Senior secondary education is available to graduates of basic education, (six years of primary school education and three years of junior secondary education). The types of secondary education include general secondary education, vocational secondary education, religious secondary school, service secondary school, and special secondary school.
General secondary education gives priority to expanding knowledge and developing students' skills in an effort to prepare them to continue their studies at the higher levels of education. Vocational secondary education gives priority to expanding specific occupational skills and developing professional attitudes as students prepare to enter the world of work. The government introduced something similar to Germany's dual system, transforming the role and function of the more than 200 vocational schools spread over Indonesia. The concept of vocational education is to create a work/study program through the participation of industry and commerce. More than 2,000 commercial and industrial institutes have pledged their cooperation in making training space available for students.
Religious secondary education gives priority to the mastery of special religious knowledge. Service secondary education is education that emphasizes preparedness for employment in the nation's civil service or government work. Special secondary education is specifically intended and designed for the physically and/or mentally limited students.
In 1995, approximately 39 percent of 16 to 18 year old students were enrolled in government sponsored senior secondary schools. With 13 set as the minimum age level for employment, and with family incomes averaging a meager US$1,000 annually, many young people opt to extend the family's limited resources through employment rather than pursing an education beyond the junior secondary level. Tuition fees also place secondary education beyond the reach of many families.
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