Candidates to be merged?
SD Kauman 3 and 4 are situated on the same site around the same small school yard. SD Kauman 4 has 175 students and SD Kauman 3 has 116 students. In grade 5 at SD Kauman 4 there are 28 students whereas grade 5 in SD Kauman 3 has only 14 students.
There is a complete staff of teachers in each of the schools, with the exception of the lack of a sports teacher in SD Kauman 3, while many of the other schools in Batang sub-district have shortages of teachers. Each of the schools has a collection of library books but no room to use as a library. The condition of a number of classrooms in SD Kauman 3 is already poor (with holes in the roofs). The two schools already have a single school committee.
Based on the analysis of the mapping data a merger of these two schools is being proposed. The children will be able to be spread more evenly across the classes if there are parallel classes. Where there are no parallel classes the excess teachers can be used at schools which are short of teachers. A classroom which is no longer used can be turned into a library. The classrooms which are in bad condition may possibly not need to be used any more.
The school principals of SD Kauman 3 and 4. The schools are situated around one yard and the number of students has fallen. Some of the classrooms in SD 3 are in a very poor condition.
The “Art” of School Mergers
The experience of Tulakan sub-district, Pacitan: Regrouping the merging of (normally two) schools to become one seems a simple concept, but difficult to implement in practice.
The “Art” of School Mergers (continued)
The problems which normally arise include complaints from the community (parents), one of the school principals (who will lose his or her position), teachers (who have to move schools), etc. As a result, only a few schools are successfully merged, even though on paper more need to be merged.
SDN Losari 1 and SDN Losari 3 were two schools which technically could be merged. They were on the same site, sharing a school yard but have different numbers of students. SDN 1 had more pupils (approximately 125), while SDN 3 has few pupils (only about 75), and numbers are still falling. Bapak Sulistyo, the branch head of the Dinas Pendidikan in Tulakan sub-district bravely took the initiative to merge the schools during the 2000/2001 school year without waiting for an official letter from the Bupati, and was able to do it without causing any conflict. The steps he took included:
- Explaining the merger plans to the two schools (teachers and parents), in particular the reasons for merging the schools.
- Coordinating with other stakeholders (sub-district head, village head, head of public works – to assess the condition of the buildings);
- Planning the career of the school principal who would lose his position;
- Planning the redeployment of teachers to other schools.
For schools with small numbers of students which are situated well apart from each other (which makes it difficult to merge them) the schools can be changed from conventional primary schools (with 6 class teachers) to small primary schools (with 3 class teachers). Meanwhile for private schools the decision is left to the school management, but local government decides on a minimum number of students for schools to be eligible to receive certain kinds of assistance. With such mechanisms it is hoped that the essence of the school regrouping (improving the efficiency of education provision) can be carried out in various kinds of schools.