IO, Jakarta – Minister of Education and Culture Nadiem Anwar Makarim, along with Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani and Minister of Home Affairs Tito Karnavian, announced that School Operational Aid (Bantuan Operasional Sekolah – “BOS”) funds can be used to improve the welfare of contract teachers. “BOS utilization for school needs is now more flexible. By collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Home Affairs, we can use this policy as the first step to improve the welfare of contract teachers and other educational workers,” Minister Nadiem stated at the Office of the Minister of Finance, Jakarta, on Monday (10/02/2020).
The BOS fund represents Government funding for schools’ operational costs originating from the non-physical Special Allocation Funds (Dana Alokasi Khusus – “DAK”) item in the Education Budget. With the new policy, BOS fund distribution is accelerated by using a direct fund transfer from the Ministry of Finance to schools’ bank accounts, while it used to be distributed through the Provincial Regional General Cash Account (Rekening Kas Umum Daerah – “RKUD”) before. The distribution is now made three times a year, and no longer four.
Nadiem stated that a maximum of 50% of this year’s BOS fund can be used to pay contract teacher wages. Earlier, the maximum contract teacher allocation for BOS fund is 15% for State schools and 30% for private schools. “If teachers become stressed out from difficulty in satisfying even their basic needs, such as transportation and meals, our learning quality will not be improved. This is even more true in underdeveloped and poor areas where the majority of the teachers are contracted,” he said. The increased portion “…is the first step in improving the welfare of our contract teachers who have been dedicated all these years.”
Paying contract teacher wages using BOS funds is allowed when the teacher satisfies the following requirements: First, s/he must have an Educator and Educational Worker Unique Registration Number (Nomor Unik Pendidik dan Tenaga Kependidikan – “NUPTK”); second, s/he does not have Educator Certification yet; and third, s/he is registered at the Educational Primary Data (Data Pokok Pendidikan – “Dapodik”) Registry before 31 December 2019. Nadiem further stated that the 50% limit should not be fully allocated for paying contract teachers, as some schools have few of them. Schools with sufficient numbers of civil servant teachers can use their BOS fund autonomously according to the discretion of their Principals.
This policy, which is the third in the “Merdeka Belajar” (“Freedom to Learn”) educational policy, is focused on increasing school principals’ flexibility and autonomy in their use of BOS, according to the different needs of their respective schools. However, this flexibility is also accompanied by stricter, more transparent, and more accountable reporting requirements for BOS fund use. “As we have allowed schools and principals their flexibility and autonomy, we need to ensure that the BOS fund is used more accountably and transparently. Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Culture can improve school funding policies to the utmost,” Minister Nadiem said. “For example, third stage BOS funds can only be distributed when the school has reported BOS fund stage one and two utilization. Schools must also publish BOS fund receipt and utilization on their announcement boards or using other means that the public can access easily.” (des)