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Playing Hooky in Bali

49,415 Children Lack a Seat in Bali's Junior and High School System.

(3/30/2008) The Bali Post reports that 49,145 school-aged children in Bali are not being accommodated by the Island's formal school system. As children age, the problem of a lack of schooling opportunities in Bali becomes more acute. While only 584 children between the ages of 13-15 are without seats in Bali's Junior High Schools (SMP), that number increases to 48,561 among the older 16-18 year olds seeking high school educations (SMA/SMK).

According to Drs. IGK Ngurah Widiartha, an official from Bali's Department of Education, the majority of these failing to attend school come from families who are unable to afford the cost connected with obtaining an education.

When viewed in terms of total coverage of the educational needs of Bali's children these figures translate into 99.65% of all children between 13-15 years are obtaining formal schooling, a number that drops to only 70.6% among kids aged 16-18 years.

Widiartha described the current situation as a genuine challenge to Bali and its stated goal to make education mandatory through the high school level.

Current regulations mandate education only through the 9th grade (SMP).