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Minister Edhy Prabowo lifts ban on lobster: Bringing back fishermen’s livelihood

(Photo: KKP public relations documentation team)

IO, Jakarta – Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo has issued Ministerial Regulation No. 12/2020 on the management of lobsters, mud crabs, and swimming crabs in Indonesian territory. Thus, Edhy effectively resumed lobster larvae exports, previously banned under his predecessor, Susi Pudjiastuti. “The export of lobster (Puerulus) larvae with Harmonized System Code 0306.31.10 from the territory of the Republic of Indonesia can only be done with this provision,” stated Article 5 Paragraph 1 of the regulation. 

The export provisions include a quota and location of lobster larvae harvesting in accordance with the results of a study by the National Commission on the Study of Fish Resources, set forth by the Directorate General of Capture Fisheries. As a consequence, exporters must farm lobsters in the country by involving the community or local farmers, based on the recommendation of the Directorate General of Aquaculture. 

Exporters have succeeded in lobster farming, as indicated by sustainable harvests, and have released two percent of lobsters from farming into the wild (size according to harvest). Lobster larvae exporters must be registered with the Directorate General of Capture Fisheries of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministries (KKP) and have a Certificate of Origin issued by the district/city local fisheries office. 

The lobster larvae can only be obtained from small fishermen registered with the local fishermen group at the location of the capture. Capture is only allowed using passive capture gear. The Director General of Capture Fisheries will decide on who can harvest lobster larvae. 

Further, the export of lobster larvae can only be done through certain airports that have been designated by the fish quarantine agency. “Exportation of lobster larvae must be done in line with the availability of stock in nature as per recommendation from the National Commission on Fish Stock Assessment (KAJISKAN) and as determined by the Directorate General of Capture Fisheries,” stated Point (f) Article 5 Paragraph 1. 

The lowest benchmark price of fishermen-captured lobster larvae will be determined by the Directorate. This will serve as the basis for consideration and proposed export benchmark prices set forth by the Ministry of Trade. In the future, a decision on the quota and location of lobster larvae harvesting will be carried out every year. 

The regulation also states that lobster larvae export is subject to Export Duty or Non-Tax State Revenues per larvae, the value of which will be determined by the Ministry of Finance. 

Pro-farmers 

The lobster larvae export resumption, according to the KKP Minister, will help fishermen whose lives depend on the farming of the commodity. In addition, this policy is aimed at reviving lobster farming in many regions. “By allowing the lobster larvae harvesting, we can support fishermen whose livelihood depends on capturing larvae,” said Edhy Prabowo. 

Edhy elaborated that exporters must buy lobster larvae from local fishermen at a minimum price of Rp 5,000 per larva. This is higher than the going price before the export was banned. “The price at the farmers level is set at a minimum of Rp 5,000. Previously, they were illegally exported at only Rp 1,000 to Rp 2,000 per larva. Now I want it to be fair. The ministry is hard at work because we have to realise what Pak Jokowi has instructed,” said Edhy during a joint meeting with Committee IV of the House of Representatives in Jakarta, July 6, 2020. 

If they are valued at Rp 5,000 per larva, when an exporter buys 100 million larvae, fishermen can earn Rp 500 billion. If they (exporters) violate this regulation, their export license will be revoked. “If a company is found putting a pressure on price, we will immediately revoke its license. The control is very easy because we can know where they are registered, where their office is, and the area where they conduct their business,” he said. 

Furthermore, the country will receive income from taxes on lobster larvae exports. “If the price is below Rp 10,000 per larva, they (exporters) will only pay Rp 1,000 in tax. But if it is above Rp 25,000, they can pay up to Rp 5,000 to the state coffer. This is why I decided to allow the export, because if they purchase it, we won’t get any money. And they can’t buy from fishermen anymore, so who will be responsible for their loss of livelihood?” he reasoned. 

Edhy emphasized that these regulations are not rigid. If the lobster larvae export regulation needs to be changed one day, he said he is ready to implement it. “This is not a regulation written in stone. If there is a mistake, we will right it. When it becomes a law, there will be checks and balances, controls and corrections. Don’t worry, unlike the previous one, I am not a stubborn minister who will refuse to change it when given advice,” he said. 

With regard to the many concerns over lobster extinction should they be exported, Edhy pointed out that one lobster can produce up to 1 million eggs (roe) in the summer. “In a country where summer lasts for only four months, they can spawn up to four times. This is based on research conducted in Tasmania. In Indonesia, we have lots of sun all year around,” he said. 

Edhy said that number was higher than his estimate. Rather than being left in nature, where their chances of survival are small. “I am convinced that if we leave the lobsters in nature, only 0.2% can grow into maturity. In other words, only 20% of the exported larvae will grow into adulthood. In contrast, if we farm them it can reach 30% and this can be done traditionally,” he explained. 

Farmers rejoice 

Separately, Politician and former Deputy Speaker of the House Fahri Hamzah agreed with Edhy’s policy. According to him, fishermen welcomed this policy with great joy because it will revive their enterprise and a tradition of catching lobster larvae that has been going on for generations. “Since elementary school I have witnessed fishermen catching larvae in the sea like groupers and lobsters. I always looked forward to lobster-spawning season with excitement which extend to entire fishing communities. Therefore, this policy should be supported by the government, in this case Minister Edhy, must communicate well so that it is well received by the public,” Fahri explained. 

“My argument is how can we allow extraction of minerals which is formed after millions of years from the crust of our green earth, while we ban the harvesting of lobster larvae that are spawned every day where one lobster can produce thousands of larvae? How can we allow mining which needs heavy equipment to be funded by conglomerates while we forbid lobster larvae harvesting that can be done with simple equipment made of cement paper by our fishermen? How can we ban something that provides a livelihood to hundreds of thousands of our fishermen on our coastline while allowing destructive mining industry which only enriches a small clique of people with massive capital? This is an important argument that we should forward to the Minister,” he continued. 

This policy should form an ecosystem and it should be under discussion that there are no healthy fishermen if there are no risk-taking entrepreneurs. Let’s not forget that the fishermen live by cash and carry. But traders or collectors, both for farming and trading also take a big risk, because the transportation of lobster larvae from the sea to the farm let alone overseas carries a risk of becoming damaged, changing color to yellow or black which lowers the price or even the death of the larvae which renders them worthless. So the risk taken by entrepreneurs is a key element in the whole ecosystem of a healthy lobster farming supply chain. 

