SMERU Indonesia

SMERU n Monitoring the Social Crisis in Indonesia n No. 09 / January-April 2000

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Permasalahan Pendidikan dan Program JPS Beasiswa dan DBO
Education Issues and the SSN Scholarship and Block Grant Program

Kasus di Kabupaten Pontianak, Kabupaten Tangerang, Kabupaten Sleman, dan Kabupaten Lombok Timur
Case in Kabupaten Pontianak, Kabupaten Tangerang, Kabupaten Sleman, and Kabupaten Lombok Timur

In October-November 1999, the SMERU Crisis Impact Team conducted a rapid assessment on education issues and the 1998/1999 SSN scholarship and block grant program for elementary and junior secondary students and schools. The study was carried out in four kabupaten in four separate provinces: Pontianak (West Kalimantan), Tangerang (West Java), Sleman (DI Yogyakarta), and East Lombok (NTB). In each kabupaten two desa from an urban kecamatan and two desa from a rural or remote kecamatan were selected for scrutiny. The Team spoke to large numbers of students and their parents, including many scholarship recipients. Information was also gathered from local officials, school principals, members of School Committees, teachers, and many other members of the community. This article summarizes some of the key findings of our study.

Education conditions prior to the crisis

Despite the government INPRES (Presidential Instruction Scheme) programs which had encouraged student attendance by providing more schools, the SMERU Team found that many serious educational problems remain. Many schools are now in poor physical condition and the available facilities are inadequate. The government provides funds for the operational costs of public schools, but since these are insufficient, the deficit has to be covered by the students’ compulsory monthly school levy (BP3). For example, in one public elementary school (SD) in Tangerang, 87% of the operating funds (excluding teachers’ salaries) were obtained from parents through the BP3 levy.

The number of available school buildings and the level of the teacher’s education seem relatively adequate in urban areas although this is clearly not the case in many rural and remote areas. The school curriculum has too many subjects, particularly those drawing on local content, while basic courses such as reading, writing and arithmetic are still deficient. The allocation of government textbooks is inadequate to meet the needs of every student, especially in madrasah and rural elementary schools. Except in urban areas, there is usually only one junior secondary school (SLTP) in each kecamatan. In such cases, the cost of public transport to and from school has become a serious burden for many parents. Accurate data about education is difficult to obtain, and where available, there has been very little effort to use it to monitor school development or contribute to the planning of the national education system.

Factors affecting school enrollment during the crisis

The impact of the crisis has been felt most severely by children whose parents are laborers or industrial workers compared to those whose parents are plantation farmers or fishermen. In several parts of Indonesia, some of the latter groups have benefited from higher prices for export commodities. But for many poor families the economic crisis has reduced the family’s economic welfare. Since parents have to work harder and for longer hours, many are unable to pay sufficient attention to their children’s education.

As a direct impact of the crisis, some families have been unable to pay school fees including the monthly BP3 levy. In urban areas, students are buying fewer school books or uniforms. Increased transport charges have been an additional burden, particularly for junior high school students who live far from school. During the crisis an increasing number of students have not received their school diplomas because they cannot afford to pay the examination fees and the school certificate.

Schools have adopted a variety of strategies to cope with this situation. Some schools have allowed new students to pay the enrollment fee in installments, or have waived the fee requirement for poor families. In many cases students have also received dispensation in meeting the monthly BP3 levy, while fees for quarterly tests, school reports, final examinations, and school diplomas may be paid in installments. Some schools have also reduced the burden of extra curricular activities and have managed to find additional funds to provide financial support for poor or disadvantaged students to enable them to remain at school.

The effectiveness of the scholarship and block grant programs

a. Targeting: The SMERU team has been unable to detect any significant irregularities in the nomination process for scholarships and block grants in those areas visited. Yet, it appears that the criteria used to allocate scholarships and block grants would be better suited to a poverty-alleviation program rather than to a program intended to address the crisis. In those areas visited by SMERU almost none of the children of retrenched workers have received scholarships because they were considered to be still better off than many others within the local school community. In fact School Committees have found it very difficult to decide upon the most eligible recipients because the number of potential beneficiaries is far greater than the total number of allocated scholarships. The bias in favor of IDT villages as one of the selection criteria has also disadvantaged poor children and poor schools in many non-IDT villages. To make matters worse, the National Family Planning Board (BKKBN) criteria that is used to determine who are the most deserving recipients of assistance are not always directly applicable for SSN programs. In most cases the teachers have made the final decision. In an attempt to solve these problems schools have found various ways to share the scholarships on a revolving basis among all those students who are most in need. Such local solutions have become common practice in many areas to assure equal opportunity and to maximize the allocation.

