Education in the Netherlands East-Indies Bag.1

P 1. The Department of Education and Worship, 1930 Jl Cilacap, Jakarta / Batavia,
From: Dept. of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce,Handbook of the Netherlands
East-Indies; Bogor / Buitenzorg Java 1930, p. 72

In the nineteenth century European education had hardly any similarities with native

schooling in the Netherlands East-Indies. The native schools were mostly institutions with a

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religious, Islamitic, curriculum. In the twentieth century the Dutch colonial government tried

to realize a breadthwise education. For that reason the governor-general Van Heutsz and his

staff introduced elementary instruction by way of so-called “desa-schools” in 1906. The

advantages were numerous: the education was simple, cheap and adapted to local

circumstances (see survey a and b about desa-schools and link-schools).

The colonial government foresaw a great demand for native middleclass workers in the

public and private service (see superstructures in survey c). Therefore in 1920 a network of

education was created from desa-school up to university. The first university education

(technological) was established in Bandung / Bandoeng in 1918, followed by other facuties in

Jakarta / Batavia. In 1940 more than fourty percent of the children (6-12 years old) attended

schooltraining. The efforts of the colonial government to combat illiteracy were a succes.

(Source: J. van Goor, De Nederlandse koloniën; The Hague 1978, p.275)

One of the results of the efforts to fill up a gap between stimulation of education and

eagerness to read has been the creation of mutual libraries: Balai Pusaka and


P2. European Neutral Primary School at Malang
From: Dept. of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce,Handbook of the Netherlands East
Indies; Bogor / Buitenzorg Java 1930, p. 74

The aim of this article is to show an impression of the serious efforts of the Dutch colonial

government in the first half of the twentieth century to introduce a system of education for

everybody. This article is based on the legislation from 1893, 1906 and 1915 and describes

the colonial educational organization in 1935. The attention from the colonial Government

authorities (Government for short or, in Dutch, “Gouvernement”) for the sake of education

during the nineteenth century is outside the scope of this article!

1In the surveys in this article synonyms (Bahasa Indonesia and English) are linked with a

comma. A slash is used to link Dutch with Bahasa Indonesia or English. Synonyms in Dutch

are linked with a comma.

1. Native primary and vocational education, Western primary education

The problem of education in the Netherlands East-Indies was a complicated one, because of

the divergent needs and conditions of life of the heterogeneous populations. The standard of

civilization presented all the intermediate shades displayed between the most primitive

“savage” and the highest civilized groups of people.

To be Continue…

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