So we must look at this policy, in the interests of fishermen and the ecosystem. “I would defend this export argument as benefitting the fishermen first. Then it would also generate non-tax state revenue (PNBP) which otherwise would not happen when there is a black market, because it will be a prevalence for bribery. This is more destructive. So, I think with the formal opening of the larvae export will hopefully discourage smuggling and enable the country to generate additional tax revenue. So I hope Minister Edhy can argue from a scientific standpoint, get the message across to the public, especially those who are not fishermen,” Fahri advised.

Fahri continued, lobster larvae export is a natural consequence of the lobster harvesting conducted by Indonesian fishermen for generations. These fishermen, estimated to be around 150,000, live on Indonesia’s massive coastlines and harvest lobster larvae using a simple piece of equipment called “pocong”. They scatter the net pouch covered by used cement wrapper which they cut up and shape like a fan them along the coastline before sunset. The pouches are then submerged so that lobster larvae will attach themselves to it. The following day after dawn prayer, the pocong are collected and they can sell the catch of the day to survive. That’s why they need buyers, i.e. the lobster farmers. After the farmers have enough of what they need, the remainder can be sold to other countries, because there is a huge demand. “So this is a policy that should be taken long ago because that is the life cycle of Indonesian lobster fishermen from a long time ago and we all must be thankful that finally what those fishermen dream of has been restored,” he said.

Extinction is fictitious

Based on a study, only 0.2% of lobster larvae are able to survive in the wild, because 99.8% would be killed by the sweeping currents or eaten by fishes that mistake them for plankton. If they are caught by fishermen it’s kind of being rescued, lifted, bred, kept and sold to be raised and a year later they become mature and consumable. This is valid research that must be defended by the government as the policymaker. On the positive note, fishermen can improve their welfare and lobster larvae can also make it to maturity.

“In response to the argument that if lobster larvae are exported, they will become extinct, on the contrary the research says that harvesting larvae from the wild will save them. Scientific arguments must take precedence. I’m afraid that the policy of the previous Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister was not made based on science but instead of particular interest. Scientifically, the extinction of lobster larvae is a fiction. We eat lobster very rarely, but we eat beef and mutton almost every day but there is no looming extinction of cows and goats. So, we must look at it from the scientific standpoint,” said Fahri.

Lobster ecology

Lobster researcher Bayu Priambodo explained that the future of provisions, including seafood, will come from aquaculture. The future of lobsters is in the farming of the crustacean. However, people need to know that it involves a complex process; thus, we need to build a supply chain from upstream to downstream. Lobster farming is unique, including in the “partial life-cycle farming”, meaning that the supply of larvae still relies on natural catches, which is then used for the breeding industry.

According to Bayu, many people still think that if you harvest lobster larvae from nature, it will lead to extinction. This way of thinking is inaccurate. On the contrary, it is precisely what causes extinction if egg-carrying female lobsters are caught. Captured larvae will not disrupt its life cycle. Lobsters spawn every year, in the range of tens of thousands to millions of eggs. One female lobster can spawn at least twice per year, and the number of eggs depends on the type and weight of lobster. For example, female pearl lobsters weighing 2 kg can produce up to 3 million larvae.

To manage this lobster resource, we must understand the biological and ecological aspects of the species itself. In the nature, once the eggs hatch into larvae, they are fully at the mercy of ocean current movement. The distribution of lobster seeds in nature is divided into two, namely non-sinking (source) and sinking population. The so-called non-sinking population is the spread of lobster seeds throughout Indonesian waters. But they are in low abundance. This population correlates very strongly with the adult population. That is, from every 1,000 lobsters larvae, only one will grow into an adult. With non-sink population, technically they cannot be caught because they are spread out and is in low abundance. In contrast, sinking population is lobster seeds that are in very high abundance and are concentrated in limited areas. This sinking population occurs due to natural phenomena, such as local current patterns and natural conditions in the region, making the lobster larvae gather at certain points in a very high density, but the adult population is very small. Like that in southern Java sea and Southwest Nusa Tenggara.

Lobster seeds that are unlikely to become extinct are the ones caught from the sinking population, because it does not supply a significant adult lobster population. Surely when we talk about species extinction, we must refer to the authority in this field namely the official international institution called The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This body regularly issues a red list of endangered species. And lobsters are included in the low-risk category (Least Concern – LC). That is a category designated by IUCN for species which does not belong in any of the other categories.

In the animal trade regulation which refers to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) consensus which has the authority to regulate trade of endangered animals and plants, lobster is not included in the Appendix II, meaning that lobster can still be widely traded. So, we should not be surprised if all over the world lobsters are traded freely. The fact that there are regulations such as when to catch, minimum size and species that can be caught, these are all managed for the sake of sustainability. So the paradigm should be to regulate, not prohibit.

Bayu explained, as a rough estimation, that to farm lobsters in a square plot of net requires 200 seeds. The number of bamboo rafts (karamba) in Indonesia, the highest of which is in Lombok is 6,750 plots (as of March 2020). This means that the seeds needed for the aquaculture industry amount to at least 2 million per year. In comparison, the supply of lobster seeds in nature is not more than 1 million larvae per day. In other words, it would only take two days to meet the domestic lobster farming industry needs for larvae.

“For the past five years, lobster farming in Indonesia has been banned. Thus, the capacity of lobster farming in Indonesia certainly still needs to be increased. The farmers’ level of technical skills and mentality also needs to be upgraded. When compared with that of Vietnamese lobster farmers, who have been farming lobsters for 30-35 years, surely we must acknowledge the superiority of lobster farmers in our neighboring country,” Bayu said.

Currently, the supply of lobster seeds is 365-416 million per year but domestic demand is only 2 million per year. Meanwhile, there is a huge export market and many of our fishermen need to earn a livelihood. “I would say that the development of domestic farming is definitely priority number one because the future of food supply is in aquaculture. But of course we must also be realistic. To build an aquaculture industry, especially lobster, is not something that can be done overnight. It is impossible to have lobster farming without a feed industry and building the knowledge and skills of the farmers. Not to mention, not all places are suitable lobster farming,” Bayu argued.

