Mon, 08 Mar 1999

Rp 13 billion fund for scholarships

JAKARTA (JP): The government has earmarked Rp 13 billion to provide scholarships to more than 57,000 needy students from private and state elementary to senior high schools in the capital, an official said.

Head of the city office of the Ministry of Education and Culture Alwi Nurdin said on Friday that the scholarships were being provided under the social safety net program.

"The government is channeling the scholarships directly to the students through post offices located near their houses," he told The Jakarta Post.

Each of the 57,913 students, comprising 12,807 elementary school students, 29,974 junior high school students and 15,132 high school students, are receiving Rp 120,000 annually, he said.

He said the funds cover the students' school costs, including school fees, stationery and other necessities.

The scholarship provision, sponsored by the World Bank, began in July last year. The Rp 13 billion fund is to cover scholarships through the next 1999/2000 fiscal year, he said, adding that provision of the funds for the following fiscal year depended on the country's condition at that time.

Existing data shows there are 447,482 elementary, junior high and senior high school students throughout the city.

Alwi said that students eligible for the scholarships was decided upon by a school committee consisting of school principals, public figures and city officials.

A member of City Council Commission E for social welfare, Afif Hamka, said he hoped the authority seriously controlled distribution of the scholarships.

"I hope that the scholarship distribution is not tainted by collusion and nepotism. Otherwise, the number of dropouts will continue to increase," he said. (ind/ylt)