Education Costs Rise, Government Needs to Be More Open to Budget Use

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Jakarta, The PRAKARSA - Member of Commission Anita recommended that the Ministry of Education and Culture carry out an examination of the APBN, especially budget realization. 

Responding to this statement, Bintang Aulia Luthfi, researcher at The PRAKARSA, also questioned the allocation of the education budget in Indonesia because ineffective budgeting could result in an increase in education costs borne by the public.  

"However, Indonesia has committed to prioritizing an education budget of at least 20% of the APBN. "However, if the budgeting is not effective, it could actually have an impact on increasing education costs," explained Bintang. On Friday (7/6/2024).  

Some time ago students at a number of universities protested against the increase in single tuition fees (UKT). This increase burdens people classified as poor and lower middle class.  

"If the government relaxes UKT increases for universities, it will certainly burden the middle class. So far, aid has been predominantly given to the poor, while the middle class has mostly entered the groups above 1 & 2 for UKT. "In fact, Article 28C paragraph 1 of the 1945 Constitution guarantees that every citizen has the right to obtain education regardless of their level of education," said Bintang.

Higher education is needed by our society, especially if Indonesia wants to benefit from the demographic bonus, because currently the workforce with a tertiary education will only reach 10% in 2022 (BPS, 2023).  

“Indonesia will not achieve a Golden Indonesia if the current proportion of the workforce is only filled by workers with low education. Only 10% of the workforce has studied higher education, in fact, 9,9 million young people currently have NEET status (Not in Education, Employment, and Training)," said Star. 

Higher education should be accessible to all poor people and lower middle economic groups. 

Bintang added, from the research results of The PRAKARSA 2024 sees a trend of privatization in education. The increasing demand for private education in many countries in ASEAN, shows the problem that public schools are overcapacity and on the other hand there are quite a few private schools that are expensive.  

“Reliance on private education creates challenges regarding financing, affordability and quality assurance. "This change places a burden on households and students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds," added Bintang. 

The government must ensure that the 20% education budget commitment is actually realized. Not only that, the government must pay attention to the quality, impact and balanced distribution of infrastructure and operational needs to avoid non-transparency and inefficiency in budget use.  

"In the future, the government must also be more transparent regarding the clear allocation of the use of the education budget for education projects and ensure balanced investment to reduce the potential for alleged misuse of the budget," concluded Bintang.

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