Jakarta Rolls Out Free Senior High School Education Program
Senior high schools students in the capital should no longer have to pay state school fees as the Jakarta administration has decided to disburse funds for its 12-year compulsory education program.
The budget will support all state senior high schools (SMA) and vocational schools (SMK) and will cover part of the fees of private ones.
“There are 183,226 senior high school students in both state and private schools in Jakarta,” Jakarta Education Agency head Taufik Yudi Mulyanto said on Thursday. “They will all get education fund [aid], but for private schools we will only provide 20 percent of the total fee to be paid by parents. We will cover students of state schools 100 percent.”
Each SMA student will get Rp 400,000 per month, according Jakarta administration news portal Beritajakarta.com.
For the 161,217 students in state SMKs in Jakarta, they will get Rp 400,000 to Rp 600,000 per month, depending on their course of study. The 42,348 vocational students in private SMKs will see 20 percent of their fees covered by the government.
The Jakarta Education Agency will also ask state schools that have already collected fees from students to return it. The budget will be disbursed by September at the latest.
The education aid is part of the Jakarta administration’s effort to implement a 12-year compulsory education program starting this year, up from nine years before. This will mean that children up to the age of 18 years must be in school.
Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo, who is up for re-election, said last month that the city administration had earmarked 26.41 percent of its budget in 2011 and 28.93 percent of its budget this year to pay for the expansion of compulsory education.
Taufik had also previously said the administration would increase education funding by 70 percent in 2013, from a current Rp 10 trillion ($1.1 billion), to finance the program.
In the national level, the Ministry of Education and Culture will start the same program next year.
Parents, however, have frequently complained that many children still pay large sums to attend school under the nine-year compulsory education program.