Ombudsman drawing up policy brief on student enrolment

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Head of the Indonesian OmbudsmanMokhammad Najihhas said his party is preparing a policy brief on the implementation of the zoning system for new student enrolment (PPDB).The brief will be submitted to the Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Ministry, he added. “We are preparing a policy brief for the Ministry of Education regarding the implementation of this PPDB,” Najih informed at a press conference on the “Results of the Report Completion on the Indonesian Ombudsman Resolution and Monitoring Stage” on Friday. ccording to him, related parties need a more detailed planning framework for the expansion of school development since there are a number of areas that have no public school facilities and are, therefore, not covered by the zoning system. “Those areas need the construction of a new school. Related parties can also plan to fulfill basic educational needs, starting from elementary schools, junior high schools, and public high schools,” he added. He said a structured and widespread policy is also needed regarding the availability of teachers with the same standard and quality throughout the country. The policy would need to include ways to show appreciation for teachers who are willing to be placed in underdeveloped, outermost, and frontier (3T) areas. “They probably can receive a special allowance to be able to teach in 3T areas,” he suggested. With these plans, a zoning system that can reduce favoritism toward certain schools and ensure more equitable access to education for the community could also be realized, Najih said. “The most important thing is the fulfillment of school quality standards in the form of infrastructure, office stationery, tools, laboratories, and teachers,” he highlighted. Those efforts could minimize problems with the zoning system in PPDB that often arise every year, such as fraudulent practices in the community, which involve manipulating population data to trick the system, and public reports regarding maladministration of the zoning system, Najih noted. “We are actually very consistent in continuing to support the zoning policy, but we also want to encourage the Ministry of Education to review the continuation of the zoning policy,” he disclosed. He said that an open and transparent mechanism is needed regarding education costs covered by the government at the central or regional level. In some regions, there have been cases of extra fees being charged from parents despite the school tuition being free of charge. Therefore, a mechanism is needed to minimize loopholes and the impression of extortion of students. He said that he was surprised to find that illegal levies are still being imposed on students, considering that Article 31 Paragraph 4 of the 1945 Constitution stipulates that 20 percent of the education budget must be borne by the state budget and the regional budget. Earlier, a member of the Indonesian Ombudsman, Indraza Marzuki Rais, asked regional heads to take strict action against fraudulent practices detected in the PPDB system this year. “Regional heads must be brave to follow up on the findings of these frauds. If necessary, they can sanction individual perpetrators of the fraud to realize a fair, transparent, and equal PPDB for all prospective students,” he said.

Source: Antara News Agency

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