Today, the feed for lobster farming still relies on natural feed. In the future, artificial feed manufacturers are certainly needed in developing the country’s lobster farming industry. A good lobster feed consists of three types – trash fish, crustaceans and molluscs. The composition will vary according to the size of the lobster being farmed. When the lobster seeds are still small, they must be fed a lot of crustaceans with a composition of 60% over trash fish. When they weigh around 50 grams and above, the percentage of trash fish will be increased. The time it takes to grow, from larvae to about 200 -300 grams (ready for consumption) is 12-14 months.

Another challenge is the FCR (Feeding Conversion Ratio). Lobster FCR is very high, ranging from 16 to 25. Or you can say the average is 20. That is, to produce 1 kg of lobster, you will need 20 kg of feed. Imagine, if you are going to produce 1,000 tons of lobster, you have to prepare 20,000 tons of feed during the growth cycle.

Regarding the implementation of ministerial regulation No.12/2020 on the development of farming and export of lobsters larvae, would-be exporters are required to farm in a sustainable fashion and restock 2% of the population (higher than previously minimum 1%). The ceiling and floor price of lobster seeds from fishermen has also been set.

With the resumption of the lobster seed export in the era of Minister Edhy, anyone could register for export, including cooperatives, but before that they have to farm the lobster first and meet other requirements. “I myself who grew up with lobster fishermen and lobster farmers only wish for one thing, that they should be the ones who greatly benefit from this natural resources, which can generate prosperity for our people, especially fishermen and the coastal communities. Let’s end this prolonged polemic, focus our energy on developing lobster cultivation in the country through concrete steps. We hope that in the near future we can gradually increase the demand for lobster seeds to supply the domestic lobster farming industry and the rest can be exported,” he said optimistically. (Dessy Aipipidely and Ekawati)

Is Indonesia Facing a Looming Food Crisis?

(Photo: Prive. Doc)

Indonesia’s food security has become a focal point as the impact of COVID-19 reverberates across the archipelago. 

IO – Even before the emergence of COVID-19, Indonesia’s food security has long been a source of concern due to the country’s reliance on staple food imports to meet domestic demand for commodities such as sugar, rice, corn, and beef. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the wide-ranging health and economic impacts of COVID-19 have put pressure on the already fragile system and thrust the issue of food security back into Indonesia’s political discourse. 

The issue of food security in Indonesia re-emerged at the national level on April 28, when during a video conference with cabinet ministers, regional leaders, and the head of the Regional Development Planning Agency, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced that provinces across the country were experiencing deficits in key staples, such as rice, garlic, sugar, chili peppers, eggs, and corn. In an effort to emphasize the seriousness of these deficits, Jokowi cited observations made by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which claimed that the global disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic could cause food shortages around the world. Although Jokowi’s remarks were cast as a warning rather than as a foregone conclusion, his identification and call to action on the issues of supply, distribution, and price indicates that the threat of a looming food shortage in Indonesia is very real. 

In Indonesia, the domestic food supply has long been supplemented by imports despite longstanding calls for self-sufficiency. This reliance on the import of key staples is largely attributed to the country’s poor domestic production which has failed to keep up with the country’s increasing population. If we look at rice as an example, which is by far Indonesia’s most important and widely consumed staple, we can see that annual production in Indonesia has been in decline since 2016, with a drop of 7.75 percent in 2018-2019 alone. In 2019, Indonesia’s domestic rice production reached 31.31 million tons, which only just outstripped demand of 29.6 million tons, requiring surplus stocks to be imported from Vietnam, India, and Myanmar. 

While food imports have long provided Indonesia with a security net to help meet and buffer domestic demand, the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted access to this important lifeline through disruptions to international supply chains and distribution networks. Moreover, several of Indonesia’s import supply markets, such as Vietnam and India, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic placed restrictions on exports or hesitated to sign export contracts due to global distribution disruptions. At present, Indonesia’s food procurement and distribution agency, Bulog, revealed that the country’s moderate position in the wake of Ramadan and the May harvest will see domestic rice stocks at 7 million tons. However, with rice consumption sitting at an estimated 7.9 million tons over the period of February to May, it is easy to see how the country’s rice stocks could face significant supply challenges in the coming months, particularly with the ongoing difficulties around imports. 

While the Indonesian government faces serious challenges around supply, the current state of the country’s food distribution network also poses a serious risk to Indonesia’s food security. The implementation of both official and unofficial strict social distancing policies across Indonesia has interrupted the country’s logistics and distribution networks. At the local level, reports have emerged of villages imposing their own quarantine policies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As a result, transportation vehicles have been prevented from entering these communities and have therefore been unable to transport harvested crops to processing, warehousing, and/or distribution centers. At the regency level, some local governments have banned harvested food from leaving their regions in an effort to stabilize food prices. Similarly, at the provincial level, strict social distancing policies have seen processing, warehousing, and distribution centers face supply gluts as they struggle to transport food to market due to a lack of available logistics personnel and extensive road blocks. Consequently, both domestically produced and imported food is struggling to reach Indonesia’s large urban centers and regions that rely on domestic imports. 

The compounding impact of COVID-19-related supply and distribution issues are simultaneously exerting upward and downward price pressures at different points in the supply chain for key staples, such as rice, chili peppers, sugar, and cooking oil. The supply glut at Indonesia’s warehousing, processing, and distribution centers has caused the purchase price of staple crops from farmers to decline by 5 percent. The core concern here is that low crop prices will see farmers unable to recoup their capital from this harvest and reinvest for their next harvest. Such an outcome could have dire consequences for Indonesia’s food security, as the Indonesian government is banking on increased domestic production to cover the predicted import shortfall. The other risk around rising food prices must be seen in relation to Indonesia’s deteriorating economy and rising unemployment. There is concern that rising food prices and increasing individual financial hardship could lead to social unrest if people are unable to afford to feed themselves and their families. Such an outcome could lead to panic and instability that could potentially spread across the archipelago 

Cognizant of the potential risks at play, the Indonesian government has attempted to deal with the issues of food supply, distribution, and price head on. For supply issues, Jokowi has called on the relevant ministers and government agencies to accurately calculate food stocks to identify which regions are suffering shortfalls. Jokowi hopes that accurate stock figures will allow the government to effectively monitor the situation and strategically direct food should supply become an immediate issue. In addition, Jokowi also issued a presidential regulation in early April, easing import restrictions for specific food imports. In alleviating the country’s distribution issues, Jokowi has called for the country’s food distribution network to be exempted from regional social distancing policies. The Ministry of Trade has also engaged the Indonesian e-hailing service, Gojek, to help address the country’s widespread food distribution problems. In respect of easing food prices, particularly the price paid to farmers for commodities, such as rice, Jokowi has announced a targeted social welfare program that will distribute $19.45 a month in cash payments and subsidies to 2.4 million farmers to help them maintain their future harvest sizes. In addition, Jokowi has also ordered Bulog to purchase rice directly from farmers in an attempt to boost government supply and help farmers’ financial position. The Indonesian government hopes that the combination of these policies will keep market prices from rising in the country’s urban centers and nonagricultural regions. 

