Government Neglects Managing of Schools

Media Indonesia, page 8

The fact that hundreds of thousands of schools are damaged and evenly spread across the country is a testament/proof of bad management in the education sector over the years. The national and regional administrations must act as quickly as possible to make these schools worthy/feasible places for learning and teaching.  Based on Kemendikbud data, in 2015 there were 149,552 primary school classrooms in damaged conditions, with 49,074 primary school classrooms of which were severely damaged.  In junior high school level, there were 32,465 damaged classrooms, of which 13,107 classrooms were severely damaged.

The bad management of schools in primary and junior high levels, in the central government’s view had occurred since the start of the implementation of the regional autonomy in 1999, in which the management of schools was under the responsibility of the regional administrations.

Head of the South Sulawesi Education Agency, Irman Yasin Limpo recognized that the 2016 provincial budget for education is about Rp 151 billion. Out of that amount, 86% is allocated for direct expenditure or for programs whilst the balance is for infrastructure. The lack of budget allocation for school repairs was also recognized by the Karawang regency administration. The regency had received many reports of damage to school buildings however, his party had not been able to immediately fix the damage due to budget constraints in 2016.

Meanwhile, Director of Primary School Development of Kemendikbud, Wowon Widaryat said that the condition of primary schools should be better. He explained that budgeting for the rehabilitation of SD buildings comes from various sources. In fact, the government had once targeted that all of the damaged primary schools should be fully rehabilitated/ repaired by 2014. A study conducted by Kemendikbud, he revealed, that the main cause of the damaged schools was the bureaucratic complexity.  The said bureaucracy meant was the difficulty in proposing budget for rehabilitation to the regional administrations.

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