Gov’t Rolls Out Assistance Programs for College Students, Schools Affected by COVID-19
Date 19 Juni 2020
The Government has announced it has launched programs to support students and education units affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Anwar Makarim, the programs are in the forms of Single Tuition Fees (UKT), UKT Assistance Funds for College Student, and School Operational Assistance (BOS) Affirmations and BOS Performance.
“We continue to renew our commitment to provide access to educational services. Some policy adjustments have been made to support students and education units so they continue to exercise their rights and provide optimum education services,” the Minister said during a virtual press briefing in Jakarta, Friday (19/6).
The Minister also pointed out that the programs came following a study and coordination held by Ministry of Education and Culture with related stakeholders.
“Those programs are part of mutual assistance measures and the Government’s support for the people and education units affected by the pandemic so that they are expected to be able to surmount the existing challenges,” he said.
The Ministry also regulates the adjustment mechanism of the UKT through Regulation of Minister of Education and Culture Number 25 of 2020 on Unit Standards for Higher Education Operational Costs at State Universities under Ministry of Education and Culture.
This regulation aims to provide UKT relief for state tertiary education students facing financial constraints amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulation covers four aspects as follows:
- The UKT may be adjusted for students whose families are seeing financial difficulties affected by the COVID-19 pandemic;
- Students are not required to pay UKT provided that they are on leave nor take semester credit units (SKS) at all (for example: waiting for graduation);
- Higher education Executives may provide UKT relief and/or impose new UKT on students.
- Final year students pay a maximum of 50% UKT if taking less than six credits:
– Semester 9 for undergraduate and applied undergraduate students (S1, D4) – Semester 7 for students of diploma 3 (D3)
The Minister added that students are expected to enjoy various benefits, namely learning activities that are uninterrupted during the pandemic, reduced costs while not using campus facilities and services, flexibility to apply for UKT relief, and savings at the final year of college.
“The program is based on the State University Rector Council (MRPTN) agreement on 22 April 2020,” he said.
Four tuition fee relief schemes include in the policy, as follows:
First, UKT installments. Students may apply for interest-free UKT installments (0%) with a repayment period adjusted to the economic capabilities of students.
Second, UKT postponement. Students may delay UKT payments by the date the payment adjusted to their economic capabilities.
Third, UKT reduction. Students pay UKT, but may apply for a reduction in costs and the amount of new UKTs is adjusted to their economic capabilities.
Fourth, Scholarship. All students are entitled to apply for the Indonesia Smart Card (KIP) scholarship or other scholarship schemes provided by the tertiary institution and acceptance criteria in accordance with the provisions of applicable scholarship program.
Fifth, Infrastructure Assistance. Students may apply for financial assistance for internet connection and phone credit, as well as provisions based on the consideration of respective state universities.
The decrease in UKT has been agreed and will continue to be carried out on various campuses across the country, such as Gadjah Mada University, Bogor Agriculture Institute, Sebelas Maret University, Yogyakarta State University, Surabaya State University, Semarang State University, and Gorontalo State University.
The addition of the number of beneficiaries will be given to 410,000 students (mainly private universities) outside of the 467,000 students who obtain a Bidikmisi scholarship – a state-sponsored scholarship program that aims to support talented students facing financial difficulties – and KIP Lectures. This assistance fund is specifically for students with financial constraints affected by the pandemic.
Funding for KIP Regular Lecture in 2020 is still given to 200,000 new students of semester 1 in 2020. The Bidikmisi funds will continue to be provided for students who continue their studies in 2020 and continue to run the Higher Education Affirmation program with a target of 267,000 students.
Criteria for students who can receive the assistance is as follows:
- Financial constraints: parents or underwriters of tuition fees are seeing financial constraints and unable to pay UKT odd semester 2020;
- Scholarship status: not being funded by the KIP Lecture program or other scholarship programs that finance the UKT in full or in partial;
- Course Level: private and state university students of odd semester 2020.
In an unprecedented move, this year private schools in need receive assistance through BOS Affirmations and BOS Performance.
BOS Affirmations and BOS Performances are focused on the schools that are most in need and affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The provisions are for state and private schools (SD, SMP, SMA, SMK, SLB) that are most in need. The amount of funds is Rp60 million per school per year, and the funds are channeled directly from Ministry of Finance to school accounts.
BOS Affirmations and BOS Performances can be used for the same activities as the Regular BOS during the COVID-19 pandemic, covering payment for non-tenured teachers, education personnel if funds are still available, home learning needs such as credit, data packages, online education services, and hygiene needs such as soap, disinfectants, and other health supports.
Criteria for schools entitled to receive the assistance is as follows:
First, the school is located in remote or backward areas, (located in areas where there are (indigenous peoples, located in border areas, affected by natural disasters or social disasters, or areas that are in other emergencies (in accordance with Regulation of Minister of Education and Culture Number 23 of 2020, Decision of Minister of Education and Culture Number 580 of 2020, and Number 581 of 2020).
Second, the assistance is prioritized to schools with a greater proportion of students from poor families, schools with lower Regular BOS funds, and schools that have a greater proportion of non-tenured teachers (in accordance with Regulation of Minister of Education and Culture Number 24 of 2020 and Decision of Minister of Education and Culture Number 582 of 2020).
The total allocation of BOS Affirmation and Performance funds is Rp3.2 trillion with a target of 56,115 schools in 32,321 villages/sub-districts of special regions.
“Schools in remote and underdeveloped areas can immediately receive the assistance,” the Minister said. (Ministry of Education and Culture PR/EN)
Reviewed by: M. Ersan Pamungkas