This paper investigates the correlates of student performance in mathematics and dictation tests among schoolchildren in Indonesia. This is the first such study to use a new nationally representative sample of Indonesian primary‐school students. Our dataset includes unique data on teacher absenteeism collected through direct observation, the first ever in Indonesia. We find that teacher absenteeism is indeed a significantly negative correlate of student performance, while quality of school facilities predicts better performance. We also find a significant non‐monotonic concave relationship between the pupil–teacher ratio and student’s mathematics performance. Finally, we discuss the policy implications of the results.
Keywords: Achievement, absenteeism, primary school, public school, Indonesia,