The World Bank Board has recently approved US$ 86 million in support of the Government's plan to improve the skills and performance of teachers, widely recognized as a key challenge to improving education standards in Indonesian schools.
The Better Education through Reformed Management and Universal Teacher Upgrading Project (BERMUTU), at a broader level, supports the Government's December 2005 Teacher Law which aims to improve the qualifications and classroom performance of Indonesia's 2.7 million teachers, who make up at least 70 per cent of the country's civil service. The program is expected to address critical challenges in Indonesia's education system, reflected most sharply in recent studies which show Indonesian students score less in scholastic tests like maths and reading. The program will support reforms for university-based teacher education, build capacity of the national accreditation board, provide incentives to universities to train teachers through distance learning and scholarship programs. Teacher absenteeism is another reason students do not learn.