Lenny Tristia Tambun
The Jakarta administration is accelerating the implementation of its planned 12-year compulsory education program, kicking it off when the new school year starts on July 16, Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo announced on Friday.
The local administration had earlier planned to begin upgrading the current nine-year compulsory education program in the 2013-2014 school year.
Currently, free public education runs through junior high school level. A 12-year compulsory education program means the government would provide free public senior high school education as well.
Fauzi said that speeding up the implementation of the 12-year program was decided upon 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 meeting of the City Council to mark the 485th anniversary of the city on Friday.
The new plan will mean that all children up to the age of 18 should be in school, he said. He said spending on education increased from 26 percent of the city’s total budget last year to 28.93 percent this year.
Jakarta Education Agency head Taufik Yudi Mulyanto previously said that as part of the compulsory education program, the city would also cover 20 percent of private senior high school students’ total costs.
He also said the administration planned to increase education funding by 70 percent in 2013, from the current Rp 10 trillion ($1.1 billion) annually, in order to finance the program.
Fauzi said the performance of the city’s education program was reflected in the pass rate in this year’s national exams, which was better than last year. This year, the pass rate for elementary school students was 100 percent, 99.99 for junior high school students and 99.65 for high school students. Islamic primary school students registered a 99.62 percent pass rate.
The city has also provided education operational assistance for schools, amounting to Rp 1 trillion in 2011, and provided scholarships for the poor for 10,915 regular high school and vocational high school students that year.
“In meeting the education facilities and infrastructure and school-building standards in 2011, the Jakarta government has rehabilitated and constructed 66 school buildings,” Fauzi added.
Djohermansyah Djohan, the director general for regional autonomy at the Home Affairs Ministry, said that he supported Jakarta’s decision to move up the implementation of the 12-year compulsory education program by a year.