To achieve optimal education results, the health, nutrition, and welfare of the students must be ensured.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) outlined three main population issues currently beleaguering Indonesia and efforts made to handle them at a United Nations annual meeting in New York, the United States.

The first issue is the high population growth rate, BKKBN’s deputy for training, research, and development Rizal M. Damanik, said when contacted from here on Thursday.

At the 56th Session of the UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD56), he informed that Indonesia's population growth rate fell from 2.3 percent in 1971 to 1.1 percent in 2022, thus significantly increasing citizens’ living standards.

Still, the government is striving to reduce the population growth rate to just 1 percent per year and maintain the total fertility rate (TFR) at 2.1 births per woman.

The BKKBN has initiated the establishment of the Quality Family Village (Kampung KB) program to realize this objective.

More than 22 thousand villages throughout Indonesia have joined the Kampung KB program since May 2022, the BKKBN official noted.

The second issue concerns improving the quality of education in Indonesia to increase the socioeconomic welfare of the community, he said.

The government is committed to allocating 20 percent of the state budget (APBN) to provide quality education, improve education facilities, as well as strengthen teachers’ capacity, especially in remote and rural areas, to generate quality and competitive human resources, he said.

"In 2022, amid the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the education completion rate in Indonesia continued to increase, especially in elementary schools, where the education completion rate increased from 96 percent in 2020 to 97.8 percent in 2022,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the third issue concerns handling a number of factors to ensure that each child can get optimum education results, including by reducing the prevalence of stunting.

"To achieve optimal education results, the health, nutrition, and welfare of the students must be ensured. Hence, the Indonesian government is now focusing on tackling stunting," Damanik explained.

During the meeting, BKKBN said that, according to its data, almost 30 percent of Indonesian children under the age of five are at risk of stunting.

Therefore, the government has carried out a number of programs to handle stunting, such as increasing access to nutritious food and raising awareness about the importance of adequate nutrition and childcare.

"Thus, Indonesia has managed to significantly reduce the stunting prevalence rate to 21.6 percent in 2022 from 24.4 percent in the previous year (in 2021)," the BKKBN’s deputy added.

The CPD56 is being held from April 10–14, 2023, at the United Nations Headquarters.

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Translator: Hreeloita Shanti, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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