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The Scholarships and Grants Program (SGP) component of the safety net

measures aimed to reduce the feared adverse impact of the Crisis on the

quality and effectiveness of the education system. The SGP began in the

1998/99 academic year, and provided special assistance both to students

from poor families and to selected schools. Since the early 1990s, education

statistics have shown a trend of increasing enrollment ratios at the primary,

lower and upper secondary levels (see Table 3.10). The national 9-year

compulsory education program (program wajib belajar nasional 9 tahun)

established by the government in the mid-1990s resulted in a net primary

school enrollment ratio hovering around 94 per cent, and a rapid increase

in the enrollment ratio at the lower secondary level, from 69 to 79 per cent

in less then a decade.

Table 3.10 School enrollment ratios, 1993–99

SUSENAS year

1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999

School level Academic year

1992/93 1993/94 1994/95 1995/96 1996/97 1997/98 1998/99

Primary 92.8 94.1 93.9 94.4 95.4 95.1 95.2

Lower secondary 68.9 72.4 73.2 75.8 77.5 77.2 79.1

Upper secondary 42.6 45.3 44.6 47.6 48.6 49.3 51.2

Source: Cameron (2002: Table 1).

At the beginning of the Crisis, there was a serious concern on the part

of the government that the Crisis would trigger a signifi cant increase in

school dropout rates, with fears that parents would be forced to withdraw

their children from school as a way of coping with falling incomes and

rising costs. However, as we can see in Table 3.10, between the 1996/97 and

1997/98 academic years, there was only a small dip in enrollment rates at

the primary level and only a slightly larger decline at the lower secondary

level. Meanwhile, upper secondary enrollment rates actually increased over

the same period.

Table 3.11 compares the 1997, 1998 and 1998 SUSENAS data on

enrollment rates, broken down by fi ve expenditure quintiles to approximate

socio-economic groups. It shows that the Crisis did not have a very dramatic

effect on enrollment rates up to the 1997/98 school year, even on the poorest

quintiles of the population in all school levels.33 While these fi gures provide

evidence that the Crisis did not lead to a serious decline in enrollment

ratios, it has nevertheless stalled the growth of enrollment ratios at the

primary and lower secondary levels, one of the government’s central aims

for the education system before the Crisis struck. This is one measure of

the educational cost of the Crisis (Jones and Hagul, 2001: 218).

There is, however, evidence that the Crisis had some negative impacts on

the quality of education. A fi eld survey by the SMERU Research Institute

found that after the Crisis, there was a slight decline in students’ average

scores at the National Final Examinations (Nilai Ebtanas Murni). There was

also a reduction in teachers’ real incomes, fewer extra-curricular activities

and signs of declining health and nutrition levels among some students,

affecting their capacity to absorb school lessons (Jones, 2003: 79). The

Crisis also placed a considerable burden on parents, reducing the amount

of time and money that they could afford to allocate to their children’s

education, thereby risking further negative impacts on children’s schooling.

Some families found it diffi cult to afford the regular, compulsory school

Table 3.11 Age-specifi c enrollment rates by expenditure quintiles,

1996/97–1998/99

Academic year

Age and quintile 1996/7 1997/8 1998/9

5–6 years 22.5 22.2 21.2

Poorest 16.7 16.0 16.4

Second 20.4 20.9 19.2

Third 23.1 22.4 20.9

Fourth 25.8 25.6 24.6

Richest 31.0 31.1 28.6

7–12 years 95.3 95.0 95.3

Poorest 91.9 91.5 92.1

Second 95.2 94.8 94.8

Third 96.1 96.0 96.1

Fourth 97.2 96.7 97.4

Richest 97.8 97.9 98.0

13–15 years 77.5 77.1 79.0

Poorest 65.6 66.3 6837.0

Second 74.7 74.0 76.7

Third 79.7 79.2 80.5

Fourth 83.4 82.6 85.0

Richest 87.5 87.1 87.6

16–18 years 48.6 49.2 51.1

Poorest 32.2 31.5 34.9

Second 42.6 42.1 45.2

Third 49.4 49.9 52.9

Fourth 56.3 57.9 58.9

Richest 62.4 68.7 64.2

Source: Jones and Hagul (2001: Table 2).

payments, widely known throughout Indonesia as the BP3 contribution

(Badan Pembantu Penyelenggara Pendidikan or Board of Education

Assistance). Other families were unable to afford travel expenses, or the

purchase of school uniforms or textbooks, forcing students to rely on

inferior quality school package textbooks. Some students were unable to

collect their graduation certifi cates, as they could not afford to pay the fees

for the fi nal examinations.

Alarmed by the situation, the government was prompted to establish

the Scholarships and Grants Program (SGP) beginning in the 1998/99

academic year, with several donor agencies providing budgetary support

for the package through special loans. The program has two components:

scholarships for students from poor families and block grants for selected

schools (see Table 3.12).

Table 3.12 Value and coverage of the SGP program

Lower Upper

Primary secondary secondary

Student scholarships

Estimated number of children 3 000 000 2 750 000 830 000

projected to receive scholarships

over fi ve years

Number of annual scholarships 7 400 000 6 600 000 2 000 000

provided over fi ve years

Approx. proportion of enrolled 6% 17% 10%

children receiving scholarship

Scholarship amount per child Rp 120 000 Rp 240 000 Rp 300 000

per yeara (US $16) (US $32) (US $40)

School grants

Schools receiving grants per year 104 340 18 240 9400

Percentage of schools receiving 60% 60% 60%

grants per year

Amount of grants per school Rp 2 000 000 Rp 4 000 000 Rp 10 000 000

per yeara (US $267) (US $533) (US $1333)

Note: a Dollar equivalent computed at Rp 7500 per US $.

Source: CIMU (2000a: 7).