011.