Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Presidential Staff Office (KSP) urged the regional government to optimize the Smart Indonesia Program (PIP) in order to provide access to education for everyone and prevent students from dropping out.

"The regional government must (tap into the program's potential), so it can be thoroughly received," KSP Chief Moeldoko stated in Tana Toraja, South Sulawesi, on Wednesday.

Moeldoko and the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry symbolically handed aid for education and its supporting facilities for the Makale 12 State Elementary School.

According to a statement received here, Moeldoko stated that the government has created the program in a bid to allow access to high-quality education for students.

"One of President Joko Widodo's dreams is for Indonesia to become advanced and that none of its people have no access to decent education. This is our collective responsibility," he affirmed.

The PIP is designed to assist children from families, with low socio-economic status, to receive education up until the secondary tier. It ranges from formal education, such as vocational schools or high schools and non-formal education with high school equivalent packages, to special education, he pointed out.

Through the program, the government strives to prevent students from dropping out of school, and the program is expected to spark children's interest to study again, Moeldoko remarked.

Moeldoko also highlighted his administration's efforts to expedite the quota and budget for the PIP in 2023. The government has disbursed Rp21.3 trillion (US$1.4 billion) for the program in 2023, with Rp9.6 trillion (US$639.8 million) for elementary and secondary education, and Rp11.7 trillion (US$779.8 million) for tertiary education, he noted.

He highlighted that the government's allocation for elementary and secondary education funding in the PIP, amounted to Rp17.7 billion (US$1.2 billion).

The KSP and Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry symbolically hands special funding for education in South Sulawesi, comprising Rp9.6 billion (US$639 thousand) for Tana Toraja District, Rp9.2 billion (US$613 thousand) for Pinrang District, and Rp4.1 billion (US$273 thousand) for Barru District.

Moeldoko also handed CT-Scan oxygen generator facilities for the Lakipadada Regional General Hospital in Tana Toraja. KSP and the Health Ministry collaborated to supply the aid, he said.

"I hope that such aid can help in improving medical services here (Lakipadada Regional General Hospital), and of course, this must be followed with improvement in the quality of human resources," he concluded.

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Translator: Indra Arief Pribadi, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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