School Textbooks Should Be Free

Kompas, page 10

Minister of Education and Culture Regulation No. 8 of 2017 requires that 20 percent of school operational assistance (BOS) be allocated for the procurement of textbooks. The provision should prompt students to obtain free textbooks because the 20 percent budget is considered enough to procure the required textbooks. However, the reality in some schools in Special Province Yogyakarta still found charges for the procurement of textbooks.

This is the conclusion of the study by non-governmental organization Education for Indonesia (Pundi) presented on Wednesday (14/6) in Yogyakarta. This study specifically analyzes the Permendikbud No 8T/ 2017 on BOS Technical Guidelines. Pundi Director, Imam Sumarlan said that Permendikbud No 8/2017 expressly mandates schools to allocate at least 20 percent of BOS funds for the purchase of textbooks and non-textbooks.

According to Imam, during this time parents complained about the high charges from schools for the purchase of textbooks. With the enforcement of the regulation, it should be that the charges do not apply. Imam added that   Permendikbud No 8/2017 also opens the possibility of purchasing textbooks by online through electronic catalogs. According to Imam, the purchase of books through electronic catalogs must be supported because it will make the procurement of books more transparent. Thus, the potential for corruption and collusion in procurement can be minimized.

Special Staff of Mendikbud, Riza Ul Haq, said that Pundi’s study showed that the procurement of books in schools could be done without burdening the parents. However, he admitted that there is still the practice of commercialization of textbooks in schools. The Ministry regretted the practice of commercializing textbooks. There are certain parties who want to take advantage of selling books at an abnormal price.

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