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A Lot to Learn

Illiteracy and School Drop Out Rates Remain a Major Problem in Bali.

(12/11/2011) According to the State News Agency Antara, if all the grade and middle school student in Bali originating from impoverished family were gathered in one location their number would total 92,926 – enough to fill Indonesia’s national sports stadium in Jakarta.

The Spokesman for the province of Bali, I Ketut Teneng, added to the above statistic, saying: “What’s more, Bali has 233,385 illiterate people between the ages of 15 and 44 years.” In other words, nearly 6% of Bali's total population put at 4 million cannot read or write.

The drop out rate last year among high school student is put at 1,315 students while 2,216 students finishing grade school did not re-enroll for a middle school program. Similarly, some 3,965 students did not continue on to high school after completing their junior high school program. Educators cite the economic inability of parents as the leading cause for students’ not continuing schooling in Bali.

Teneng explained that the provincial government of Bali has allocated funds together with additional funding from Jakarta, saying, “this funding includes scholarship assistance for students from poor families.”

Another steps being undertaken to retain students and reduce poverty is the modification of a number of High Schools into trade schools in an effort to equipped students with skills that are more readily marketable to Bali’s job markets.