1. Primary School Education in Indonesia

Primary School Education in Indonesia

Published on 23 Jun 2021

What Is Primary School?

A primary school is simply defined as an elementary school, junior school or grade school where children receive a primary or elementary education. Typically, children enter primary school after completing preschool. A primary education prepares children for transition to secondary school. 

Primary schools in Indonesia are known as Sekolah Dasar (SD). It is compulsory for children to attend primary education as it helps students to gain knowledge and skills where they can be well-functioning individuals in society. The Ministry of Education and Culture (Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan or Kemdikbud) administers the education system in Indonesia. 


What is the Best Age to Start Primary School in Indonesia?

In Indonesia, the age to enter primary school is usually at the age of seven, but some students choose to start at six. Primary education in Indonesia comprises of six years of education and the government made it compulsory in 1984. Children will start their primary education at First Grade, known as, Kelas Satu, and complete their primary education in Sixth Grade, known as Kelas Enam


Indonesia Primary School Curriculum 

The primary school curriculum in Indonesia comprises of Pancasila (state ideology), language skills, literacy skills, religious studies, mathematics, geography, civic education, national history, world history, sciences, physical and health knowledge and many others. The classroom instruction is usually carried out in Indonesia’s national language, Bahasa Indonesia. As for Islamic-based primary schools, children study an additional subject on the precepts and traditions of the Islamic religion. At the end of primary education, students are expected to sit for a school final examination and a national examination before entering secondary school. 


Primary Schools in Indonesia

In Indonesia, there are public primary schools. There is the option of international and private schools depending on the location. Indonesia has the highest number of international schools in Southeast Asia and most of these schools can be found in major cities like Jakarta. However, in 2014, the government of Indonesia stopped allowing local students to attend international schools and encouraged them to attend schools that teaches parts of the Indonesian national curriculum while incorporating an additional international curriculum. This type of schools is known as national plus schools. There are also Islamic primary schools known as Madrasah Ibtidaiyah, which is a combination of a primary school and an Islamic General Junior Secondary School called Madrasah Tsanawiyah, which are usually supervised by the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kementerian Agama or Kemenag).


How Do You Apply to Primary Schools in Indonesia?

Usually, the student must be enrolled at a school latest by April and start their classes in July the same year. For public schools in Indonesia, the admissions are determined by the school director. As for private schools, it is the school foundation and the parents’ association that determine the students’ admissions.  

Parents can do their own research and shortlist schools based on their requirements such as fees, location and curriculum offered. In addition, parents can go on school tours and visit Open Days for more information. Parents can contact the schools personally to ask for registration details and provide the documentation and paperwork needed. Parents who are interested in enrolling their children in international schools can contact the schools directly for application purposes. Generally, the international school application process involves payment of a registration fee and an assessment test. If the child meets all requirements, parents would need to pay an admission fee and deposit for successful enrolment.


What are the Average Fees for Primary Schools in Indonesia?

The average fees for primary school in Indonesia depend on the type of primary school. A public primary school in Indonesia is free of charge. Fees for private schools and national plus school varies. As for international school, the average fees are around IDR113,135,000 (US$7,852) to IDR263,200,000 (US$18,251).



  1. https://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/663/Indonesia-PREPRIMARY-PRIMARY-EDUCATION.html
  2. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/236018079.pdf
  3. https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/indonesia/family/schooling-education/primary-secondary
  4. https://wenr.wes.org/2019/03/education-in-indonesia-2
  5. https://www.edarabia.com/indonesia-school-fees/#:~:text=Each%20school%20in%20Indonesia%20charges,range%20from%20%24190%20to%20%24400.

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