Teacher Certification in Indonesia: The confusion of means and ends

In 2006, Indonesia started implementing a nation-wide program of teacher certification with the aim to certify as many as 2.3 million teachers by 2015 with the budgetary cost of as much as US$5,600 million.

Using data from a teacher survey we applied two different impact evaluation techniques namely Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and Difference-in-Difference (DD) to evaluate the impact of certification. These techniques can be used to estimate the difference in student’s performance (in this case national exam score) attributed to the certification. Both methods suggest that teacher certification has no impact on student’s achievement. The certification program may have improved teacher’s living standard as remuneration increase is an elemental part of it, yet its formally-stated goal to improve the quality of education as should be indicated in better students’ performance may not have been achieved. This program, being the largest in the nation’s history, may have confused means and ends. We propose some policy recommendations. Two of them are: first, the government should implement a reward and punishment scheme to motivate teachers to continuously perform well; second, the government should introduced a teacher performance indicator are as close as possible to student’s performance as key evaluation criteria and the reward-punishment scheme must be based on these criteria.


Discussant: Prof. Sutyastie Soemitro


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Center for Economics and Development Studies is a research center under the Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, Indonesia. A leading research institute in Indonesia in the area of economics and development studies.
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