b. Introduction to the program and program transparency: Sufficient information about the program has been made available in nearly all observed areas to program recipients, although the general public has not been well informed. However, transparency over the use of block grant funds has been far from adequate, and in many instances even members of the School Committee and teachers have been neither consulted or received proper explanation about the use of these funds.

c. Disbursement of funds: The methods used to disperse program funds are as follows: (a) direct collection by students; (b) collection by the school principal or by the school principal and one Committee member at the local Post Office; and (c) delivery to schools by a Post Office official. Funds have been made available in three separate payments. Since transport costs are a significant factor in remote areas it would be far preferable to reduce the number of disbursements to at most two occasions. Payment through savings accounts has not been successful. Since the amounts involved are small and the money remains in the bank only for a very short period, this method is considered unprofitable. In some regions instead of being paid directly to the recipients, the scholarship funds have been managed by the schools. The students are able to ask for funds as required. Although it is claimed that this arrangement is to ensure that the scholarship funds are used for the benefit of the children’s education, it can also create opportunities for misappropriation.

The scholarship money received by students has been used to pay school fees, and to buy books, stationary, and school uniforms. In some cases parents have also used the money to buy food, to pay medical expenses, or to meet other urgent family needs. Since the disbursement of the 1999-2000 scholarship payment was delayed for many months, some schools were forced to make special arrangements. The recipients of scholarships were exempted from paying their monthly BP3 levy since July 1999, but in October-November were still waiting for the new scholarship money to arrive. In some cases the block grants to schools have been used to assist other poor and needy students to pay their school fees, thus enabling them to stay at school. It should be noted that the use of the block grants in some regions has not been effective, except in those private, elementary or Madrasah schools that are in really poor condition, particularly those in isolated areas.

d. The scholarship and block grant allocation: As far as the scholarship money is concerned, it seems that students have received a reasonable amount of money, which has made it possible for recipients to continue their schooling – although this may not be applicable to students at all levels of study. School Committees claim that the total number of scholarships allocated per school – particularly for elementary schools – is still inadequate.

The size of block grants appears to be too small for most elementary schools, but too large for many senior high schools, especially those without science classes or laboratories. There is also a risk of misappropriation of the block grant funds since there are other similar funds from other sources such as Education Operational Assistance (BOP) and national budget for education.

e. Program Administration and the Role of Local Committees
Coordination, management and administration of the program are still weak at the kecamatan and lower levels. School Committees are invariably dominated by school principals, while community participation in the program remains low. At the kecamatan level the Committees are dominated by officers from the Department of Education and Culture. In terms of program administration, the Post Office and the Office of Department of Education and Culture at the kabupaten level have carried out their responsibilities reasonably well. However, at the school level there is substantial room for improvement. n SMERU Crisis Impact Team

Pada bulan Oktober-Nopember 1999, Tim Dampak Krisis SMERU melakukan pengamatan kualitatif secara cepat tentang permasalahan pendidikan dan program JPS Beasiswa - DBO tahun 1998/1999 untuk murid dan sekolah tingkat SD dan SLTP. Pengamatan dilakukan di empat kabupaten di empat propinsi yang berbeda: Pontianak (Kalimantan Barat), Tangerang (Jawa Barat), Sleman (DIY), dan Lombok Timur (NTB). Di setiap kabupaten, Tim memilih dua desa dari dua kecamatan perkotaan dan perdesaan atau daerah terpencil untuk menemui sejumlah murid dan orang tua murid, termasuk penerima beasiswa. Tim juga menggali informasi dari aparat, pihak sekolah, Komite Pelaksana JPS Beasiswa dan DBO, guru-guru, dan warga masyarakat. Beberapa temuan penting lapangan kami sajikan dalam tulisan ini.

