School Zoning System: Problem or Solution?

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Ilustrasi oleh Beritatagar
Ilustrasi oleh Beritatagar

Recently, my social media was enlivened by the school zoning system. The teachers argued about the implementation of school zoning in Indonesia and Japan as a pilot country in the social media also argued about the implementation of zoning in Indonesia and Japan as a pilot country. Before discussing this further, I remembered my trip to one of the schools on Gili Genting in a program (read: Trip Teaching). To get to Gili Genting, I needed an hour through the calm sea. Imagine, if the sea is not friendly, of course it can take more time. As soon as I asked students who appear timid, their three aspirations in the future; Teacher, doctor, pilot. Is this ideal wrong? Oh, no, certainly not wrong. I also paid great attention to being one of them before finally deciding to go to school outside the zone.

Back to the issue of zoning system, it is necessary to explore further Minister of Education and Culture Regulation Number 51 of 2018 concerning New Student Admission in Kindergarten, Primary Schools, Junior High Schools, High Schools, and Vocational High Schools. I found several things that we need to understand first. The Ministry of Education and Culture stipulates that there are 3 new student admission pathways, namely the zoning pathway, achievement pathway, and the transfer of parents / guardians. The capacity for each pathway is 90%, 5%, and 5%. It means the admission of new students with zoning pathway is emphasized than other pathways. The regional government has the task of regulating zoning system in the area and reporting it to the local education quality assurance agency. Indicators of admission for each level of education vary. For example, Primary Schools prioritize the age and distance of residence with school. Junior High Schools consider the distance between residence and school. If there are students having the same distance from the house, the school will prioritize students who register earlier. Another alternative is that if there are more similarities, the school will use the national standardized school exam scores. However, student admission for high school and vocational school is different, the distance from home to school is prioritized. Whereas if there is similarity in distance, students with earlier registration will be prioritized. If there are still similarities, what is used is the value of the National Examination plus awards and tests of interests and talents.

This is a bit of a summary presented through the Minister of Education and Culture Regulation Number 51 of 2018. It is certainly inappropriate if I personally oppose the zoning system. It has its advantages and disadvantages. First, I agree to the idea of removing the image of favorite school. If a student fails to enter a favorite school while his peers succeed in taking a favorite school, he tends to feel inferior than his friends. The inability to accept and show “favorite” labels can have a negative effect on a person’s mental health . The Ministry of Education and Culture is aware of this and it became one of the reasons why zoning system is enforced. To prevent discrimination, he said. Another basic reason is that children with economic status are unable to reach the school closest to their place of residence. This point is based on the level of economic capacity for education costs, such as transportation.

The Minister of Education and Culture also has a good prejudice if this zoning system will also make it easier to integrate the role of parents, the community, and students or in other words as a control of children’s character education. Is that right? For this point, I would like to emphasize that the control of children’s character education in a culture of learning is not conducive if some of the following occur. First, the condition of the school is still not good enough (the excessive number of students in the class, students feel scared and threatened at school), the situation of the house that is not supportive (improper housing, lack of nutrition and student health, loss of the role of parents). The lack of school facilities (in terms of facilities, teaching aids, infrastructure), poor school administration (poor managed administration and school management, distrust of leaders, weak relationships between leaders in the school). Furthermore, teachers who are not committed and dedicated (low attendance rates, unpreparedness in the learning process, indifference to student behavior), parents who do not support (lack of parental involvement, lack of encouragement for children), students who lack motivation and discipline.

This zoning system has been running for 3 years. In line with its implementation, quality improvement of teachers is still being conducted. Zoning system may only demand the fulfillment of facilities both competently and physically at school. Measuring the quality of human resources from the educational process can be characterized by the Human Development Index which is influenced by several factors such as economic factors, health factors and educational factors. So, if it is true the government chooses to implement this zoning system longer, a trigger from students is needed for this trend. Students with sufficient abilities need to provide stimulus for teachers and their environment so that the school ecosystem will move as well. Thus, efforts to eliminate school favoritism will be achieved. All schools are successful and all students are valuable.

Then what about the students on Gili Genting if the zoning system is implemented? They will return to the closest school on the island, in the same conditions; limited access and quality. The ideals of being a teacher, doctor, and pilot are only words when reality hits them. Ideals must be accompanied by competence and persistence. So, there is nothing they can do, except learning to be a trigger for their own cages.

The good news, students who get high UN scores and various kinds of awards are still given 5% of the seats to get out of their zones. The debate about zoning system will be a mandate for them. In other words, they are indeed coming out of the zone to explore their abilities and work better. Moreover, the zoning system further clarifies the mandate of every activist of education in schools and communities. In conclusion, we still have a lot to do in the field of education and it requires cooperation from various parties.

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Imamatul Khair

Imamatul Khair

Penulis adalah Alumni Sastra Inggris, Fakultas Ilmu Budaya (FIB) Mahasiswa Berprestasi (Mawapres) Universitas Airlangga 2017 Editorial Assistant of Jurnal Administrasi Kesehatan Indonesia

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