Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie (The Jakarta Post)
Thu 27 Aug 2020
The Ministry of Education and Culture will provide 7,200 billion rupees (US $ 532 million) social assistance in the form of telephone credit and internet data plans to help students and teachers receive education in distance over the next four months.
Minister Nadiem Makarim announced the plan in a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission X overseeing education on Thursday.
“We hope that these grants can help all students and teachers [during this pandemic], Nadiem said.
The grant will be paid to students in the form of a 35 gigabyte (GB) internet data plan each month, while teachers will receive a 42 GB data plan.
University students and teachers will receive a 50 GB per month data plan for the next four months.
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Nadiem said the cost of data and phone bills has been a major concern for parents as students have been forced to learn remotely during school closings amid the outbreak.
The secretary of the ministry’s General Directorate of Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Education, Sutanto, said phone credit and internet data plans would be transferred directly to the phone numbers of students and teachers who were registered with local educational agencies.
The ministry has also secured an additional Rs 1.7 trillion in aid funds for teachers, lecturers and other education workers. The money was taken from the reallocation of funds from several programs, including the Organizational Mobilization Program (POP) which will be suspended until 2021.