Flag of Indonesia (Wikimedia Commons, 2004)

The story of education in Indonesia is very much a story about a collection linguistically and ethnically diverse island communities in southeast Asia coming together and forming their own national identity.

This website was developed in order to explore the historical and cultural influences, as well as the structure and continued development of Indonesia’s education system. Due to its long history as a cultural, religious, and economic crossroads between East and West, Indonesia’s education system developed under very interesting circumstances.  This collection of island communities were united first as a European colony, then as an occupied territory before finally becoming an independent country. Indonesia then set about creating a national identity, language, and education system for a very ethnically and linguistically diverse population.

Basic Facts

Before delving into more detail about the country’s education system, it may be helpful to review some general information about the country:

Map of Indonesia (CIA, 2013)


Indonesia is an archipelago nation consisting of over 17,500 islands in southeast Asia, between the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

    Ethnic Populations of Indonesia

Population by Ethnic Group

Ethnic Populations by Percentage (Golden, 2013)

With a population of 251,160,124, Indonesia is the 5th most populous nation in the world, and also one of the most diverse.

The official national language is Bahasa Indonesia but there are over 730 languages spoken throughout the archipelago.

 Click here to read about the history of education in Indonesia



Central Intelligence Agency (2007, May 5). The world factbook: Indonesia. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/id.html