Amy Heppy, Jakarta – Jakarta Education Agency Acting Head Syaefuloh Hidayat stated that the agency will revoke the Jakarta Smart Card (KJP) of students who are caught smoking cigarettes.
The program, Syaefuloh explained, is aimed at assisting underprivileged students to meet their school needs, such as books, bags, shoes, and transportation.
"With KJP funds, they can also buy subsidized food, such as meat, chicken, eggs, and fish. So, what if the fund is spent on smoking?" Syaefuloh confirmed to Tempo on Monday, May 15, 2023.
Thus, the KJP of students who smoke will be temporarily revoked for one period or six months because it is not used as regulated. The KJP can be restored in the next period as long as the students improve their behavior.
Previously, Jakarta Acting Governor Heru Budi Hartono said he would revoke KJP membership of students who are involved in brawls.
This provincial government's policy, however, is slammed by Lentera Anak Foundation. Head of the child's welfare institution, Lisda Sundari, argued that the state should protect children from smoking, instead of blaming them.
According to her, the real root of the problem is not in the children, but in the absence of the state. "It's so easy for us to blame and punish children who smoke, although we are aware that this smoking behavior is caused by the fact that children are developing psychologically and are easily influenced," Lisda said in a press release received by Tempo on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
Instead of blaming children for smoking cigarettes by revoking their KJP, Lisda suggested the government provide strong protection through regulations.