Ultimately, Indonesia’s food security rests on the ability to overcome the aforementioned issues around supply, distribution, and price. As each of these issues is interlinked and dependent on the other, it is fundamental that each of them is properly and effectively resolved. In the immediate short term, it seems that Indonesia’s current food stocks should see supply meet demand in the coming months; however, should the government’s policies fail to resolve the risks mentioned above, limited food supply and high food prices may create a breeding ground for social unrest that could threaten the stability of Indonesia. (Marcus Tantau)

The President appoints Prabowo to lead the national food security sector

President Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has concluded a work visit to Central Kalimantan to inspect sites for the COVID-19 Mitigation Post and food estate. In this visit, Jokowi was accompanied by Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto. To quote the formal statement made in the Cabinet Secretariat’s official Instagram account @Sekretariat.Kabinet, the first site they inspected for the new food reserve outside of Java Island was located in Bentuk Jaya Village, District of Dadahup, Regency of Kapuas. President Joko Widodo has appointed Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto as the sector leader for National Food Security. Prabowo will manage food strategic reserves. 

“We are assigning this task to Mr. Minister of Defense. Naturally, he will be supported by Mr. Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo and Mr. Public Works and Public Housing Basuki Hadimuljono,” Jokowi said at Pulang Pisau, Central Kalimantan, on Thursday, 9 July 2020. 

Jokowi hopes that Indonesia will be able to avoid food crisis with the existence of this strategic reserve. The Food and Agriculture Organization (“FAO”) predicts that there will be a global food crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In this work visit, the President was also accompanied by Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo, Head of the Presidential Staff Moeldoko, Head of the President’s Secretariat Heru Budi Hartono, the President’s Military Secretary Major General of the Armed Forces Suharyanto, Commandant of the President’s Guards Corps Major General of the Armed Forces Maruli Simanjuntak, and Deputy of Protocol, Press, and Media of the President’s Secretariat Bey Machmudin. 

The President has assigned MoD Prabowo Subianto to help with the management of the food reserve. Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Sufmi Dasco Ahmad said that the food reserve is crucial in order to prevent our country from being dependent on others. A food reserve is also part of national defense: “Food reserve is part of food security, while food is a strategic part of logistic reserves. We need such reserves in order to ensure Indonesia’s food sovereignty and prevent us from dependence on other countries for our food,” he said at the Parliamentary Complex, Senayan, Jakarta, on Thursday (09/07/2020). “This is why President Jokowi appointed Mr. Prabowo, because food is strongly related to our defense.” 

The MoD’s Spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak confirmed that Prabowo accompanied Jokowi in the work visit to inspect food estate site in Central Kalimantan. After all, issues relating to national food reserve are in the domain of the Minister of Defense – as well as other ministries. “The food estate that we are planning to build in Central Kalimantan will become Indonesia’s food logistics reserve. Its management will be handled by several ministries, including the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing, under the Ministry of Defense as the leading sector,” he said. 

Dahnil further said that the food estate “…is the Government’s effort to prepare for possible non-military threats in the future in the form of food logistic wars. This is why Prabowo accompanied him on the visit,” he said. 

Gerindra Spokesman Habiburokhman gave the reason for Prabowo ‘s involvement in food security by mentioning that the Minister has been guiding the Indonesian Agriculture Association’s Forum (Himpunan Kerukunan Tani Indonesia – “HKTI”) for a long time to prepare for something like this. He also mentioned Prabowo’s military background and his relation to food issues. “As a soldier, Mr. Prabowo knows well how important food is to the defense of a nation,” he said. “In my frequent discussions with him, he always says that soldiers calculate food supplies, not just weaponry, before battles.” (Dsy)

Observer: “Jokowi need not be reluctant to reshuffle Cabinet”

Siti Zuhro, Senior Researcher of the Indonesian Institution of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia – “LIPI”). (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Siti Zuhro, Senior Researcher of the Indonesian Institution of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia – “LIPI”), interprets President Joko Widodo’s anger towards his ministers in a recent Cabinet Meeting as a strong signal that the President is aware of the people’s dissatisfaction with his helpers in the Indonesia Onward Cabinet. It is highly unusual for a humble, unflappable Jokowi to actually express anger – but he has discovered that his ministers do not work as expected. His anger is understandable, as he notes that his ministers do not possess a sense of crisis amid the difficult situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He even went as far as to say that “I will take any extraordinary measures needed for the sake of our 267 million citizens! I don’t even care if I should lose my political reputation for this. For the sake of the State, I can simply disband institutions, I can simply reshuffle. My mind has gone through many avenues,” Jokowi stated in a video broadcast by the President’s Secretariat on Sunday (28/06/2020). 

Responding to the video of Jokowi angry during a cabinet meeting that went viral , Siti said that Jokowi as a Head of State need not be reluctant to dismantle his Cabinet if he is dissatisfied with his assistants’ performance. After all, it is his second tenure as RI 1. “Jokowi is already aware that the people are dissatisfied with the Government, even to the level of asking what work has the Government been doing. Since it is already his second term, the President need not feel pakewuh (Javanese: reluctance or hesitance due to courtesy),” she said on Sunday (05/07/2020). 

As for the plan to reshuffle ministers, Siti said that Jokowi’s political parties must accept when any minister of their cadre gets dismissed. “Political parties must simply accept if their portion of ministerial positions is reduced. It would be good if the party has a stock of expert cadres in the relevant field,” she said. “They must also submit to have their ministers’ performance in the Cabinet evaluated.” 

