Jakarta. Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection has found that 35.90 percent of children in urban and rural areas have never attended school or dropped out due to a lack of financing.
“Out of the several reasons given, lack of financial support has been the dominant cause for children aged seven to 17 years not to attend school or discontinue schooling,” Minister of Women Empowerment Yohana Yembise said on Saturday (24/12), as reported by state news agency Antara.
The minister claimed the government has established the "Nine Year Compulsory Basic Education Program" to ensure future national development. It urges Indonesian children to attend school for a minimum of nine years, or to graduate by junior high school (SMP).
However, Yohana believes the program has yet to be optimized after seeing high numbers of children dropping out of school.
“The affordable or free education, which has always been discussed, will definitely help families if economic factors are an issue,” she said.
Nevertheless, Yohana added that other factors should also come into consideration in resolving why these students have dropped out.
She believes that psychological, geographical and social environments are factors that could possibly lead to children discontinuing their studies. According to the ministry's data, other factors which discourage students to further their education include working, and taking care of the household.
Almost 5 percent of these students believe their level of education was sufficient, while 4.5 percent stopped going to school due to a disability.