The Jakarta government is moving up plans to implement a 12-year compulsory education program to the beginning of this school year, on July 16, Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo said on Friday.
The local administration earlier planned to begin extending the current nine-year compulsory education program to 12 years in 2013.
Fauzi said accelerating the implementation of the 12-year program was decided after careful consideration.
“In Jakarta, there should be no children of school age who do not go to school because of economic constraints faced by their families,” Fauzi said at a plenary of the Jakarta Legislative Council to mark the 485th anniversary of the city on Friday.
He said the nine-year compulsory education program had proceeded well, as had been expected.
The 12-year compulsory education will mean that children up to the age of 18 years must be in school, he said.
He said the Jakarta government had earmarked 26.41 percent of the city budget in 2011 and 28.93 percent of the budget this year to pay for compulsory education’s expansion.
Fauzi also said the performance of the city’s education program was reflected in passing rates for the national examinations this year, which were better than last year.
This year, the passing rate for elementary schools was at 100 percent, for junior high schools at 99.99 percent and senior high schools at 99.65 percent.
The city also provided education operational assistance for schools of Rp 1.0356 trillion ($110 million) in 2011 and provided scholarships to the poor for 10,915 regular high school and vocational high school students last year.
“In meeting the education facilities and infrastructure and school building standards in 2011, the Jakarta government has finished the complete rehabilitation and construction of 66 school buildings,” he said.
Djohermansyah Djohan, the director general for regional autonomy at the Home Affairs Ministry, said he supported Jakarta’s decision to move up the implementation of the 12-year program.
“This is very good, the compulsory education program in Jakarta is no longer for nine years only, but now 12 years starting this year,” Djohermansyah said.