The Government of Indonesia has been running a compulsory eduction program at elementary (SD), Junior High School (SMP), and Senior High School (SMA) level, so students do not need to pay tuition fee. The free of charge school program seems to be the perfect solution to help poor children, but in fact this program does not benefit them. Free school program is mostly enjoyed by students coming from middle-upper class.
It is because just the state-owned school run the free of charge schools program while the private schools don’t. The reason why only the state schools run this program since all of the operational costs of state schools 100% funded by the government. In contrast, private schools have to fund by themselves. They earn money from students. The student of private schools have to pay monthly tuitions fee and many other expenses.
As we know, most of state school students at SMP and SMA level come from middle-upper class. Most of the poor children can’t enter the state school at SMP & SMA level as they dont pass the entrance test. Therefore, they go to private schools.The reason why children from middle-upper class are able to do the entrance test, since they are well-prepared. To prepare for exams, they take the private tutorial program (course run by private institutions, called ‘Bimbel’) in which they have to pay very expensive. The average cost ranges between 3 to 35 million per year. The course focuses on national exam subjects, such us math, science, English, and Indonesian language.
To overcome this problem, Remaja Masa Depan Foundation launches a new program called ‘Bimbel Gratis untuk anak miskin’ (a free of charge tutorial program for poor children). Hopefuly, by joining this program, poor children are able to enter state-owned school.