Candidates offered ‘normative’ education, health solutions in final debate – Politics


Indonesia Decides

Teachers and doctors have criticized the lack of solutions offered by the presidential candidates to address the country’s perennial issues in education and health during the final election debate.

The last debate ahead of the election, which was held in Jakarta on Feb. 4, featured candidates Anies Baswedan, Prabowo Subianto and Ganjar Pranowo. The event covered issues related to education, health, human resources and culture, among other topics.

In the first segment of the two-hour event, each candidate immediately showcased their plans to address problems in such fields should they be elected in the Feb. 14 election.

For health, candidates touched on issues of stunting, the doctor shortage and limited access to medical services in rural areas. Meanwhile, on education, issues of teachers’ welfare, inequality among students and expensive single tuition fees (UKT) in state universities were among the talking points.

Both topics were deemed inseparable from each other, with Anies offering “cross-sectoral” solutions, Prabowo promising his “national transformation strategy” and Ganjar prioritizing digitalization in improving educational and medical facilities.

But the candidates fell short of bringing any tangible solutions to the table, and the promises felt “gimmicky and normative”, according to the Association for Education and Teachers (P2G).

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The candidates, said P2G national coordinator Satriwan Salim in a statement issued on Feb. 4, sounded like they did not focus on data showing various problems in Indonesian educational quality, such as low literacy rates compared with neighboring countries.

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