We examine the relationship between schooling completed and mathematics learning from 2000 to 2014 by developing learning profiles for Indonesia. Using nearly-nationally representative survey data, we find a large gap between students’ ability and standards set by the national curriculum. Learning declined over 14 years, a loss of a fourth of a standard deviation. To put this loss in context, the average child in grade 7 in 2014 achieved the same numeracy mastery as the average child in grade 4 in 2000. The reduction in learning was widespread, affecting all subgroups. Junior and senior secondary enrollment increased over this timeframe, but this decline was not due to changes in student composition.
This paper was written based on our working paper "Indonesia Got Schooled: 15 Years of Rising Enrolment and Flat Learning Profiles".