Siti criticizes a number of ministerial positions recently brought under the spotlight. “Not just for health and socio-economic issues, we also need to recruit the right person to take care of our education. Let’s not do any more experimentation – we don’t have time for trial and error,” she said. 

General Secretary of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan – “PDIP”) Hasto Kristiyanto stated that the Party is ready to sacrifice itself for President Joko Widodo to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. “PDIP will also act as the President’s shield when facing any groups that provoke citizens, taking advantage amid chaos, and disturbing the peace,” he said in Jakarta last week. 

Siti further stated that the PDIP’s stance of full support of Jokowi’s decisions made in order to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic should be followed by other parties. “PDIP shows a positive attitude – it means that it really supports the President as one of his supporting parties. The Party at least provides competent officials for ministerial positions,” she said. 

The Right Moment 

Meanwhile, Chairman of PDIP’s Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”), Hendrawan Supratikno, said that President Jokowi evaluates the performance of his ministers regularly and consistently, especially from March to June 2020. During this period, Indonesia faces the COVID-19 pandemic, which required extra work from the Government to mitigate. “In other words, this is the right momentum to evaluate the ministers’ leadership and performance. It’s only natural to evaluate work, to see whether plans are done accordingly or not. It’s weird not to hold evaluation, really, especially in such extraordinary condition. Such situations require firm, clear, creative, and innovative actions. The President merely wants to direct his assistants’ mindset to do the same,” he said on Friday (03/07/2020). 

President Jokowi’s evaluation is meant to synergize the work of ministers when mitigating COVID-19. Therefore, all political parties that have ministerial representation in the Indonesia Onward Cabinet should submit to having their cadres evaluated. “That’s an automatic and prerogative right of the President. When a person is appointed as a minister, they must be ready to fall under public scrutiny, to be constantly evaluated. They must be ready to be given a red-ink report when they perform poorly, and to be praised when they do well,” Hendrawan said. 

Hendrawan reiterates that PDIP will always support any step and policy taken by President Jokowi in the effort to mitigate the pandemic. PDIP and its cadres, whether those who are in the legislative council or who are regional heads, consistently manage the political stance of supporting the people. “A person who becomes a regional head must support the people. PDIP only reminds its cadres that our work is national work, our politics is for the sake of the people. The DPP issues instructions nearly weekly to motivate cadres to give their best for the people,” he said. . (dan) 

Setting a Presidential Threshold to build Democracy

Fahri Bachmid, State Administration Law expert from the Indonesian Muslim University (Universitas Muslim Indonesia – “UMI”) in Makassar. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – A number of people consider a presidential threshold of 20% to fundamentally run counter to the spirit of democracy and to the constitution. This threshold only extends to presidential candidates who win at least 20% of total seats in the House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat – “DPR”), or 25% of national legal votes during the previous legislative elections. If this ruling is kept in the 2024 Elections, only one or two presidential candidates will be eligible to participate in the upcoming political contest. This means that other candidates the Party supports would not have a chance from the very start. 

Universitas Muslim Indonesia – “UMI” (Indonesian Muslim University), Makassar expert in state administration Fahri Bachmid, believes that it is high time for the presidential threshold to be adjusted for the 2024 Elections and all subsequent elections. He believes that it would eliminate the monopoly of parties that can submit presidential candidates in subsequent elections. “It’s time for us to leave the paradigm of party monopoly when submitting Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. Let the people choose among many candidates; let us stop oligarchic political practices, in order to establish truly substantial democracy,” he said in the recent webinar titled “Election Draft Laws and Presidential Threshold from a Constitutional Perspective”. 

Fahri stated that the people yearn for a bigger “menu” of quality statesmen for presidential candidates. Therefore, the system should be more accommodating and allow for alternative presidential candidates form political parties as mandated by the Constitution. A presidential threshold of 20% is contrary the spirit of the Constitution and it is also unconstitutional. “If we continue to maintain this presidential threshold norms and procedures in the upcoming Election Draft Law, and some citizens wish to challenge that ruling to the Courts, we naturally hope that the Supreme Court as the guardian of the Constitution can change its stance. We hope that the Supreme Court would stop tolerating violations to the Constitution by State administrators, including the DPR and the Government who are formulating this Draft Law,” he said. 

The constitutional design for electing President and Vice President as regulated in Article 6A Paragraph (2) of the Constitution of RI of 1945 stated that “The President and Vice President Candidates are suggested by political parties or political party coalitions participating in the Elections before the Elections are held.” Article 22.E Paragraph (2) stipulates that Elections are held to select members of the DPR of RI, the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah – “DPD”) of RI, President and Vice President, and Regional House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah – “DPRD”) of RI. Paragraph (3) of the same Article stipulates that electoral participants for the selection of members of DPR and DPRD are political parties. Fahri reiterates that the construction such a Presidential Election system constitutionally cannot be interpreted otherwise, using the presidential threshold ruling as stipulated in Article 222 of Law Number 7 of 2017. The latter rules that Presidential Candidate Pairs suggested by political parties or political party coalitions participating in the Election must satisfy the requirement of having at least 20% of seats in the DPR or 25% of national legal votes during the previous legislative elections. Therefore, it is important that the candidacy threshold for Presidents and Vice Presidents be adjusted. It is a sincere effort to uphold the principle of Indonesia as a democratic law-based country, and to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution as part of the principle of constitutionalism. 

Weakening Political Parties 

Similarly, Executive Director of the Forum for Elections and Democracy (Perkumpulan untuk Pemilu dan Demokrasi – “Perludem”) Titi Anggraini believes that a presidential threshold triggers oligarchy, as well as weakening political parties. “It makes it harder for us to establish and maintain democratic parties. It also pushes our electoral process further and further from being idea-based elections,” she said in a recent virtual discussion titled “Presidential Threshold and Oligarchic Powers”. 

Titi further stated that presidential threshold will also further restrict women’s participation in politics, and strengthen the potential for transactional politics and pragmatical politics. “Therefore, if we want to hold elections that actually provide space for the nation’s best candidates, for the nation’s best sons and daughters, we don’t have a choice but to eliminate presidential threshold. That way, we would at least seal one gate of oligarchy. We can support this by creating Election Draft Law that further strengthen the proportionality of our political system,” she said. 

