Management Transfer Stops Scholarships

Kompas, page 11

About 11,000 high school (SMA) and vocational high school (SMK) students in Surabaya, East Java, are at risk of dropping out of school. The reason is no more scholarships from the Surabaya City Administration (Pemkot) following the transfer of SMA/SMK management from the city/regency administration to the provincial administration since early 2017.  Since the management of SMA/SMK was handled by the East Java Provincial Administration, the cost of education is no longer free. In fact, when the SMA/SMK was managed by Pemkot Surabaya, school tuition to food quota for SMK students undergoing practicum were borne by the municipal administration. Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini said the number of SMA/SMK students in Surabaya total 135,260,000 students. Of that number, about 90 students dropped out after the transfer of authority.

In Surabaya, the SMA/SMK education assistance fee (SPP)/ tuition of Rp 150,000-215,000 per student per month previously funded by Pemkot Surabaya, must now be paid by students’ parents.   As a result, a number of parents are in arrears for payment of tuition fees, tutoring outside school to support education, practicum money, transportation, and cannot redeem the high school diploma that is still withheld because they have not been able to pay the tuition fees.

Head of East Java Education Agency Saiful Rachman said, of the 11,000 students proposed by Surabaya City Administration to obtain education assistance, after verification only 2,500 students really need the aid. In general, their parent’s income is only enough to meet their daily needs so that if not assisted they could drop out of school. Saiful said underprivileged students would obtain assistance in SPP/ tuition payments since January so that parents need not worry to be in debt to pay school tuition bills.

Surabaya City Administration, he said, could provide direct assistance to students considered still needing assistance, but are not covered by assistance from the East Java Provincial Administration. Such assistance could be provided through direct grants without going through the East Java Provincial Administration.

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