Following a study and evaluation on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology announced that the requirement for schools to have a minimum of 60 students to receive School Operational Assistance (BOS) fund does not apply for next year.
“The Ministry has decided not to apply this (requirement) in 2022,” Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Nadiem Anwar Makarim said during a working meeting with Commission X of the House of Representatives overseeing education, in Jakarta, Wednesday (08/09).
On the occasion, the Minister expressed appreciation for the input from Commission X and the public regarding various concerns about the implementation of the requirements for BOS recipient schools. He explained that the program has been around since 2019 and they have three years to disseminate the policy.
“The program has not been carried out in 2021 because it hasn’t been three years. It has a time limit,” he said.
Nadiem assessed that the current pandemic situation is quite extreme and requires flexibility and tolerance for schools experiencing difficulties in the transition to become schools with a larger minimum scale. The Minister added that the Ministry will continue to receive input on the requirements and conduct further studies regarding the implementation after 2022.
The Minister also stated that the regular BOS program accommodates operations in formal schools and operations for children with special needs. The policy gives school principals flexibility to determine school improvement using BOS funds.
According to Nadiem, the BOS policy is in favor of those most in need. Currently, the fund given to each region is multiplied by the region’s cost of living index. As a result, education units located in the frontier, outermost, underdeveloped (3T) areas receive far more funds to improve their quality.
The Minister also underlined the issue of the affirmative BOS program. He said educational units that really need the fund will obtain what they need. Every school principal, he continued, truly has the freedom to decide what to improve. “That’s a basic principle, if someone threatens that principle, I will listen and I will immediately decide,” he said. (PR of Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology/UN) (FI/MUR)