Regions Outwitting the 20 Percent Rule

Kompas page 1, Saturday 3 May

The 20% budget allocated to education from the State Budget and Regional Budgets has not been effective yet for many regions trying to get “naughty”. Almost all regencies/municipalities fail to allocate 20% of their budgets to education.

Local governments has also also incorporated the fund from the state budget (APBN) as part of the 20% education budget in their regional budget (APBD). They consider the education fund from the Central Government as part of their regional income, said the Minister of Minister of Education and Culture Mohammad Nuh, Friday (2/5), coinciding with the National Education Day.

Although the education budget goes up, there are still people who do not enjoy basic education. Based on data collected by Kompas Research and Development, in 2012 some 5.88% of children have yet to enjoy schools. Data from the Ministry of Education and Culture said that, until 2013, at the lowest economic level, as much as 13 percent of Indonesian people did not complete primary school.

Nuh said, if provinces and regencies/municipalities have been truly allocated 20 percent of their regional budgets to education (excluding the fund from the central govt.), Regions can provide free education to their people. Nuh added that education can be free from any cost if schools or children get School Operational Assistances (BOS) from the Central, provincial, and regental/municipal governments. The Central Govt. has provided 70% of BOS. Thus, regions shall provide the reminder.

Most of the total education budget in 2014 reaching Rp 368.9 trillion, amounting to $ 238.6 billion (64.7 percent), is transferred to regions. The budgets under control of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and other ministries/institution are “only” Rp 80.6 trillion, Rp 42.5 trillion, Rp 7 trillion, respectively.

According to Nuh, the problem lies on low ability of regions to manage education budget. To solve the problem, a revision to Law No. 32 of 2004 on Regional Autonomy has been prepared. The Revision is aimed at redesigning the distribution of duties and authority in education from full decentralization to the shared responsibility between regental/municipal, provincial, and central governments.

In addition, most of the budget of the Ministry of Education and Culture, for instances, shall be allocated to pay salaries of lecturers, profesional allowances of non-civil servants, and special allowances for teachers in special regions as well as functional allowances of for non-civil servant teachers not certified yet.

Following the judicial review of Law No. 20 of 2003 on National Education System at the Constitutional Court in 2008, educators’ salaries are calculated in 20 percent of the education budget. As a result, the budgets for the other education program get smaller.

Chairman of the Indonesian Teachers Association Sulistiyo said that the education budget is only a trick because it inserts teacher salary component in huge size. Actually this is the way regional governments claim their compliance with the 20% provision. In fact, most of the fund comes from the salaries of teachers and it was obtained from the central government through the General Allocation Fund (DAU). Total DAU in the State Budget is IDR 135 trillion in 2014.

Regions Outwitting the 20 Percent Rule

Regions Outwitting the 20 Percent Rule

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