Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Education and Culture has set aside a budget of Rp27.26 trillion for education funding for the year 2021.

It said its first priority is ensuring the freedom to access education, and centralizing all education funding.

At a budget meeting in Jakarta on Thursday, Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Makarim said the centralization of funds has led to budget efficiency by allowing quicker distribution of program funding.

Different programs in every ministry directorate had previously led to inefficiency, he noted.

The education funding programs of the ministry include the Smart Indonesia Program, Smart Indonesia Card School Program, Smart Indonesia Card College Program, Teacher Professional Allowances, and Development of Overseas Indonesian Schools.

"These are all (being offered with certain) objectives in (mind such as) giving freedom of access (to education) to the people who cannot afford it and to give them a decent education," Makarim said.

He explained that there have been no new programs launched so far, but modifications have been made to a number of programs.

The budget for the Smart Indonesia Card School funding program is Rp9.672 trillion, which has been allocated for 17.9 million students.

A total of Rp10.09 trillion has been earmarked for 1.095 million students under the Smart Indonesia Card College program, Rp7.303 trillion has been set aside for 363 thousand teachers under the the professional teacher allowance budget, and a budget of Rp194 billion has been allocated for the assistance of 13 Indonesian schools abroad.

The Ministry of Education and Culture's budget ceiling for 2021 is Rp81.53 trillion. Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and Culture Ainun Naim said the budget will be used for a number of priority programs of the ministry in 2021.

The budget for early education programs and the 12-year compulsory education program is Rp12.351 trillion, while the allocation for language and cultural preservation is around Rp976 billion.

Furthermore, Rp11.690 trillion has been set aside for the program to improve the quality of teaching and learning, while Rp27.625 trillion has been allocated for higher education.

For vocational education and training programs, the ministry has allocated Rp5.226 trillion, and Rp23.622 trillion has been set aside for the ministry’s management.

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Translator: Indriani/Aria Cindyara
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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