26 May 2014
“East Java has the highest concentration of madrasahs per province in the wold”, said Sastra Juanda, Kasubdit of Madrasah Education, Directorate of Madrasah Education at Indonesia’s Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag). Juanda was speaking as part of a panel at the 2014 BSM Programme Socialisation in Surabaya. The event, held at the Mercure Grand Mirama, was facilitated by TNP2K. It saw the Ministry of Education and Culture (Kemendikbud) and Kemenag meet members of East Java’s local press to disseminate information about the BSM programme in 2014 through the use of Social Assistance Card (KPS).
The media briefing was attended by roughly 40 journalists from East Java from print, electronic and television media sources. Budi Priantoro, BOS/BSM/DAK Technical Team, Directorate of Middle Schools at Kemendikbud said that "as BSM is distributed directly to students, parents are also expected to play a role in ensuring that funds are used to support educational needs, outside of the BOS programme". This sentiment was echoed by Dyah Larasati from TNP2K’s Cluster 1 Working Group, who said that "the findings of fieldwork conducted in six kabupaten/cities in Indonesia with responses from around 6,000 families, found that 80 percent of BSM funds are allocated to supporting school needs not covered by BOS, such as the purchase of books, school supplies and transportation of students."
The two-hour media briefing began with presentations from Kemenag, following by Kemendikbud and TNP2K. The session ended following an interesting discussion during which the media participants focused on the BSM budgets for East Java as well as obstacles faced in the programme’s implementation in the field.
The BSM programme, launched some 10 years ago, supports the aim of breaking the chain of poverty through education. With the innovation of the KPS card in 2013, the BSM programme entered a new chapter that saw improved targeting of beneficiaries in schools and madrasas. Activities, such as the media briefing, are key to disseminating new developments to the public.