In 2000, the Indonesian government began an effort to transfer the control, ownership, and responsibility for school assets from the central government to the districts and provinces. This decentralization is an important step toward local control of education for the world’s fourth-most populous nation. However, the process of decentralization creates many challenges for local government, especially in low-income, remote, and rural areas.
The USAID-funded PRIORITAS project is helping the Ministries of National Education and Religious Affairs to decentralize basic education by improving teaching at the primary and junior secondary levels, and is strengthening provincial, district, and local training capacity in order to improve school governance and management of financial and human resources.
PRIORITAS is implemented by a consortium led by Research Triangle Institute (RTI). World Education is supporting 'whole school development' activities and cross-cutting issues related to gender and students' transition from primary to secondary school. World Education works with all primary schools in selected clusters of PRIORITAS' districts and with 240 junior secondary schools, and is training 400 facilitators to replicate activities in PRIORITAS' districts. The training module includes: 1) teaching and learning; 2) transition from primary to junior secondary school and student retention; and 3) attention to healthy habits, child protection, gender equity, and the needs of children with disabilities.