Teaching in Indonesia May Be Out Next Year!

In 2013 an alarming education policy will take effect in Indonesia. The new legislation, Peraturan Pemerintah Republik Indonesia Nomor 17 tahun 2010, has far-reaching implications for international educators wishing to teach in Indonesia. Here are the basics of the legislation as explained to ISR:

1. “National Plus Schools” [nat’l curriculum + internat’l curriculum, eg: Cambridge] will now be called “International Schools.” This means that for every foreign teacher there must be 3 local Indonesian teachers. Foreign teachers will only be allowed to teach English and NOthing more, as all other subjects will be taught by locals.

2. Schools currently called “International Schools” will become “Foreign Schools.” NO Indonesian citizens will be allowed to attend these schools.

It appears international teachers in Indonesia will be relegated to teaching ESL. If this bill affects your plans, please join us here on the Indonesia Education Legislation Blog to share information and ideas on this topic with other international educators.

43 Responses to Teaching in Indonesia May Be Out Next Year!

  1. Rajesh says:

    so, finally this Bill has come in effect or has it been put on back burner?


  2. Pak Liam says:

    Final version has not yet been published, the regulations have not yet been figured out.

    Our Indonesian staff had a meeting with education department officials yesterday and everything is still being is still being discussed. At the moment our school is still in negotiations with said officials regarding Joint Cooperation status and that the IB can be an affiliate partner.

    They are planning to meet with the IB to discuss this but basically seem receptive to the idea.


  3. Alan says:

    Well, it is August 2012 and I cannot find any other references in English to this law. What has happened to it? has the final version been published? and will it come into effect?


  4. Biru says:

    But I’m Indonesian who’s also goes to International School too in Indonesia? then what’s happen to next year?


  5. Biru says:

    But sorry, think I see a sentence that “No Indonesian citizens will be allowed to attend these school” in International School section? Why?


  6. I have been trying to access this bill in English and am having difficulty doing so – has anyone been able to find it? It would be greatly appreciated as I would like to work with it for a cultural policy course. Thank you!


  7. PsyGuy says:

    I didn’t address the ethical issues because I don’t really see one. ISR maintains the information on the site, that’s all. They aren’t in a position to investigate, and Bette each and every source of information. They are a content provider, not investigative journalists.


  8. PsyGuy says:

    It’s not really going to change much. Schools will just break not separate campuses. A foreign school and an international school. Teachers may be hired as ESL teachers on paper, but will just teach what heir teaching ow, under the auspice of “English for specific subjects” or some other title. Te only people it’s going to make a difference for is HR. Practically for everyone else it will be business as usual, that’s just how it is in Indonesia.


  9. Hallier says:

    Interestingly, I posted a similar comment on the ISR forum and hardly anyone seems to care. Lots of views, but very few replies.

    One poster replied that they probably have not responded to Bruce’s claim because that may make them legally liable for any damage done by the posting. (even provided me with a link to look up the law!). He did not address the issue of the site being honest and simply removing the post.

    Another poster said he was more concerned about the poor aesthetics of the site than its ethics! I hope he was joking.

    As I said, we’d scream blue murder if the Bruce’s of this world acted dishonestly. And it would be posted on this site. Yet very few posters seem concerned when the people who run this site do the same thing. It’s a double standard and I think teachers who use the site should call ISR out on it. Maybe I’ll send a note to Dr Spilchuck;)


  10. Hallier says:

    What staggers me is that the link to this blog posting on the ISR homepage was posted on the 17th. This is the day AFTER Bruce told them it was incorrect and that he “would be happy to provide ISR with a copy of the regulation and an informed analysis of its implications.”

    What does this say about the ethics of the people who run this site?

    As I wrote earlier, ISR takes the high moral ground, then acts like a cheap tabloid magazine themselves. Disappointing!


  11. Pak Liam says:

    I think disgusted above hit the nail on the head when he/she said “your desire to run up further hits on your website”, the article really is a traffic generator for ISR.


