One Bali School Claims 11 Of Top 15 in National Exams
Made Arya Kencana
Denpasar. A public school in Bali’s capital appears to have the smartest students in Indonesia, with 11 of its student body ranked in the top 15 in the country following recent national examinations.
Ni Putu Tamara Bidari Suweta of Denpasar’s State Junior High School 1 got a perfect score in the tests.
Aanak Agung Gede Agung Rimbya Temaja, the head of the school, said that this was the fourth year in a row that the school’s students had ranked high in the national exams.
“But it’s the first time we’ve had a student post a perfect score,” he said. “It’s a phenomenal achievement for Putu Tamara.”
Across the country, Education and Culture Minister Mohammad Nuh said, 15,945 junior high and Islamic school students failed the exams. But the overall pass rate was still almost 100 percent.
“The percentage of students who passed the exams increased from 99.45 percent last year to 99.57 percent this year,” Nuh said in Jakarta on Friday. He added that the average score was 7.47 out of 10.
Nuh said the provinces with the highest number of failing students were East Nusa Tenggara, West Kalimantan, West Papua, Riau and Southeast Sulawesi. In comparison, only one student failed the exam in Jakarta.
Jakarta posted the highest pass rate, with 99.99 percent of students passing the exams. “This is like a birthday present for the city of Jakarta,” Taufik Yudi Mulyanto, head of the Jakarta Education Agency, said on Friday.
Nuh said the subjects with the highest failure rates were mathematics, English, Indonesian and the natural sciences.
He added that this year no schools had a zero percent pass rate. This contrasts with the 12 schools last year that did not have any students pass the exams.
Aman Wirakartakusumah, the head of the National Education Standardization Agency, called on local education boards to better support schools during the national exams. “Schools have to take a look at the results from the exams and focus on their weak points,” he said.
However, the high pass rates have not been without controversy.
Indonesia Corruption Watch last month questioned the results of the most recent national exams for senior high school students, calling the nearly perfect pass rate “suspicious.”
ICW education researcher Febri Hendri said such good results were unlikely given the apparently poor state of education in the country.
Additional reporting by Natasia Christy Wahyuni & Lenny Tristia Tambun