Cannon: Australia's Education Aid to Indonesia Overlooks Best Practices

Indonesian children wave the flags of Australia and Indonesia. Robert Cannon, an education consultant who has worked for various development agencies, criticizes AusAID's education aid strategy for Indonesia. Photo by: Mia Salim / AusAID

Does building schools represent the best approach in improving Indonesia’s education sector? Robert Cannon, an education consultant who has worked for various development agencies, thinks not.

The Australian government has allocated some 222 million Australian dollars (USD220 million) of its 500 million Australian dollars education aid for the Asian nation for the construction of 2,000 secondary schools.

“The problem is school building programs do very little for long-term, sustainable development unless there are funds for ongoing maintenance programs and the technical expertise to deliver them,” Cannon writes in an opinion piece in The Australian.

The remaining 182 million Australian dollars will be used for an accredited training program targeting school principals and local government officials.

“What Australia should be focusing on is high-level technical assistance and capacity development to help Indonesians to improve their schools. Australia has already invested successfully in developing Indonesian nationals who can provide much of this technical support,” Cannon suggests.

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.