The Jakarta Globe daily newspaper on August 10th 2010 concerned about one main problem in education sphere in Indonesia, namely the unaware parents phenomena about allocation of school operational aid (BOS)
This phenomena based on the data that were collected from a survey of 3600 parents from 720 elementary and junior high school that were held on 2009. This survey then showed that about 55 percent of parents are unaware what the fund is for, 97 percent do not know how much money that their child receive under this program and about 74 percent do not know about how it is spent.
This phenomenon about how parents who were involved in that survey are ‘blind’ and unaware about the existence of BOS actually stands as the root of the BOS problem.
Furthermore, those condition and attitude –‘blindness’ and unawareness- takes up to surface a foul potency that can be done by school, namely debauchery of BOS. This debauchery can have many forms such as neither for recreation for teachers in the name of comparative study program, using that fund to pay bonus, remuneration, and transportation cost for teachers or school official, nor for attempting for a school to be an international standard school, like an incident which is now being investigated by Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW). And if the debauchery of BOS fund actually happens continuously, the parents then who will finally suffer many disadvantages because there will be such illegal collection neither for test paper, uniform, nor text books that actually can be freely got because all the cost for them should have be the main concern of BOS program.
Those kind of acts surely contradict with the main purpose of BOS, namely to help student who are 7-15 years old to get education as has been mandated by Article no 20 year 2003. From this article, it can be seen that the main objective of this BOS program is the student themselves. This BOS fund then ought to be used as an expense that should be allocated for helping student who have improper economy condition for getting education program; so, in the future, this program is expected can successfully make a free education program for elementary student.
Hence, the two main things that should be done in order to realizing the BOS program are transparency and accountability from the school which act as side that has that grant. Those two main points are imperative to be implemented so the parents can know exactly and clearly how and for what that fund is spent. If there are no any longer transparency and accountability, the case above about the “blindness” of parents about BOS program can be explained easily.
Hence, parents participation in the allocation of BOS fund is also imperative. It is by all means in order to keep the BOS fund is spent in the right purpose and also to support the transparency and accountability.
Parents should become more active and do not become apathies. Moreover, parents also should be involved by school officials in discussion talking about the allocation of BOS program, neither in planning, implementing, watching, nor evaluating. This action can be done through the making of school committee as has been mandated by decision of Ministry of Education of Republik Indonesia number 044/U/2002 about Education council and school committee
Furthermore, the relation that is happened between parents and school should be equal, not as a top-down relation as had been said by Ade Irawan from Education Coalition on kompas.com site on August 11th 2010. If the relation that is happened just a top-down relation, parents are just people who always say “yes” to anything school policy, despite their ignorance of how useful it would be.
The next problem from this BOS program is that it has not yet enough capacity nowadays to fulfill all the cost for education process in schools in Indonesia; so realizing a free education program in Indonesia still seems will be taking a long time.
Answering this problem, at least there are two solutions that can be done. First by distributing the BOS fund especially in schools which are located in remote and isolated regions which the society inside have not yet enough money to pay the education cost. By concerning to distribute the BOS fund in such regions, it will guarantee the existence of schools there to always educate the children.
Second by doing a cross subsidy at schools in metropolitan country especially which are have enough capacity in financial matter. This cross subsidy is by all means to guarantee them who have not enough money to pay education cost to continue their study in those schools. The others who have better condition economically have to pay more in order to cover up all education cost in those schools. Hopefully, with this cross subsidy, the studying process can run perfectly even though the BOS fund that are allocated to those schools do not as much as allocated in isolated and remote regions.