News from Indonesia: 8-14 February 2013

Hundreds of thousand workers may lose jobs. According to Central Statistics Agency, there is currently 35 percent of Indonesia’s workforce being either unemployed or half-unemployed. On top of that, as many as 900,000 workers may lose their jobs if the increase of minimum wage could not be postponed. These workers come mostly from manufacturing sectors, notably companies in food and beverage, tobacco, textile, footwear and leather, toy and furniture businesses. (Source: Jakarta Post)

Reaching Indonesia’s poor and vulnerable (January 2nd, 2013)

The rate of poverty reduction continues to slow in Indonesia, despite sustained economic growth. With the exception of the 2006 increase in poverty due to the international food price crisis...Efforts to reduce poverty often fail to address the issue of Indonesia’s economically vulnerable population. For instance, while 12 per cent of Indonesians live below the official poverty line, nearly 40 per cent live below 1.5 times this line, or on less than Rp12,400 per day (around US$1.80 adjusted for purchasing power).

Indonesia aims to reduce poverty rate to 11% in 2012

JAKARTA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian government has aimed to cut its poverty rate to between 11 percent and 11.5 percent this year from last year's figure of 12.36 percent, a minister said here on Monday. Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Poverty Alleviation and People's Welfare Agung Laksono said that one of the steps to be taken to suppo...

Indonesia allocates 10 bln USD for poverty eradication program in 2012

JAKARTA, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- An Indonesian senior minister said on Tuesday that the country would allocate a total of 99 trillion rupiah (about 10 billion US dollars) in 2012 to help eradicate the country's poverty. The allocation consisted of health insurance for the poor and banks' loans to help finance for poor people intending to start their bus...

Six Case Histories Illustrating Perpetual Poverty in Indonesia

Abstract Recent studies have shown that a “happiness index” correlates with economies that do not show excessive gap between rich and poor. In other words, even rich people cannot really be happy when surrounded by extreme poverty, no matter how strongly they ignore or deny such destitute conditions. Accordingly, we need methods of securing much ...

Poverty Indonesia 2010 and Beyond

We work mainly in the education sector in Indonesia and two of the three main restraints on education development in Indonesia are the high levels of poverty and insecurity of incomes. The other key issue is the widespread corruption, which also greatly inhibits the potential for poverty reduction in this country. We have been regulary discussing the issue of poverty on our network of education websites, however the news in a recent issue of The Jakarta Globe prompted the development of this website:

Editorial: Widespread Hunger Indonesia’s Shame
September 15, 2010

Poverty and hunger continue to stalk Indonesia despite the rapid economic growth over the past few years. By most estimates, more than 50 percent of the country’s 240 million people still live on $2 or less a day.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s government has made fighting poverty one of its top priorities, but with mixed results. Eliminating hunger should in fact be THE top priority for the government as food security is the most basic of human needs.

Understanding the causes of hunger is critical if the government is to fight this scar on our nation’s face head-on.

Food supply is not the issue as there is enough food to feed everyone.

Poverty, in most cases, is the root cause of hunger and, as a result, over the past five years the country has continued to experience a steady decline in the nutritional status of children under five years of age.

It is unacceptable in this day and age that 28 percent of children in this country are underweight, with 44 percent facing stunted growth.

Without a long-term solution, the country will continue to face a sharp deficit in the quality of its human capital as today’s children will not receive enough nutrition to develop into tomorrow’s productive workforce.

To tackle this problem, the solution must therefore lie in providing greater empowerment and more economic opportunities for the people, in particular the very poor.

The government has initiated some programs, such as direct cash transfers, as a short-term solution, but clearly poverty numbers have not come down.

The longer-term solution must be for the government to unshackle the private sector so that entrepreneurs can create more better-paying jobs.

If parents have steady jobs, they can afford to feed their children and themselves. The private sector must become the economic locomotive as the government does not have the capacity to create enough well-paying jobs on its own.

This is an urgent problem, as reflected in a new study released by the Food and Agricultural Organization and the United Nations World Food Program that lists Indonesia as one of seven countries in the world with the most underfed citizens.

The study notes that more than 1 billion people across the globe face severe hunger. It adds that with a child dying every six seconds because of hunger-related problems, hunger remains the world’s largest tragedy and scandal.

Wiping out hunger will require serious effort and farsighted policies on the part of governments. But most of all it will require a political will to change the way the problem is addressed.

Fighting hunger and poverty is an immediate priority as it will have dire long-term consequences on the nation, let alone on the dignity of the individual.

Every Indonesian deserves a fighting chance to make the most of his or her life and to enjoy the full benefits of economic growth.

Source: The Jakarta Globe

Because of a personal interest in solutions to poverty and a long-term interest in boating, fishing, and our oceans I regard the great potential of our extensive coastlines and unique and diverse array of cultures as key assets for addressing improved welfare for our citizens. My particular areas of interest have included improved cargo and passenger handling efficiency at our seaports, tourism development, increased engagement in water sports and marine research, and increasing general market awareness of Indonesian goods and services. To this end I produced a number of basic websites back in the late 2000s:

Indonesian Seaports :: Tourism in Indonesia :: Water Sports Indonesia
Oceans Against Poverty :: Marine Research :: Indonesian Products

While there has been some some significant marine and aquatic developments in Indonesia, they don't yet appear to have achieved significant changes in the national statistics related to poverty. However, we believe that they do have the potential at the individual and community levels to enable significant poverty alleviation. We were particularly attracted to concepts behind the Green and Blue Economies, and while they both offer excellent concepts for more healthy and effective utilization of our resources, we are not convinced that medium to large-scale business oriented solutions are the answer to key poverty issues. We are currenty attempting to develop a community empowerment site at which we will attempt to post any information or resources that may be useful to the broader community.

From experience with our Education Indonesia Network (over 100 websites) we found that the information and file downloads were being regularly accessed and utilized by several other Southeast Asia and Asian countries so we setup a basic Asian Education Network site to help simplify access and use of these facilities. Likewise we hope that our poverty information sites will be of some use and beneficial in other countries.

Map of Asia

Asian Education Development Network

From our experiences here in Indonesia we have found that while corruption in education management is still the main obstacle to education development, and eventhough tens of thousands of schools are in a pitiful condition, and many teachers still remain confused about what is effective methodology, issues like Intenational Standard Schools (SBI) that only widen the equity gap, and high-technology that threatens the quality of education (through e-Learning) in our schools seem to be the main thrusts of our Ministry of Education. Why?

Classroom Of The Future - Which future?
Myths and Technology Marketing in Southeast Asia

What Is A Quality Education?

Teacher-based education where the welfare and abilities of the teachers are satisfactory, and the schools are in good condition, with a curriculum that meets the needs of the students, and is 'well balanced' (includes many forms of skills training including technology), that is implemented using Active Contextual Learning is the solution for preparing our children for the challenges of the future.

You can download all the information you need at:

Managing Basic Education

We would like to hear your perspectives on education in your country. Please write to us through our Mail Form, or click on the link (left) to view our e-mail address in order to send us an e-mail directly.

Remember... you can post local news items and local information on this site..

We look forward to your contributions.

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