International Standard Schools in Indonesia annulled by the Constitutional Court

On the 8 January 2013, the Indonesian Constitutional Court announced its decision (Verdict No. 5/ PUU-X/2012) on the status of the law supporting International Standard Schools in Indonesia.
 
The court decided:
1.      Article 50 (3) of the Bill Number 20 Year 2003 on National Education System violates the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia; and
2.      Article 50 (3) of the Bill Number 20 Year 2003 on National Education System does not have strong legal binding.
 
The Court granted the judicial review filed by a teachers union and an NGO coalition challenging the Article and agreed that the implementation of International Standard Schools had violated the principle of education for all and created social gaps among students.
The court also ruled that all schools have to adopt one national standard and where schools use English as the main language, the court agreed that such practice dissuaded students from using their mother language, Bahasa Indonesia.
 
 
Background
Article 50 (3) has been used by the Government of Indonesia as the basis for developing International Standard Schools Project (RSBI) and International Standard Schools (SBI). The Article states that, “The Government and local governments organise at least a unit of education at all levels of education, to be developed further as a unit having international standards of education”.
 
RSBI and SBI are public schools which provide students with an Indonesian National Standard of Education (SNP) plus additional units at an international standard, so graduates are able to be more internationally competitive. English is the main language used in delivering the subjects. RSBI and SBI also have the authority to charge school fees to their students because the infrastructure at these schools is generally of a higher standard.