Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie, Jakarta – The Education and Culture Ministry is proposing a budget of Rp 1.49 trillion (US$100 million) for school digitalization programs in a bid to reduce technological discrepancies by improving digital access to education.
Minister Nadiem Makarim revealed the proposal during a hearing with House of Representatives Commission X overseeing educational affairs on Wednesday.
Out of the proposed budget, the ministry would allocate Rp 1.1 trillion to procure proper information communications technology (ICT) equipment, such as laptops, for students and teachers.
The ICT equipment would be provided in preparation for next year's minimum competency assessment, a newly proposed educational evaluation introduced to replace the national exam.
Another Rp 132 billion from the budget would be used to improve the educational programs aired on public broadcaster TVRI, which Nadiem said had garnered a positive reception from the public.
Additionally, the ministry would allocate Rp 109 billion for the ongoing improvement of digital platforms and channel the remaining Rp 74 billion to create learning materials and digital education medium models.
"This is to give schools the freedom to access the same information and close the gap between those who have [access] and those who don't," Nadiem said on Wednesday.
"This also gives freedom to the children to learn from various kinds of sources and channels."
During the meeting, Nadiem also proposed budgets for the ministry's other priority programs, namely Rp 27 trillion for education funding, Rp 5.2 trillion to revitalize the country's vocational education and Rp 4.4 trillion for the Kampus Merdeka (Freedom Campus) program.
The ministry further proposed Rp 2.6 trillion for school and teachers coaching programs, Rp 1.4 trillion for improving the curriculum and competency assessment and Rp 622.6 billion for language and culture advancement programs.