In response to our posting titled “Teaching in Indonesia May Be OUT Next Year“, we have received reassuring information showing the new legislation may not apply to what most of us classify as an International School. Bruce Ferres, Principal at Australian International School – Indonesia, has supplied ISR with information that points to some gray areas in the bill, to which we were not privy. Apparently, true international schools such as British International School (BIS), Jakarta International School (JIS) and the Australian International School (AIS), to name a few, may not be subject to the new regulations.
Following is important information about the new Indonesian legislation as supplied to ISR by Bruce Ferres , Principal Australian International School – Indonesia
..The Indonesian Government has, in recent years, attempted to regulate the proliferation of independent private schools, International schools and National Plus schools all of which offer alternative programs to regular local government schools.
..The first attempt to lay down a regulatory framework in respect of all non-standard government schools in recent times was Regulation 18, 2009. This was followed with Regulation 17, 2010 and together they set out categories of schools and for each category the manner in which they ought to be organized and other licensing criteria.
..National Plus schools are government schools that teach an international curriculum (e.g. IB, Cambridge) alongside the local standard Education Department curriculum. These schools can charge fees and although mostly attended by the children of wealthier Indonesians they also enroll the children of expatriates. Most of their teachers are local Indonesians but they employ a significant number of expatriate teachers and often have an expatriate Head of School or Principal. Nowhere in either regulation is there any suggestion that these schools be now called International Schools.
..A large number of small independent private schools have been established in the last decade and by using the word “international” in their title attempted to disguise the fact that they were poorly resourced, often employed unqualified teachers and charged gullible parents exorbitant fees. These are the schools that will, correctly in my view, be most adversely affected by the new regulations because they will not be able to meet the new accreditation and quality assurance requirements.
..This brings us to the genuine International Schools such as the British International School (BIS), Jakarta International School (JIS) and the Australian International School (AIS) to name just a few. These schools were established as foundations under the Ministry of Justice and have for many years now been providing a quality international education. The vast majority (80%) of their teachers and students are expatriates but they also educate a number of Indonesian nationals and employ a number of Indonesian teachers.
..One of the difficulties posed by Regulation 18, 2009 and Regulation 17, 2010 is that these genuine International schools do not readily fit into any of the categories of school described by the regulations. These schools have been working together with the authorities to address this dilemma and high level talks are currently in progress aimed at amending the wording or agreeing to interpretations that would minimize the impact. Even without an immediate resolution it is simply not true that all International Schools will be called Foreign Schools. In fact, in the unlikely event that current talks do not resolve the current dilemma, most genuine International Schools would more easily fit into a category known as a “Joint Education Unit” but this would not have any impact on the name of the school.
..The new regulations do not prevent Indonesian nationals from attending these schools as long as Civics, Religion and Bahasa Indonesia is taught as a part of the curriculum, they continue to sit the National Examinations and other requirements are met. Some schools will find creative ways of blending this into their program others might choose not to enroll Indonesian nationals.
..The genuine International Schools will continue to employ expatriate teachers to deliver programs and subjects accredited by the IBO, Cambridge, BSSS and other internationally recognized curricula. The claim that expatriate teachers will be confined to teaching English or ESL is nonsense.