Government gives Cash for Poor Students to 11.2 million children

09 May 2014

In 2014, the government allocated financial assistance to 11.2 million children from poor or vulnerable families through the Cash for Poor Students programme (BSM), according to Sri Rahayu Kusumastuti, Head of the Cluster 1 Working Group at the Secretariat of the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction. Kusumastuti was speaking at a conference to national and West Java media at the Aston Primera Pasteur Hotel in Bandung on May 7.

BSM is a programme that provides financial assistance to poor and vulnerable families with school-aged children. It is aimed at easing the burden of meeting costs linked with education. To improve the accuracy of targeting among programme beneficiaries, the government introduced mechanisms so that BSM beneficiaries could access the programme using their Social Assistance Card (KPS).

KPS is a card given to 15.5 million targeted poor households in 2013, equivalent to 25 percent of households in the lowest income bracket. “Through the KPS, the government has made efforts to improve the targeting of social protection programmes, including the BSM programme,” Kusumastuti said.

The BSM programme is managed and distributed through the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag). To support the Compulsory Nine Years of Basic Education Programme, BSM is given to children of schooling age who are enrolled in elementary school (SD), Islamic elementary school (MI), middle school (SMP) and Islamic middle school (MT). In addition, BSM is also given to school-age children enrolled in or high school (SMA), vocational high school (SMK), and Islamic high school (MA).

The media briefing is part of a series of activities to promote the use of KPS for accessing the BSM programme in 2014. These socialisation activities are being held to help boost the number of beneficiaries using KPS, which at the beginning of 2014 stood at around 61 percent for students attending schools linked to Kemdikbud, and 20 percent for Kemenag.

Other activities as part of this series includes a radio campaign and media briefings in six provincial capitals: Jakarta, Bandung, Palu, Tanjung Pinang, Surabaya and Kupang. Direct outreach visits are also being conducted at targeted schools in more than 100 kabupaten/cities across Indonesia in May and June 2014.