Kondisi pendidikan sebelum krisis

Tim SMERU mencatat bahwa sekalipun beberapa program INPRES telah meningkatkan angka partisipasi sekolah dan mendukung pembangunan fisik sekolah, namun kondisi bangunan sekolah dan fasilitas pendidikan masih belum memadai. Kondisi fisik sekolah SD pada umumnya masih buruk, dan fasilitas yang tersedia tidak mencukupi. Walaupun tersedia anggaran dari pemerintah untuk biaya operasional sekolah, kenyataannya dana yang diterima tidak cukup, sehingga kekurangan biaya ditutup dengan menarik iuran BP3 dari murid-murid. Misalnya, di salah satu SD Negeri di Tangerang, 87% biaya operasional (diluar gaji guru) ditanggung oleh orang tua murid melalui iuran BP3.

Jumlah sekolah yang tersedia dan tingkat pendidikan guru di perkotaan relatif memenuhi kebutuhan, tetapi di perdesaan dan daerah terpencil masih kurang. Ditengarai kurikulum sekolah masih terlalu padat karena adanya muatan lokal, sementara pelajaran dasar 3M (Membaca, Menulis dan Menghitung) masih kurang. Jumlah buku paket juga belum memadai, terutama di sekolah madrasah dan SD perdesaan. Kecuali di perkotaan, rata-rata hanya ada satu SLTP di kecamatan, sehingga biaya transportasi ke sekolah menjadi beban berat orang tua murid. Sistem pendataan akurat belum ada, dan kalaupun ada data tersebut kurang dimanfaatkan untuk memantau perkembangan sekolah atau untuk merencanakan sistem pendidikan nasional.

Faktor yang mempengaruhi kelanjutan sekolah murid selama masa krisis

Dampak krisis ekonomi lebih dirasakan oleh anak buruh atau pekerja sektor industri, daripada oleh anak petani perkebunan atau nelayan yang mendapat keuntungan dari naiknya harga komoditas ekspor. Tetapi bagi kebanyakan keluarga miskin "krismon" ini sangat mengurangi tingkat kesejahteraan mereka. Karena harus bekerja lebih keras dengan jam kerja lebih panjang, banyak orang tua tidak dapat memberikan perhatian cukup untuk pendidikan anaknya.

Dampak langsung krisis ekonomi terhadap pendidikan antara lain sejumlah orang tua terpaksa menunggak uang sekolah, termasuk pembayaran iuran BP3. Di daerah perkotaan murid mengurangi pembelian buku pelajaran atau seragam sekolah. Biaya transportasi juga terasa semakin berat, terutama bagi murid SLTP yang tinggal jauh dari sekolah. Selama krisis semakin banyak murid tidak dapat mengambil ijazah karena belum melunasi biaya ebtanas dan ijazah.

Untuk menghadapi kondisi krisis, sekolah menempuh berbagai kebijakan. Misalnya, beberapa sekolah mengijinkan murid mengangsur uang gedung, membebaskan murid tidak mampu dari biaya. Adapula murid yang mendapat kelonggaran dalam pembayaran iuran BP3, tetapi tetap dikenakan biaya cawu, rapor, ebtanas, dan ijazah meskipun dapat diangsur. Beberapa sekolah sudah mengurangi beban kegiatan ekstrakurikuler dan berusaha mencari dana bagi murid yang tidak mampu dan yatim-piatu agar mereka dapat meneruskan sekolah.

Efektivitas program Beasiswa dan DBO

a. Target: Tim SMERU tidak menemukan ketidaksesuaian yang berarti dalam proses pemilihan beasiswa dan DBO di semua area pengamatan. Namun, tampaknya kriteria penentuan beasiswa dan DBO lebih sesuai untuk upaya pengentasan kemiskinan daripada untuk program penanganan dampak krisis. Di beberapa wilayah pengamatan anak-anak korban PHK hampir semuanya tidak memperoleh beasiswa karena dianggap relatif mampu dibandingkan anggota masyarakat lain yang memang membutuhkan. Komite Sekolah sangat sulit menentukan calon penerima karena jumlah kebutuhan beasiswa lebih besar daripada alokasi yang tersedia. Bias yang timbul karena menempatkan kriteria desa IDT sebagai salah satu dasar pemilihan juga telah menyebabkan murid-murid miskin dan sekolah-sekolah miskin di desa non-IDT dirugikan. Sementara itu kriteria BKKBN yang digunakan untuk menetapkan keluarga yang paling berhak mendapat bantuan tidak selalu dapat diterapkan secara langsung dalam program JPS. Dalam banyak kasus guru-gurulah yang menentukan pilihan terakhir. Untuk mengatasi masalah ini sekolah menempuh beberapa cara agar beasiswa dapat diberikan secara bergantian diantara murid-murid yang sangat membutuhkan. Jalan keluar ini telah meluas dipraktekkan di beberapa wilayah untuk memastikan adanya pemerataan kesempatan dan pemanfaatan alokasi beasiswa secara maksimal.

