The Indonesian government has proposed a Rp 21 trillion ($2.2 billion) increase in education spending over the next year, making the sector the top recipient of state budgetary money for 2013.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in his annual budget address on Thursday evening that the government has proposed spending a total of Rp 331.8 trillion ($34.9 billion) on education in its 2013 state budget, an increase of 6.7 percent from the Rp 310.8 trillion allocated in 2012.
Yudhoyono said the budget would be used to continue the School Operational Aid (BOS) program for elementary and junior high school students, build 216 new schools while renovating hundreds of old ones, as well as support the Scholarship for the Poor, which is aimed at 14.3 million indigent students across the country.
“We will also launch the Universal Secondary Education program (PMU) through school operational aids for 9.6 million high school students,” Yudhoyono said. “We must make the most of the growing education budget to improve the quality of education and expand the outreach of it,” he added.
Of the Rp 331.8 trillion proposed, however, only Rp 66 trillion will go towards the Education and Culture Ministry, with most of the money set to go directly to other districts through programs such as BOS and PMU.
The ministry will remain one of the top seven recipients of state money, along with the Defense Ministry, which will receive Rp 77.7 trillion in 2013, the Public Works Ministry with Rp 69 trillion, the Religious Affairs Ministry with Rp 41.7 trillion, the Transportation Ministry with Rp 31.4 trillion and the Health Ministry with over Rp 31 trillion.
In total, the government has proposed a total of almost Rp 1,658 trillion in state spending next year, an increase of 7.1 percent from 2012.
The government has also targeted almost Rp 1,508 trillion in state revenues, nearly 80 percent of which is expected to come from taxes.