School Uniform:  Indonesia


Figure 1.--Indonesia has national rules, but the uniform can be set by individual schools. A HBC readder tells us, "Here are two students in Bali wearing school uniforms in 2005. The shirt has what looked like a paisley pattern in blue. Only one appears to be wearing a tie, but I am not sure about the other student. They wore navy blue shorts. They both wear white ankle socks and black shoes. They appear to be 15 to 16 years old. This picture was taken at 11:30am and the students were waiting at their parents stall before going to the second sitting of school for the day. 

We have only limited information on Indonesia at this time. There were no schools as such until the Dutch arrived, although there probanly were Islamic madrassas. The Dutch did not found a mass public education system, but they did open schools in the cities. We do not know much about the Dutch schools at this time. Indonesia became independent after a brief war for independence following World War II. The Indonesian Government did found a mass public education system We are not sure when school uniforms were first introduced, but ghey are quite common in Indonesia. Indonesian boys tend to wear short pants through junior highschool, often with colorful uniform shorts. Indonesia is one of the few Moslem countries where boys wear short pants as school uniform. There are different ethnic and religious groups in Indonesia. There are Chinese in most cities and their is a Hindu population on Bali. The school uniform shorts were quite short in the 1960s and 70s. Much longer shorts became standard in the 1990s. We do not know if there are national rules or the uniform is determined by each school. A HBC readder tells us, "Here are two students in Bali wearing school uniforms in 2005. The shirt has what looked like a paisley pattern in blue. Only one appears to be wearing a tie, but I am not sure about the other student. They wore navy blue shorts. They both wear white ankle socks and black shoes. They appear to be 15 to 16 years old. This picture was taken at 11:30am and the students were waiting at their parents stall before going to the second sitting of school for the day.

Chronology

We have only limited information on Indonesia at this time. There were no schools as such until the Dutch arrived, although there probably were Islamic madrassas. The Dutch did not found a mass public education system. The early Dutch period involved the Dutch East India Company (VOC) which gace very littke attention to education. What education that was organized was done by the Futch Reformed Church and was Dutch, Indo (Dutch-Indonesian), Asian (non-Indonesians, mostly Chinese) children. The Moluccas was a little different. No effort was made to educate Indonesian children. The Dutch colonial government which replaced the VOC took over the VOC schools and begin to consider the education of Indinesians. The first tenative steps were taken in Java during the early-19th century. The Dutch Government began founding both Dutch-lamguage (primary and secondary schools) and indigenous language (primary schools). Upper class Indonesians might attend the Dutch-language schools. Dutch officials made some attempt to involve Muslim schools which were almost entirely religious in caracter in the efforts to broaden educational opportunity. This included langgar schools (Koranic recitations) and pesantren (broader Islamic ereligious studies. Schools during the colonial period also included Chinese schools and mission schools (both Protestant and Catholic). The colonial government gradually expanded its support of schools as the century progressed. [Aritonang] Indonesia became independent after a brief war for independence following World War II. The Indonesian Government set about building a mass public education system. The Indonesia Governent has over time significantly expabded educational opportunity. A factor here has been the expansion of the Indonesia Government which has probided increased revenue to finance a major public education system. The development of the petroleum industry has made a major contrubution. Indonesia is a traditional, largely Muslim society. There was a first a najor gender gap with many trafitional parents, especially in the country side, reluctant to send girls to school. The Govenment made 9 years of education compulsory (1994). Mpst childten now enroll in primary school. One study suggested that 92 percent of school age children began school (2002). And at this age there was no longer a gender gap. There still is a gender gap at the upper educational levels after the compulsory years. School attendance does very significantly between urban and rural areas. As a result of the public education system, illiteracy is no longer a major social problem.

Individual Schools

Looking at individual schools provides intetesting glimses at Indonesian education over time. We have very little information on individual schools. A reader mentions a Dutch school after independence. A photograph shows a group od students in 1960-61. I think this meant a private school in which the language of instruction was Dutch. We note both Dutch and Indonesian students at the school.

Uniforms

Indonesian children commonly wear schiil uniforms. We are not sure when school uniforms were first introduced, but ghey are wideky worn today. The inspirtation was not the Dutch as school children in the Netherlands do not wear uniforms with few exceptions. We suspect that the missiomaries may have introduced uniforms, but we can not yet confiorm thaty. Indonesian boys tend to wear short pants through junior highschool, often with colorful uniform shorts. Indonesia is one of the few Moslem countries where boys wear short pants as school uniform. There are different ethnic and religious groups in Indonesia. There are Chinese in most cities and their is a Hibdu population on Bali. The school uniform shorts were quite short in the 1960s and 70s. Much longer shorts became standard in the 1990s. We do not know if there are national rules or the uniform is determined by each school. A HBC readder tells us, "Here are two students in Bali wearing school uniforms in 2005. The shirt has what looked like a paisley pattern in blue. Only one appears to be wearing a tie, but I am not sure about the other student. They wore navy blue shorts. They both wear white ankle socks and black shoes. They appear to be 15 to 16 years old. This picture was taken at 11:30am and the students were waiting at their parents stall before going to the second sitting of school for the day.

Sources

Aritonang, Jan S. Mission schools in Batakland (Indonesia), 1861-1940.








Additional Information

Related Links: Careful this will exit you from the Boys' Historical Clothing web site, but both sites are highly recommended .

Boys' Preparatory Schools: A lovely photographic essay on British Preparatory Schools during the 1980s with over 200 color and black and white photographs.

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British Preparatoty Schools E-book--Volume I: Digital book on British preparatory schools now available.






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