Push to promote the Cash for Poor Students programme in 2014

09 May 2014

“We want to boost the number of beneficiaries using their Social Assistance Card (KPS) to access the Cash for Poor Students programme (BSM). Children from poor families, those at risk of falling into poverty and even those in remote areas will be helped in accessing education,” said Dyah Larasati, Coordinator of the Cash for Poor Students (Cluster 1) at the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K). She was speaking at a media briefing, part of the 2014 BSM promotional programme, at the Swiss-Belhotel in Palu on 8 May 2014.

Using KPS helps increase the targeting accuracy of the BSM programme. It is part of continuing efforts by the government to improve targeting. With KPS, poor families can access other social protection programmes, such as the Family Hope Programme (PKH), Subsidised Rice for the Poor (Raskin) and Unconditional Cash Transfers (BLSM).

Muamar Surawidarto, director of high school development, said that 9.1 million students are eligible for BSM under the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud), and a further 2 million under the Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag), citing the total BSM quota of 11.2 million students.

In the 2013/2014 academic year, BSM beneficiaries are entitled to receive: Rp 225,000 per child for one semester, or Rp 450,000 per child per year of elementary school (SD/MI); Rp 375,000 per child per semester, or Rp 750,000 per child per year of middle school (SMP/MT); and Rp 500,000 per child each semester, or Rp 1,000,000 per child for the year of high school (SMA/SMK/MA).

Yudi Okriansyah, General Directorate of Madrasah Education further explained that BSM funds distributed by Kemendikbud are channelled through BRI Bank into students’ accounts, while BSM from Kemenag is disbursed via designated banks in each province. "The goal is to facilitate banking in distributing funds to student beneficiaries. Students living in remote areas have designated banks that are tailored to local circumstances," he said.

For the success of government efforts to support students from poor and at-risk families, there is a need to involve all stakeholders, including relevant ministries and communities, if irregularities are found in programme implementation.