Kemdikbud, Kemenag and TNP2K Invite Press to Promote BSM use with KPS

16 May 2014

To encourage the use of the Social Assistance Card (KPS) Cash for the Poor Students (BSM) programme, the Secretariat of the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), along with the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemdikbud) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag), invited media participants to promote the issue to the general public. This point was emphasised by Sri Rahayu Kusumastuti, Head of TNP2K’s Cluster 1 Working Group, Bambang Hartono, Staff Directorate of High School Development at Kemdikbud, and Eddy Lum, Staff Directorate of Madrasah Education at Kemenag in a press conference at Hotel Aston, Tanjung Pinang (14/5).

Kusumastuti said that when the government issued KPS in 2013, BSM funds were distributed evenly across schools in Indonesia. Following a study of the programme, however, it was found BSM funds were being given to many non-targeted families: those who were not poor or near-poor. As such, the government began using KPS as a delivery mechanism for BSM since 2013.

KPS cards were distributed to 15.5 million targeted households in 2013, or roughly 25 percent of those in the lowest income bracket. “These are poor and near-poor households that need help in order to escape poverty. By using KPS as a distribution mechanism for BSM, those truly in need can enjoy the benefits of the BSM programme,” Kusumastuti said.

Hartono said that only 30 to 40 percent of the total BSM budget was distributed to students accessing the programme using KPS in Indonesia in 2013. "For high school students, the rate of accessing BSM funds using KPS was only 33 percent from the total budget distributed. Across the islands of Riau, only about 1,600 students out of around 6,000 students received BSM, "said Hartono.

Meanwhile, Lum added that the figure for madrasa [Islamic schools] students was even lower, at only about 16.8 percent of the total allocated budget. "Although we have been promoting the issue through Kemenag’s regional offices in each province, the acceptance rate is still low," Lum said.

Hartono and Lum invited the media to help promote the use of KPS to register school-aged students at all levels of primary education: elementary school, middle school, high school and vocational school. “This is not for the government, but for those with the right to receive BSM benefits, namely poor and near-poor people,” said Kusumastuti.

The media briefing is part of a series of promotional activities to both support and increase the number of students using KPS to receive BSM funds in 2014. Other activities include a radio campaign, media briefings in six selected provincial capitals: Jakarta, Bandung, Palu, Tanjung Pinang, Surabaya and Kupang. Direct outreach programmes are also being conducted at targeted schools and madrasahs in more than 100 districts/cities in Indonesia, during May and June 2014.