The establishment of international standard pilot-project schools ( RSBI ) not only widens the gap between the affluent and the poor, but opens new corruption opportunities, activists say.
“There are many findings that point to potential corruption,” said Febri Hendri from Indonesia Corruption Watch ( ICW ), regarding documents consisting of SMPN 1 state junior high school’s budget and its cash book for the 2010/2011 academic year at the Jakarta Education Agency on Thursday.
ICW and the Alliance of Parents Concerned with Indonesian Education ( APPI ) visited the agency to submit a proof of corruption indication report on SMPN 1 in Cikini, Central Jakarta.
RSBI is a category of state schools in the process of achieving international standard school ( SBI ) status. Unlike regular state schools, RSBIs can charge parents monthly fees.
Febri said on Oct. 18 2010, for example, the school spent Rp 1 million ( US$117 ) of unallocated funds on Central Jakarta RSBI supervisors as incentives, which the ICW viewed as gratuity fees.
The school also provided Rp 9 million in transportation funds to a certain monitoring, evaluation and supervision team.
“What is this for? If the priority is supervision of SMPN 1, why is the money going this way?” he said.
Febri read out a total of 16 oddities and potential corruption cases in the school’s treasury accounts.
SMPN 1 is one of four RSBI schools in the region that refused to disclose their accountability report and planned expenditure budget, which the Central Information Commission ( KIP ) has officially categorized as public information.
SMAN 70 Jakarta senior high school in South Jakarta, another of the four schools under scrutiny, has also raised suspicions on matters of discretion.
Musni Umar, a parent and SMAN 70 school committee member, said the same situation was occurring at his child’s school. “We will take it to the Corruption Eradication Commission [KPK].”
Education agency deputy chief Agus Suradika promised to look into the case. “We will study the documents and announce our response in 14-days time at the latest,” he said.
There are 10 RSBI senior high schools in Jakarta of a total 117 senior high schools. There are 11 RSBI junior high schools of 287 and 7 RSBI elementary schools of more than 2,000.
Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo has recently ordered an evaluation of RSBI schools following complaints regarding the schools’ failure to achieve superior academic achievement.