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[Republika] 62 Percent of Education Budget to Regions

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JAKARTA — Around 62 percent of the entire national education budget of IDR 408.54 trillion goes to the regions through regional transfers and village funds. Minister of Education and Culture (Mendikbud) Anis Baswedan said that the Ministry of Education and Culture only managed around 2.6 percent of the Revised State Revenue and Expenditure Budget (APBNP) funds or around 12.7 percent of the entire 2015 education budget.

"In its calculations, in terms of figures, the Ministry of Education and Culture only manages IDR 52.07 trillion from the education budget of IDR 408.54 trillion or around 20.59 percent of the total 2015 APBNP," said Anies, Tuesday (24/2).

Then, of the IDR 408.54 trillion national education budget, around 62.2 percent or IDR 254.18 trillion goes directly to the regions. Meanwhile, around IDR 154.36 trillion or 37.8 percent of the education budget goes to central government spending which is divided among the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, the Ministry of Religion and other ministries.

Therefore, Anie said there was a need for budget transparency. He considers the role of the public and civil society important to oversee education policy in every region of Indonesia, both central and regional. "This needs to be developed and is very important for a better Indonesia," he said at the National Education Symposium which ended Wednesday (25/2).

This symposium was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture and a combination of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), namely Article 33 Indonesia, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Satu Karya Karsa Foundation (YSKK), Paramadina Public Policy Institute (PPPI), NEW Indonesia, and PATTIRO Banten .

Coordinator of the Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) Public Service Monitoring Division, Febri Hendri, appreciated the Minister of Education and Culture's initiative which opened up space for the community to get involved in the national scale policy process.

According to him, civil society, which is one of the stakeholders, should take part in decision making. "This is so that it can be ensured that the policies taken really answer the needs of the community," he said.

The Civil Society Coalition for Educational Transformation (KMSTP), represented by Kangsure Suroto, stated its readiness to monitor state services. Bearing in mind, this was done as a form of strengthening state accountability.

Suroto said that the policies taken must then be openly consulted with the public. So, it can reduce conflict at the implementation stage. "We civil society really appreciate the Minister of Education and Culture's breakthrough," he said. N c64 ed: andi nur aminah