Working Paper


Schooling Progress, Learning Reversal: Indonesia’s Learning Profiles between 2000 and 2014


Image of Amanda Beatty

Amanda Beatty

RISE Indonesia

Mathematica Policy Research

Image of Emilie Berkhout

Emilie Berkhout

RISE Indonesia

Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD)

Image of Luhur Bima

Luhur Bima

RISE Indonesia

SMERU Research Institute

Image of Menno Pradhan

Menno Pradhan

RISE Indonesia

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and University of Amsterdam

Image of Daniel Suryadarma

Daniel Suryadarma

Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI)

This paper examines the relationship between schooling completed and mathematics learning from 2000 to 2014 by developing learning profiles for Indonesia. Using nearly-nationally representative survey data, we find a large gap between students’ ability and standards set by the national curriculum. Learning declined over 14 years, a loss of a fourth of a standard deviation. To put this loss in context, the average child in Grade 7 in 2014 achieved the same numeracy mastery as the average child in Grade 4 in 2000. The reduction in learning was widespread, affecting all subgroups. Junior and senior secondary enrolment increased over this timeframe, but this decline was not due to changes in student composition.

*This paper was previously published under the title, “Indonesia Got Schooled: 15 Years of Rising Enrolment and Flat Learning Profiles” on 30 November 2018. The updated paper was published in the International Journal of Educational Development in volume 85, 2021 under the DOI:


Please access and cite the journal version of this paper:

Beatty, A., Berkhout, E., Bima, L., Pradhan, M., and Suryadarma, D. 2021. Schooling progress, learning reversal: Indonesia’s learning profiles between 2000 and 2014, International Journal of Educational Development, Volume 85, 2021, 102436, ISSN 0738-0593,