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Jakarta Post

Parents misuse Jakarta education card to obtain cash, personal items: Critics

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 11, 2019   /   02:55 pm
Parents misuse Jakarta education card to obtain cash, personal items: Critics For our brighter future -- School students show their Jakarta Smart Cards (KJP) in an event held by the City administration. (Tempo/File)

The Jakarta Smart Card Plus (KJP Plus) has reportedly deviated from its initial purpose as an education scheme to providing cash for various expenses, due to poor monitoring, activists and residents have said.

“It can [now] be used to buy many things, not only school needs,” Jakarta Residents Forum activist Azas Tigor Nainggolan said as quoted by wartakota.tribunnews.com on Thursday during a discussion on Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan’s one-year performance in Central Jakarta.

Sumiati, an East Jakarta resident, who also attended the event, said the parents of card holders in her area had used the education subsidy for various purposes, such as to buy cosmetics or clothing.

Many stores accept payment using the KJP,  including clothing shops, she said, adding that several stores provided fast-cash using the scheme.

Moreover, Sumiati said, parents of the KJP holders can conspire with stores to use their KJP by pretending to buy school uniforms to get cash. “[For example] we debited Rp 500,000 [US$35] from the card. Then the store will give us Rp 400,000 cash, while the rest is [taken by the store as] the store’s fee.”

She also said some holders used their KJP to obtain credit.

“A debtor can get a loan of Rp 500,000 from a creditor. The debtor gives their KJP to the creditor, who will hold the card for five months. [Another option] is that the debtor can get the returned sooner after paying Rp 1.25 million,” Sumiati said.

The KPJ Plus was originally given to Jakarta students as a subsidy. The amount varies according to education level. (gis)