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Jakarta Post

Ministry provides Rp 7.2 trillion in phone credit, data packages to support distance learning

  • Moch. Fiqih Prawira Adjie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 27, 2020   /   05:04 pm
Ministry provides Rp 7.2 trillion in phone credit, data packages to support distance learning A student does schoolwork online at the home of Sri Wiwoho, a resident of the Depok Mulya I housing complex, in Depok, West Java, on Aug. 3. Sri has provided a learning space and free internet access for children in the neighborhood. (JP/P.J. Leo)

The Education and Culture Ministry will provide Rp 7.2 trillion (US$532 million) in social assistance in the form of phone credit and internet data packages to support students and teachers conducting long-distance learning for the next four months.

Minister Nadiem Makarim announced the plan during a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission X overseeing education on Thursday.

“We hope these subsidies can help all students and teachers [during this pandemic],” said Nadiem.

The subsidy will be disbursed to school students in form of a 35 gigabytes (GB) internet data package every month, while teachers will receive a 42 GB data package.

University students and lecturers will receive a 50 GB data package per month for the next four months.

Read also: Local communities provide free internet, gadgets to students amid e-learning barriers

Nadiem said the cost of data and phone bills had been a major concern among parents, as students have been forced to learn remotely during the school closures amid the outbreak.

The secretary of the ministry’s Early childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Directorate General, Sutanto, said the phone credit and internet data packages would be transferred directly to the students and teachers’ phone numbers that were registered with local education agencies.

The ministry has also secured an additional Rp 1.7 trillion in assistance funds to be given to teachers, lecturers and other education sector workers. The money was taken from the reallocation of funds from several programs, including the Mobilization Organization Program (POP) that will be suspended until 2021.