EDUCATION IN THE FRONT LINE: FRONT LINE SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS PROGRAM EVALUATION 2018

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The affirmation program in the 3T (tertinggal/left-behind, terdepan/forefront, terluar/outermost) area is carried out in line with the nine priorities of the third Nawacita Program, which is developing Indonesia from the periphery areas by strengthening regions and villages within the framework of a unitary state. The priority programs include the Frontline Teachers who provide additional teachers and Frontline Schools which provide new schools and revitalize classrooms, which are the theme of this study. Questions regarding this study are: (1) How to design Frontline Teachers and Frontline Schools policies to achieve the expected goals; (2) How are the Frontline Teachers and Frontline Schools Programs implemented in the regions; and (3) What is the initial impact of Frontline Teachers and Frontline Schools on access and learning outcomes. The approach used is Propensity Score Matching (PSM), which is a technique for selecting a subset of a control group that has the characteristics most similar to a treatment unit. This study is also supported by a qualitative study conducted in East Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. The data used include Dapodik, National Examination scores, Susenas, location data, and program data.

The results of this study concluded that: (1) Schools that received Frontline Teachers were not the schools that most needed civil servant teachers even though they were both in the 3T area; (2) Schools that get Frontline Teachers program significantly increase the adequacy of civil servant teachers in the area; (3) Frontline Teachers does not have an impact on the average national exam scores, but has an impact on reducing the disparity of national exam scores between students in one school; and (4) there is no effect from Frontline Schools on increasing the probability of students to proceed to higher levels.

The results of this study provide feedback that these or similar programs need to be continued in the future, with a variety of improvements, including the recruitment mechanisms, allocation, and formulations. Some recommendations that can be made include developing a clearer, more transparent and accountable mechanism for allocating Frontline Teachers. In addition, aspects such as culture, religion, and economics need to be taken into consideration in selecting Frontline Teachers. The educational background, which later has the potential to become a problem in relation to the acquisition of certification and professional allowance, needs to be considered in the recruitment of Frontline Teachers.

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