This study addresses educational reform in Indonesia with reference to one of the most important potential agents of change in any national system of schooling - its teachers. The empirical data on secondary teachers and trainee teachers used here are taken from a larger case study of the attitudes and opinions of stakeholders in the education system of North Bali. Secondary teachers in Bali, as elsewhere in Indonesia, are seriously underpaid, but not necessarily undervalued in the community. They take on other jobs to support themselves and their families, yet they do not lack commitment to the professional task of teaching. It is argued that financial pressure on teachers to find other sources of remuneration militates against their capacity to act as agents of change in the rapidly reforming Indonesian state. Furthermore, teaching is not often seen as a financially rewarding profession by a new generation of secondary-school graduates. The author recommends that teachers' salaries be raised and infrastructure support for schools increased.
International Review of Education Vol. 49, Issue 6, p. 563 - 584