  12. Syria1 says:

    I would agree with Bruce. A number of other schools have communicated with their staff on this matter. The initial post is misleading and factually incorrect. But ISR seems not to be interested in monitoring this discussion and indeed has conspicuously failed so far to identify the source of this information “as explained to ISR”. They obviously do not do a great job.


  13. Hallier says:

    I do believe that ISR has a legitimate role in keeping teachers informed and in making disreputable schools accountable.

    However, if, as Bruce suggests, the article is nonsense (which has been supported by some other schools in Indonesia in communication with their teachers) then surely the writer of the blog has a responsibility to either (1) refute Bruce’s claim or (2) retract the article and stop freaking teachers out.

    It has been 4 days now since Bruce posted his comment. Give ISR has not refuted his comment, I can only assume he is correct.

    We slam schools that spin, embellish and mislead teachers.

    Surely, ISR should not do so themselves.


  14. George of the Jungle says:

    Link please Bruce.

    I just missed out on a job at one of the larger schools which apparently has been bending the rules for years with a nearly 50% local student body. I can see this school being in serious budgetary strife if it’s true. Maybe not getting the job was a blessing!


  15. cairoteacher says:

    Even if this is true I don’t agree this is unworkable. At the moment having the published facts would be helpful. But if it is – several people have pointed out many countries have similar rules that there are usually ways around – obviously a foreign passport is the first way around it. Yes, it may make numbers dip for a while if it happens, while Indonesians who want their children at these schools figure out the ramifications; they may drop permanently and some of the lesser ranking schools may not survive. But there will still be jobs for many good teachers in Indonesia in the future.


  16. Ian says:

    Quite frankly such a proposition is unworkable and will impair opportunities for a local and ex-pat students alike. Having said that, I’d need to be more sure of its provenance before taking it seriously!


  17. HappyExpat says:

    When exactly does this take effect in 2013? Jan? Dec?


  18. Bruce Ferres says:

    This whole story is complete nonsense and it is highly irresponsible of ISR to publish this rubbish without first checking the facts. Those of us already in Indonesia are now having to reassure nervous teachers and goodness only knows how this will impact on our recruiting in the months ahead.

    Not one of the reported so-called basics are correct. This article should be withdrawn immediately and an apology posted. I would be happy to provide ISR with a copy of the regulation and an informed analysis of its implications.

    Bruce Ferres


  19. relaxedjkt says:

    The initial article is wrong on nearly every point; besides which, the Ministry is still working on emending the amendments to the amended legislation (this is Indonesia) and finalising their implementation rules, so who knows for sure what will happen in a year or two?


  20. MM says:

    What is ‘alarming’ is this headline. Why is this even a story?? Singapore nationals can’t go to international schools in Singapore either, this is not a new phenomenon. Loads of countries have this criteria. Get some perspective please.


  21. Anonymous says:

    This is the enacted legislation, but it LITERALLY changes from week to week. At one point 6 months ago Foreign/Int’l schools were not going to be allowed to educate in English before grade 4. That seems to have fallen off the map. The legislation is reason to be concerned if you want to spend the rest of your life in Indonesia, but isn’t likely to hurt anyone in the next couple of years. Besides, it’s likely to continue changing and the bigger schools in Jakarta hardly have anything to worry about. Most of the kids at these schools have dual citizenship and just refer to themselves as “Australian”, “Singaporean” “Malayasian”…etc for the purposes of laws like this. Reason for concern…yes. Alarm…no. Don’t worry about taking a Job at JIS, it’ll be there for at least your 2-3 year contract and most likely well beyond that.


  22. Pak Neil says:

    Yes the legislation constantly changes and is in a state of review. The 3 – 1 staffing rule is not a problem, due to most schools having security, cleaning admin in addition to teaching staff. As a teacher in my 3rd year in Indonesia I would take the post with a huge pinch of salt. Education here as in most places is big business. I think the JIS is the biggest employer of overseas nationals in Indonesia, including oil/gas companies. So think you’re pretty safe there


  23. sgf says:

    Does anyone know where to find the source of this information?