b. Sosialisasi dan transparansi program: Sosialisasi program pada penerima beasiswa cukup memadai di hampir semua wilayah pengamatan, namun masih kurang bagi masyarakat umum. Namun transparansi tentang penggunaan dana DBO relatif sangat kurang di hampir semua wilayah. Dalam banyak kasus anggota Komite Sekolah dan guru-guru tidak dikonsultasi atau tidak menerima laporan lengkap tentang penggunaan dana.

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c. Proses pencairan dana: Cara pencairan dana yang diterapkan antara lain: (a) diambil langsung oleh penerima beasiswa; (b) diambil oleh Kepala Sekolah saja, atau Kepala Sekolah bersama seorang anggota Komite mengambil di Kantor Pos; atau (c) diantar oleh petugas Kantor Pos ke sekolah. Pengambilan dana dapat dilakukan dalam 3 tahap. Karena di daerah terpencil biaya transport adalah faktor penting, maka perlu kebijakan khusus agar pencairan dana setidaknya dalam 2 tahap saja. Pencairan dana melalui buku tabungan tidak terlalu berhasil. Selain jumlahnya kecil, dana hanya mengendap sebentar sehingga tidak menguntungkan pihak bank. Di beberapa wilayah dana tidak diberikan langsung kepada murid yang berhak, melainkan dikelola oleh sekolah, dan murid dapat mengambil dana bila membutuhkan. Sekalipun hal ini ditempuh untuk memastikan bahwa dana beasiswa dipergunakan untuk pendidikan murid, tetapi cara ini juga membuka peluang penyimpangan dana.

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Beasiswa yang diterima murid terutama digunakan untuk membayar uang sekolah, membeli buku dan alat tulis, dan seragam sekolah. Ditemui kasus dana digunakan oleh orang tua untuk membeli sembako, membayar biaya pengobatan, atau keperluan rumah tangga yang penting lainnya. Karena pencairan beasiswa periode 1999/2000 terlambat beberapa bulan, banyak sekolah terpaksa melakukan penyesuaian. Penerima beasiswa telah dibebaskan dari membayar iuran BP3 sejak bulan Juli 1999, sambil menunggu beasiswa periode berikutnya yang baru akan diterima pada bulan Oktober-November. Di beberapa tempat, kadang-kadang DBO juga digunakan untuk membayar tunggakan dan iuran murid tidak mampu atau yang membutuhkan, dan dengan demikian mereka dapat tetap sekolah. Perlu dicatat bahwa penggunaan bantuan DBO di beberapa wilayah kurang efektif, kecuali di sekolah-sekolah swasta, SD Negeri atau madrasah yang dalam keadaan kurang, terutama yang terletak di wilayah terpencil.

d. Alokasi dan besarnya beasiswa dan DBO: Umumnya besar dana beasiswa per murid cukup memadai dan dapat membantu program belajar murid - walau tingkat kecukupan beasiswa per murid antar kelas tidak sama. Komite Sekolah menegaskan bahwa alokasi per sekolah - khususnya SD - masih kurang.

Berkaitan dengan dana DBO, jumlah dana untuk tingkat SD terlalu kecil, tetapi terlalu besar untuk tingkat SLTA, terutama yang tidak mempunyai program praktikum atau jurusan IPA. Dana DBO dinilai tumpang tindih dengan dana BOP (Bantuan Operasional Pendidikan) dan APBN, sehingga dikhawatirkan dapat terjadi penyimpangan.

e. Administrasi program dan peranan Komite: Tingkat koordinasi, manajemen dan administrasi program secara umum masih lemah, khususnya di tingkat kecamatan kebawah. Komite Sekolah rata-rata didominasi oleh Kepala Sekolah, sementara keterlibatan masyarakat dalam pelaksanaan program masih kurang. Komite Pelaksana di tingkat kecamatan didominasi oleh unsur Depdiknas (Dinas dan Kandep). Kantor Pos dan Kandep Dikbud Kabupaten telah melaksanakan administrasi program dengan cukup baik, tetapi pada tingkat sekolah masih diperlukan beberapa perbaikan. n Tim Dampak Krisis SMERU

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