Do adults listen to children's vioces?: Understanding the views of Indonesian children from a low-income background in relation to schooling.
This thesis is a qualitative analysis of the views and experiences of 13 Indonesian
children from low-income families in relation to education. The thesis discusses issues
concerning the social background of the children, their experiences in schooling, and
their right to participation. Data was collected from out-of school and in-school children
through semi-structured interviews, correspondence, fieldnotes and supported
documentary analysis. Supplementary information was gathered from the perceptions of
parents and policy makers at various levels.
The main conclusion of the study is that children from low-income families in Indonesia
are conditioned and developed in the circumstances where adults often treat them with an
authoritarian attitude which undermines their courage to express their opinions and ideas.
Their ability to participate both at home and at school is not fully recognised by adults.
Most children can express themselves in terms of their ideas and experiences of school.
They have similarities and differences in their views as a result of the different cultural
contexts of the places and situations they are involved in.
Several factors influence children's views on schooling. The family process in terms of
parents' attitudes, parental support, family climate and parents' education are all essential influences on the perceptions of the children. Other factors are the influence of
community including the school climate, behaviour and attitude of peers and others.
In terms of decisions, parents and policy makers at all levels make decisions related to
children's needs based primarily on adult perspectives. The children's right to
participation was neglected as adults mostly focused on the provision and protection of
Considering that the life condition of the children, particularly from low-income families,
is one of economic and material adversity, promoting their quality of life is essential both
in school and at home, including promoting resilience and seeking children's views.