BIES Economic Dialogue 2018 hosted by CEDS Universitas Padjadjaran

BIES Economic Dialogue 2018 (7)

Speakers (left-right) T Yudo Wicaksono, Dante Rigmalia, and Mohammad Fahmi

Now in its 6th year, the BIES Dialogue was held on 13 November 2018  hosted by the Center for Economic and Development Studies (CEDS), Universitas Padjadjaran in Bandung. The topic of the Dialogue is ‘Early Educational Experience and Later Education Outcomes: Evidence from School Transition in Indonesia’ based on a journal article to be published in the Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies (BIES) written by T. Yudo Wicaksono and Firman Witoelar. Using Indonesia Family Life Survey IFLS), the authors find that grade retention at primary school is associated with a reduction in the probability of progressing from primary to junior. It is also associated with lower school continuation from junior to senior high school. The relationship is persistent across years and samples. Meanwhile hours spent at primary school and age starting primary school have limited effects on school continuation. The research also found that the effect of parental education and household income on the primary-junior school transition are getting weaker over time. Given the long-term impact of retention, policymakers should be cautious in using retention as an academic intervention for children with academic difficulties and be looking for better alternative interventions

BIES Economic Dialogue 2018 (5)

A staff of West Java Provincial Government posing a question

Dr Mohammad Fahmi (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitas Padjadjaran) and Dr Dante Rigmalia (Principal of SDN 023 Pejagalan, Bandung) were discussants in the event. In his discussion, Dr Fahmi raised the benefits of IFLS as panel data to answer policy issues, and urged the audience to look into IFLS as a source of their research. Additionally, given that grade retention has been a source of contention (pro and cons) for at least 50 years, he questioned why the paper did not propose that grade retention should be abolished given the robust results of the research.

Dr Rigmalia followed by elaborating some real life experiences of students in primary school. The most disturbing in this regard is the abuse that some students receive in school, including sexual abuse. Toward this end, she cautions into interpreting the study, as there can be many factors (including grade retention) that impact student’s desire for continuation of schooling beyond the primary school.

More than 60 people attended the BIES Dialogue, mostly students and faculty of Universitas Padjadjaran, but also students from teachers training institutions in Bandung and also staff of the provincial government.

Slides can be downloaded from this link and the recorded video from this link.

This article first appeared in the FKP website