Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has asked students' parents to make use of the Smart Indonesia Card (KIP) education financing program to help prepare quality human resources who are capable of competing globally.

"We know that competition in the future will not become easier, it will only get harder. Human resources are the key to compete with other countries and between individuals. All Indonesian children must go to school," he emphasized during the handover of Smart Indonesia Aid in Blora district, Central Java, on Tuesday. The event was followed online on the Presidential Secretariat's channel.

He said that under the KIP program, Rp11 trillion (US$703 million) has been allocated for 20 million elementary, middle school, and high school/vocational school students.

The government will provide Rp450 thousand US$30) for each elementary student participating in the program, Rp750 thousand for each middle school student, and Rp1.8 million for each high school/vocational student, up from the previous Rp1 million.

The government also allocated Rp12.8 trillion for University KIP, which has now been absorbed to finance 960 thousand university students, he informed.

According to the President, the educational program also includes scholarships organized by the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education Agency (LPDP) for studies within Indonesia and abroad.

"This opportunity must be utilized," he stressed.

Widodo further said that KIP funds should be utilized fully for various stuff related to school needs, such as stationery, uniforms, and books.

During a dialogue with the President, a KIP recipient from PGRI Blora Vocational School, Yeni Sujaryani, said that she had received KIP assistance from elementary school up to the vocational school level by registering for the program at her school.

She added that she will use the latest assistance to buy school supplies.

"I will use it to buy books, bags, uniforms, and stationery," she said when the President asked her how she planned to use the aid.

She also said that she wanted to work after graduating from vocational school to help her parents out.

Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, Muhadjir Effendy; Minister of Public Works and Public Housing, Basuki Hadimuljono; and Minister of Health, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, accompanied Widodo to the event.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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