Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) emphasized that the government's educational assistance funds provided through the Indonesia Pintar (Smart Indonesia) Program are not meant for people seeking to buy smartphones and cellular credits.

Jokowi made the statement while handing out Smart Indonesia assistance to beneficiaries in Magelang, Central Java, on Monday, as followed via a video broadcast from Jakarta.

"This money (aid) is meant for purchasing (items to meet) school needs, such as books, stationery, uniforms, and also shoes. It should not be spent on smartphones and cellular credits," he remarked.

Jokowi pointed out that through the program, the government is aiming to assist students in Magelang by distributing Rp450 thousand (US$28.7) to elementary school students, Rp750 thousand (US$47.9) to junior high school students, and Rp1.8 million (US$115) to senior high school students, annually.

"I believe they (the amounts) are sufficient. We all should be grateful for this," the president stated.

According to the head of state, the government had distributed the Smart Indonesia assistance to as many as 18 million students in all regions of Indonesia, from Aceh to Papua, in 2023. As for this year, the government is targeting to provide the aid to a total of 18.6 million students, he added.

He appealed to beneficiary students to wisely utilize the funds and maintain their learning spirit.

"Because the Smart Indonesia Program has already covered the costs required for school needs. For students wishing to pursue higher education, you can register yourselves in the Smart Indonesia Card Program or propose (assistance) to the Revolving Fund Management Agency," he told the attending students.

Jokowi then noted that a total of 960 thousand students have been enjoying benefits offered by the Smart Indonesia Card to continue their studies at universities.

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Translator: Rangga P, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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