55% of Indonesian People are Illiterate?

Is it true that 55% of Indonesian people are illiterate?

In June 2018, World Bank report, there were 55.4% of Indonesians who had completed education considered functionally illiterate because they could read but did not understand the meaning.

Prabowo Subianto said that 55% of Indonesians are illiterate. This statement came out in a speech at the Indonesia Economic Forum 2018 event which took place in Sangri-La, Jakarta, Wednesday 21 November 2018. Prabowo also mentioned that the data came from the World Bank report.

Based on a search in Indonesia Ecomic Quarterly report in June 2018, there were 55.4% of Indonesians who have completed education considered functionally illiterate because of their level of achievement below 2. This means that Indonesian students participating in Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) can read, but understand the meaning. Although the data is properly quoted from the World Bank, the number is biased because it does not fit the context.

While based on the Central Statistics Agency's data, the percentage of Indonesians aged over 15 years is 4.5% illiterate, which means that 95.5% of the population are literate. The percentage of illiterate population continues to decline throughout 2003-2017 as shown in the graph below.


As reported by suara.com, Collected from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) and the Center for Data and Statistics on Education and Culture explained that 97.93 percent of Indonesia's population has been literate. And only 2.07 percent or 3,387,035 people are illiterate.

"Indonesia has proven success by achieving achievements beyond the target, 23 provinces have been below the national figure of illiterate people," said Harris Iskandar in Building E of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

There are 11 provinces with illiterate lifting above the national figure, namely Papua (28.75 percent), NTB (7.91 percent), NTT (5.15 percent), West Sulawesi (4.58 percent), West Kalimantan (4 , 50 percent), South Sulawesi (4.49 percent), Bali (3.57 percent), East Java (3.47 percent), North Kalimantan (2.90 percent), Southeast Sulawesi (2.74 percent), and Central Java (2.20 percent).

Some of the efforts made to overcome this problem, said Harris, are by formulating efforts to solve illiteracy by prioritizing areas with a percentage of illiteracy above 4 percent.

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