  24. Pak Liam says:

    One of the biggest reasons it will not occur, is that many of the growing middle class send their students to schools like these, I cannot see various ministers and powerful businessmen allowing this law to actually become practise, they just will not stand for it.



  25. mwmb says:

    This has been a long time coming, the real target is the Nat Plus schools and the Yayasan tax havens. Good to see Indonesia cleaning up its act.


  26. HappyExpat says:

    When exactly does this take effect in 2013? Jan? Dec?


  27. Live from China says:

    Isn’t this the same as many, many other countries – all of which have international schools, foreign students and foreign teachers? This announcement reads like a tabloid story.


    • katweasel says:

      Many ‘International Schools’ enroll a significant percentage from host countries. Yes there are countries that already have this type of legislation, but that is not to say it will not negatively impact on teachers living and working in Indonesia. That itself doesn’t take into account the fact that Indonesian students will now also be denied the ability to obtain an alternative education in an ‘International School’ – if they wanted. (if this legislation was to be passed)


  28. Disgusted says:

    What a nonsense post. It simply means that International Schools will now no longer be able to take Indonesian citizens. This is the case in many other countries, including Vietnam, where you must spend literally years (and thousands of dollars in bribes) getting the rules changed so you can take nationals. Why are you alarming people like this? Your own description points out quite clearly that INTERNATIONAL schools are only being affected on the basis of their enrolment. NATIONAL schools are NOT international schools, and should NOT be described as such.

    Stop panicking everyone with your desire to run up further hits on your website. This post is very disturbing to me – if this is how you want teachers to think and react to legitimate and completely understandable legislation change, then my faith in ISR has seriously diminished.


    • Trav45 says:

      Look, it will impact teachers, if international schools lose half their student body, and therefore don’t need as many teachers. People shouldn’t panic, but they need to be proactive and check with their employer, especially people coming on as a new hire.


    • katweasel says:

      ‘Disgusted’ – your post seems rather bazaar. Of course if this legislation if passed will effect teachers in Indonesia. Very few ‘International Schools’ are truly International. Most have a significant part of their student body coming from their host country. Do you teach Internationally ?


      • tck4life says:

        Actually katweasel, your post is the one that seems somewhat “bazaar” as 1) you appear to be a teacher and yet don’t seem to know how to spell and 2) for all of the reasons listed down below.


  29. Pak Liam says:

    @Kyle, it is the case, panic not.


  30. rca says:

    who posted this?..there is often alarming legislature in countries like Ven. etc. that are brought on by any number of reasons sometimes its’ protectionist rhetoric, sometimes its local teacher complaining about foreign hire salaries, sometimes it’s anti western nonsense…if you work in an embassy sponsered school I would be less worried than if I worked in a private interational school


  31. luckylibrarian says:

    Why didn’t the schools warn the teachers they hired about this policy?
    I blame the schools for not informing the staff and the teachers.
    One thing I dislike about this new profession I’m in is the lack of forethought into planning and informing staff about new policies and legislation. People don’t seem to get it that politics is local and affects the people on the ground. Western teachers are being replaced by locals.


    • Kim says:

      I work at a school in Jakarta, and the recruiters, admin, teachers, etc.. knew nothing about it.


    • Chinuk says:

      You’re obviously new to teaching in Asia if you think that governments in all countries are open and transparent about new policies in the works! Being blindsided is par for the course.


    • Anonymous says:

      Why assume the schools are at fault? That’s a poor attitude. Likely it was a surprise, they are still reviewing the legislation, or it doesn’t affect them. It is not helpful to jump to conclusions or presume neglect without any evidence.


  32. ceegee says:

    i just heard from a friend in jakarta and whose wife teaches there that it’s true and there will be a phase-out of teachers who are there and over the next few years this policy will be in place. i notified my recruiter and she didn’t know about it, but is on the case. kyle, you may have a very short contract?! hope not…


  33. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t this simply mean that host nationals cannot attend schools such as JIS, as was the case years back? For those top tier schools, overseas hires can still teach.


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