Titi states that we need to monitor the Election Draft Law which the DPR RI is creating together. “This is because even though from the name it seems that the Draft Law will only be regulating “elections”, the implications of the rulings in this Draft Law will absolutely affect how we run the country. The output of elections itself will also affect the power of oligarchy in our country, i.e. whether it will become stronger, or whether the powers of the State will actually be used for the best interest of the people,” she said. 

Universitas Al Azhar Indonesia – “UAI”( Al Azhar Indonesia University ) political observer Ujang Komarudin stated that he would prefer to have the presidential threshold be lowered, than to have it be totally eliminated. “I would prefer a reduction of the threshold, for example from 20% to 10%. It would be wiser that way, because if we totally eliminate the threshold, irregular parties can also submit candidates for presidency,” he said. (dan) 

Prabowo on receiving Airlangga’s visit: “We want a dynamic but peaceful democracy”

General Chairman of Functional Groups (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party, Airlangga Hartarto, met with the General Chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party Prabowo Subianto at the latter’s home in Jalan Kertanegara IV, South Jakarta, on Monday (06/07/2020). (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – The confirmation that Simultaneous Regional Elections will be held in December 2020 has a number of political parties scrambling for consolidation. Last week, the General Chairman of Democrat Party Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono visited the General Chairman of Functional Groups (Golongan Karya – “Golkar”) Party Airlangga Hartarto. Now, it is Airlangga’s turn to go meet the General Chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement (Gerakan Indonesia Raya – “Gerindra”) Party Prabowo Subianto. The latter met up at Prabowo’s Private premises in Jalan Kertanegara IV, South Jakarta, on Monday (06/07/2020) for about an hour. In the meeting, Prabowo was accompanied by Gerindra’s General Secretary Ahmad Muzani and General Vice Chairmen Sufmi Dasco Ahmad and Sugiono. Airlangga was accompanied by Azis Syamsuddin, Nurul Arifin, Meutya Hafidz, Kahar Muzakkir, and Adies Kadier. 

After having hosted his counterpart in Golkar Party, Prabowo stated that the meeting was one between two friends and two political parties – between the two national parties, Golkar and Gerindra. These two parties work together in the Government coalition for the Indonesia Onwards Cabinet of President Joko Widodo’s administration. “We discussed issues relating to nationalism, strategic relations, and future possible cooperation between us during Regional Elections,” he said. 

Prabowo further stated that Gerindra and Golkar agree to form a coalition for the December 2020 Simultaneous Regional Elections in some regions, and not in others. “There is no problem with that, because this is Indonesia’s democracy and it is filled with the spirit of brotherhood. Competitions and differences are common occurrences, but in the end, we are all committed to the integrity of the nation and the interests of the State. We want an active and dynamic but peaceful democracy,” he said. 

Multiple Similarities 

Continuing, Airlangga stated that the meeting was a return visit to the one recently made by Gerindra’s General Chairman to the Central Leadership Council (Dewan Pimpinan Pusat – “DPP”) of the Golkar Party. “We are very happy to visit Mr. Prabowo’s Private premises in such a brotherly ambience. Both Golkar and Gerindra are in the Government to support the Indonesia Onward Cabinet. Naturally, under the circumstance of COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we maintain political stability. This is done by maintaining good relations between Government parties,” he said. 

Airlangga stated that he exchanged numerous strategic ideas with Gerindra’s General Chairman and staff that afternoon, relating to geo-political and Regional Election issues. The two parties share similarities and differences in the Regional Elections. “As Mr. Prabowo has said, differences in Regional Elections are normal and natural. One thing for sure – we agree that we will support each other and maintain our friendship, maintain NKRI integrity and fight for its development. That’s more similarities than differences,” he said. 

Airlangga further stated that his party will continue to maintain communications and relations with all other political parties, including Gerindra. “We actually communicate informally quite a bit in the Cabinet. However, this time it is about maintaining good relations between the Golkar Faction and the Gerindra Faction,” he said. (Dan)

Indah Warsetio: Building personal branding & educating through coaching

Indah Warsetio. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Indah Warsetio started her career 17 years ago. Since then, she has worked in various industries. This gives her the necessary skills for optimizing the development of HR potential. Before that, she came to Jakarta from a small town to further her education in Communications, specifically in Public Relations. What she learned in college spurred her to delve deeper into this science. When she graduated, Indah started as a sales and marketing staff member at Mugi Rekso Abadi (MRA), Indonesia’s biggest entertainment corporation. She specialized in lifestyle and entertainment sales for international giants like Walt Disney and Warner Bros. 

Indah’s first experience roused in her a love of the business world in general, and sales and marketing in particular. She is committed to improving her performance by polishing her image and building a network of trust throughout her career. Knowing that sales and marketing is the backbone of any company, she became interested in learning more about it and how to establish a solid sales and marketing strategic system. The longer she works in the field, the better she gets at the necessary skills required to achieve the Company’s target: improving how to communicate, how to negotiate, and projecting a strong visual image that wins competitions and achieves amazing targets. Her journey to train her strength and skills to what they are now has been a long one. Indah’s experiences brought many changes into her way of thinking and acting, to her attitudes. 

The world of sales & marketing is full of challenges. How a sales and marketing officer is able to affect the audience and make them desire what they offer is an art in itself. This is why Indah decided to further her knowledge and upgrade her skills in personal branding: the strength of any business lies within the quality of the people in it. The stronger the people and the more skillful they are, the more they bring in victory after victory for their Company. 

This is what spurs Indah to seek by herself all science and knowledge that can help a person to form a strong character. As she believes that a person’s strength lies in their perspective and thought patterns, Indah starts to learn self-development more deeply. The first certificate that she earned was for Personality Mapping from Stifin Institute. To gain it, she learned how the brain works, and how to recognize the unique and different strengths and advantages each individual mind has. When a person optimizes their own personal power, they are able to amaze each other. In order to be able to do so, they must be able to see themselves properly. To complement her knowledge, Indah gained a certification in Personal Image from AICI in Chicago, USA. With these two certificates, she became entrusted as a trainer and consultant who helps many employees in various companies improve themselves. 

