Sat, 26 Apr 2003

New policy on national exams for junior, senior high schools

Sari P. Setiogi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Jakarta administration will implement a new policy on the upcoming final examinations for junior and senior high schools.

There will be a number of significant differences as compared to the former final examinations, said Gito Utomo Purnomo, head of the City Basic Education Agency to the media on Friday.

In the past, all material for the national exams were set by the government. But now, the material would be set by both the government and the schools.

The government would only set examination material in three subjects: English, Bahasa Indonesia and Maths. Other subjects would be provided for by the schools themselves.

The pass grade would be considered as a total average score of 6.0 and the required minimum score in each subject would be more than 3.0. This is on a scale of between 0 and 10.

Unlike in previous years, the students' behavior at school, commitment to school, and many other subjective factors would not be a factor in a student's grade, according to Gito.

The accreditation status for students who sit the final examination would also be subject to several changes.

Students who successfully pass the final examinations would receive two certificates, one of which would certify that they had finished high school, while the other would certify that the students had graduated.

Gito said that a student could possibly finish school but fail to graduate if he or she received a poor grade in certain subjects.

The two certificates had different benefits.

With a high school certificate, one would be able to apply for employment, but not continue on to higher education.

But those who failed their exams will still have a second chance, he said.

The new policy is pursuant to Minister of National Education Decree No. 017/U/2003, issued early in February, on the national final examinations for junior and senior high school students.

About 135,000 senior high school students will take part in the final exams, starting May 5, while the exams for junior high school that will start on May 19 will involve about 223,000 students.