IJSSH 2016 Vol.6(11): 825-829 ISSN: 2010-3646
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2016.V6.757

The Politics of Education in South East Asia: A Comparative Study on Decentralization Policy in Primary Education in Indonesia and Thailand

Mouliza Kristhopher Donna Sweinstani
Abstract—In most developing countries, the responsibility to provide primary and secondary education is resided in the central government. However, a growing number of countries, including countries in South East Asia, such as Indonesia and Thailand, are transferring those responsibilities from central government to local government by a system called education decentralization. Those two countries have some mutual backgrounds, yet international assessments in basic education show different outputs between them. By this research, the author wants to explain how education decentralization works in both countries by explaining and analyzing how is decentralization of education in both countries truly interpreted, who is the main actor in education policy in term of decentralization, and how does the local government fulfill the resources needed in the policy implementation. Using documentary study as the data collection method and based on the former research done by the Author, difference interpretation of education decentralization gives a significant impact on the availability of resources which support the implementation of the policy. Decentralization of education in Indonesia which is interpreted as a broad autonomy led to a very clear separation between the center and regions, including in the provision and management of resources which, factually not all areas, can meet the subject. On the other hand, by interpreting it as deconcentration, Thai central government is still involved in matters of education to make sure that the development of education can work together across regions. That is why Thailand ranked better than Indonesia in some international assessments especially in primary education.

Index Terms—Basic education, education decentralization, southeast Asia, primary education.

Mouliza Kristhopher Donna Sweinstani is with the University of Indonesia, Indonesia (e-mail: moulizadonna@gmail.com).

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Cite: Mouliza Kristhopher Donna Sweinstani, "The Politics of Education in South East Asia: A Comparative Study on Decentralization Policy in Primary Education in Indonesia and Thailand," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 6, no. 11, pp. 825-829, 2016.

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