Indah is now the Director of Versi Dinamika Kreasindo, an event and media agency company that she established in 2013. It has since evolved into a training and coaching provider. She also has a fashion retail business, as fashion is an important part of personal image and branding. She educates others in fashion by publishing Versi Magazine, a print magazine currently available in digital form. Journalism is an important world that helps her focus on her desire to inspire the nation. Indah is also the host presenter of the Perempuan Kita (“Our Women”) TV program, which is live streamed on Nusantara TV every Wednesday and Friday at 17.03 WIB. 

As for coaching, Indah is also a mentor and coach in the national musical talent incubation program at Trinity Optima Production. She has also helped corporate executives, professionals, and business owners create their own personal branding according to their individual personality strengths. She helps them change their careers, social levels, and appearance to match better what they are inside. “‘Personal branding’ is not about ‘showing off’ your skills. It’s more about how you ‘sell yourself’, how you showcase your innate qualities to others so that people will continue to consider you according to your worth at work. Creating personal branding requires a clear concept of ‘self’, which will allow you to project yourself clearly before others,” she said. “I always say this in any seminar or training I hold: By building personal branding, you train yourselves to be tough, persistent, and optimistic so that you will always find a way out – in your own way. They key of strong personal branding is consistency towards a positive self-image that generates good performance and provides benefits for others.” (Dsy)

Prev-Prom as a starting point for revamping the National Health Insurance (JKN) ecosystem

Timboel Siregar BPJS Watch Advocacy Coordinator

IO – COVID-19 has hit all aspects of global life and especially the Indonesian people. The economy and business were so badly-affected; world economic growth continued to slow down and showed negative values, including that of Indonesia, whose economic growth rate in the second quarter was minus. 

Certainly, the number of COVID-19 infected in Indonesia continues to show an increasing trend, while the slowing condition of the Indonesian economy has resulted in layoffs for workers and workers who have been discharged without payment. Overcoming COVID-19 problems and economic problems simultaneously and continuously becomes a necessity for the Government of Indonesia. The transition to life in the new normal has only become an option to revive the economy by promoting health protocols. 

Prioritizing health protocols means that the main core of this transition period is living healthily by promoting prevention and promoting healthy living, commonly referred to as health preventive and promotive (Prev-Prom). The entire community, including business people and workers must be able to live healthily to avoid COVID-19 so that the production wheel continues to spin and the community’s economy can recover quickly. 

With the momentum o f COVID-19, this is indeed the time for the Government to focus more on Prev-Prom health. The public is invited and re-taught to be able to live healthily by prioritizing prevention. In terms of National Health Insurance (JKN) implementation, this will be the starting point for its ecosystem’s improvement. So far, the chaotic JKN is only seen from the curative side without ever looking upstream, namely Prev-Prom. 

When looking at data on visits to health facilities for JKN participants from year to year, there is an increasing trend. In 2018 the number of visits to health facilities was 233.9 million visits or 640,821 uses per calendar day. This number jumped significantly in 2019 to 433.44 million visits or 1,187,506 uses per calendar day. This figure shows two things, first, JKN has opened access to health insurance to the people very well, secondly, the increasing amount of utilization proves that the Prev-Prom program is not going well so that our society is increasingly being treated for being ill (curative). 

Of course, with the increasing number of people being treated because of the failure of Prev-Prom, the problems in the JKN ecosystem will be increasingly difficult to correct. The main problems of the JKN ecosystem are in three areas, namely, Membership, Services and Health Facilities, and Financing will be more complex if Prev-Prom is not taken seriously by the Government. With the number of hospitals collaborating not significantly increasing, while the uses of JKN are increasing, this will affect the service issues that JKN participants have complained about so far. Services that do not improve have an impact on future JKN financing. 

The low perception and awareness of the Government and the National Health Insurance (BPJS) in seeing Prev-Prom can be measured from the budget allocated. Budgets are shrunken only because perspectives and perceptions of Prev-Prom are low. The JKN program so far has only been seen as merely curative. Of the total realized costs in the JKN 2019 of IDR 108 trillion, the realization of the Prev-Prom budget was only IDR 499 billion, or less than 0.5%. In 2020, from the Annual Activity and Budget Plan, the National Health Insurance has IDR 111.24 trillion in its budget, while for health preventive and promotion is only budgeted at IDR 584 billion, or still around 0.5%. 

The Government and the National Health Insurance (Health BPJS) should have a breakthrough and creativity to support the improvement of the Prev-Prom program in the JKN program, which synergizes with the Prev-Prom program organized by the Ministry of Health. After being appointed Minister of Health, Dr. Terawan promised to return the essence of the existence of the Community Health Center (Puskesmas), which is more on health Prev-Prom. But until now the promise has not been realized. It is time for the Puskesmas to be returned to carry out Prev-Prom tasks. Doctors may have to go around to see the health conditions of the people, including their homes, to see sanitation and other environmental conditions, or other actions so that public health is even better. 

Prev-Prom together with curative and rehabilitative programs are mandated by Article 22, paragraph (1) of the National Social Security Act, but the Board of Directors of the National Health Insurance (Health BPJS) is not qualified to interpret Pre-Prom in terms of its budget and program. Therefore, it needs significant improvement from within the Health BPJS itself. 

Soon, in February 2021, the Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees of the health BPJS for the period of 2016 – 2021 will finish their term of service. The selection process for the new Board of Directors for the period 2021 – 2026 will begin rolling in August 2020. Hopefully, the Selection Committee will be able to explore the knowledge, vision, and mission of the candidates for Directors and Supervisory Board of the Health BPJS for this Prev-Prom problem, so that the new Directors will be able to better articulate Prev-Prom in their programs and budgets. 

With a quality Pre-Prom, the three areas of JKN ecosystem problems will be easier to fix. A qualified JKN ecosystem will support the implementation of better JKN for all Indonesian people. 

Welcoming “the New Normal”, Telkomsel consistently provides optimal customer service

(Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – The current global pandemic of COVID-19 is causing systematic changes for many people in carrying out their daily activities. Further, since the enactment of the Large- Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB) in several areas, especially in Jabotabek-West Java and the emphasis on “stay at home”, a new trend appears. Movement of people is increasingly restricted and the home becomes the center of all family member activities. Work from Home (WFH), School from Home (SFH), etc. has become a new habit and normal, where the time limit between working (working), taking care of family and running parenting tasks to children (living) and enjoy leisure time (playing ) is becoming increasingly blurred. 

