Philosophical Roots

The Pancasila

The fact that Indonesia, as a new nation, had to create a unifying national identity for a diverse population was also reflected within the education system. Schools became a medium of transmitting national identity to new citizens. The core curriculum included teaching the new national language and the principles of the pancasila, or national philosophy, which are the belief in a supreme God, national unity, humanitarianism, democracy, and social justice (Frederick & Worden, 2011, p. 260).

Pancasila coat of arms

 200px-Pancasila_Sila_4_Buffalo's_Head.svg        Pancasila_Sila_1_Star.svg       200px-Pancasila_Sila_3_Banyan_Tree.svg

Democracy                     One supreme God              National Unity

200px-Pancasila_Sila_2_Chain.svg              Pancasila_Sila_5_Rice_and_Cotton.svg

Humanitarianism                   Social Justice

(Wikimedia Commons, 2008)

While the nation was established under the ideal of “Unity in Diversity” (Frederick & Worden, 2011, p. 15), up until the end of the 20th century it has mainly been focused on creating unity. At the turn of the century, however, Indonesia began the process of decentralizing the government, which has included shifting education administration to the regional level (Duncan, 2007). Now the nation is exploring means of expressing and including diversity within a unified state.

Click here to see Indonesia’s educational structure