Telkomsel West Area Executive Vice President Agus Setia Budi said that during the pandemic and welcoming the “the New Normal” era, Telkomsel reliably strives to present its best products and services to customers. “The COVID-19 pandemic not only changes individuals in life but also how a company and business can survive and continue to meet the needs of the community. Telkomsel is not only a connectivity enabler but can also provide added value in the fields of education, business, and entertainment,” he said. 

As a leading digital telco company, Telkomsel continues to innovate and adapt its various products and services to meet customer needs. Included in the new normal era as exists today, Telkomsel continues to move forward by presenting customer-centric solutions both in the retail segment (B2C) and in the business segment (B2B), such as CloudX virtual meeting services to support business and education, to a variety of products, digital services such as bundling access to online learning sites, access to video on demand (Maxstream), music, and games. 

The use of Telkomsel’s customer data or payload services in the Jabotabek-West Java operational area during the pandemic increased sharply, to 16%, in early May. The use of CloudX virtual meeting services has also seen a very high increase reaching 1100% since the launch of the product in March 2020. While video streaming services are up 5%, and mobile gaming is up 19%, where these services are widely used by customers to fill entertainment needs during #Just at home. Specifically for digital platforms, Telkomsel services such as Maxstream rose by 68% and World Games rose by 460% when compared to those in the days before the pandemic. 

Telkomsel has carried out 9,200 network capacity building actions to anticipate the surge in traffic and high data payload, especially in residential or densely-populated areas, at COVID-19 referral hospitals, and other vital public areas. A total of 5250 Telkomsel BTS in the Jabotabek-West Java region has been optimized, in addition to that Telkomsel is also alerting up to 20 Combat placed in strategic and important points such as the BNPB office, Wisma Atlet and several other points. 

During this pandemic, Telkomsel continues to provide optimal services to customers, including opening 76 official Telkomsel service outlets (GraPARI) in Jabotabek-West Java operational areas as part of a total of 83 GraPARI, resulting from operational adjustments in shopping areas. In supporting service security during the pandemic, Telkomsel has also implemented special health protocols, such as the use of masks and face-shields by all Customer Service personnel on duty, as well as the installation of shields/transparent protectors on each service desk and body temperature measurements for customers and employees who enter GraPARI. 

Charter schools as a solution to the chaotic PPDB

Indra Charismiadji Director of Education at Vox Populi Institute Indonesia

IO – Chaotic New Student Admission (PPDB) of Jakarta in 2020 has led to protests by parents whose children have not been accepted at state schools; this has colored mass media and public talk over the last three weeks. I have been invited many times to give views on television, radio, print and online media, to explain the philosophy of the zoning policy that changes from using grades as a determinant of new student acceptance to using distance to school (zone) where Jakarta adds the age factor as a variable in filtering. 

This problem arises due to the lack of access to education in Indonesia, even though the State Budget for education is more than IDR 500 trillion. We can see this from the 2019 National Pure Participation Rate which still shows that nearly 40% of Indonesian children of high school age do not attend school, 30% of junior high school-age, and almost 3% of elementary school-age children who are not yet in school. And more than 100 thousand children drop out of school according to the Ministry of Education and Culture’s Regional Education Balance Sheet. These figures do not include this year’s condition which is certainly getting worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Charter Schools as a solution 

To find solutions to the problems mentioned above, opening Charter Schools seems to be a fast and economical alternative for all parties. 

Charter Schools are schools run by private parties but 100% of the funding comes from the government. This school offers formal education services ranging from grade 1 primary school to grade 12 high school/ vocational school without fees for all students. Charter schools are subject to government regulations, but the rules tend to be laxer than traditional public schools. The funds provided are calculated based on the number of students attending a particular Charter School, similar to the School Operational Assistance policy, but the amount of the budget is increased to School Operational Costs which means that full operational costs are borne by the government. 

This type of school can be opened by parents, teachers, community organizations, religious organizations, non-profit groups, companies, or even government organizations. Charter Schools can provide general education or may be aimed at students who need specific alternative learning methods, such as children with special needs or disabilities. 

The opening of Charter Schools will make an impact on the government budget burden because it is much cheaper compared to building a New School Unit considering that there are currently many private schools built tens or even hundreds of years ago by the community. This is a tangible form of the concept of public and private partnerships. Models like this are very important, given government budget constraints that will not be enough to finance national education programs as delivered by Yustinus Prastowo, Special Staff of the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia in an online discussion last May. 

The education staff in these schools are not government employees, so recruitment, placement, payroll, and staffing will use private employment regulations. A staffing mechanism that is even simpler than the Government Employee with a Work Agreement system created to accommodate, among others, honorary teachers in state schools, and with this model their income will be guaranteed. 

In terms of quality, managers of Charter Schools are obliged to maintain the quality of learning where they must ensure the academic achievement of students. If the results are below the target set by the government, the status of the charter school will be revoked and the government assistance will be stopped altogether. Schools can change the status to become private schools or be closed down by the government as students are transferred to other schools. 

Implementation of Charter Schools in other countries 

In comparison, since opening for the first time in the state of Minnesota in 1991, the Charter School has grown to number more than 7,000 schools and served more than 3 million students per year throughout the United States in 2016. Since 2000 the number of students enrolling in Charter Schools increased by 600%. 

According to a 2015 study from Stanford University, the Charter School not only provides broader access to education for the United States but also significantly increases academic abilities in literacy and numeracy. In particular, minority and or low-income learners get greater benefits with the existence of this formal education institution. 

Seeing the various confusion that existed since the zoning system was implemented in the 2017 New Student Admission Program, it seems that the formation of charter schools could be a solution both in terms of access and in terms of quality improvement, especially as the government is working specifically to improve literacy and numeracy skills among students. 

The challenge of this school model is that it does not yet exist in the National Education System Law, to run it the President must first issue Government Regulations. The good news, our President is ready to issue a Government Regulation if it is indeed needed for the people as he said at a cabinet meeting on 18 June. 

After the Government Regulation is issued, this Charter School model should be included in the Revision of the National Education System Law, which has entered the national legislation program. Hopefully, this concept can become one of the new programs that support the development of skilled human resources as contained in the vision of Advanced Indonesia. 

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