Constitutional Court conducted a trial on Article 49 Paragraph (1) Act No. 20 Year 2003 on National Education System (Act on National Education System) and Act No.18 Year 2006 on National Budgeting (Act on National Budgeting) 2007 that were considered violating the 1945 Constitution, at the Plennary Room of the Constitutional Court Building, Tuesday (15/1) morning. In the last trial before reading the verdict for case No. 24/PUU-V/2007, the Government explained that actually the budget for education needed to be repositioned from the Act on National Education System.


“Article 31 paragraph (3) the 1945 Constitution mandated to be made an Act of National Education System whose material shouldn’t contained the regulation of budget for education, because this budget has been definitively and limitatively mandated in Article 31 paragraph (4) 1945 Constitution,” explained Minister of Law and Human Rights, Andi Mattalata, when giving information on behalf of the government.


Furthermore, according to Andi Mattalata, Article 49 paragraph (1) Act on National Education System was created in the situation where there were no regulations that managed the definition and allocation of Educational Budgetting. Because of that, addded Andi, it was the time for the Government and the Legislative to repositioned the Act so that there would not be misunderstanding anymore.


Meanwhile, Anwar Arifin as the Legal Counsel of the Parliament stated that the Petitioner’s expectation to improve the prosperity level of teachers and lecturers by inserting the salary of educators in the Budgetting, would not be possible.


“Article 49 paragraph (1) Act on National Education System actually gives much benefit to the Petitioner. The Budget for Education actually did not cover the educator’s salaries. Nevertheless, fringe benefits like profession incentive, special incentive, and other incentives was covered. Therefore I guarantee that with the aforementioned article, the prosperity level of educators in Indonesia will exceed the standard of Minimum Living Necessity (Kebutuhan Hidup Minimum)”, explained Anwar Arifin.


Unfortunately, responding to the question from Constitutional Justice Soedarsono regarding whether or not the salary of teachers and lecturers was included in the regulation, the budget for education in 2008 National Budgeting had met the requirement as mentioned in Article 31 Paragraph (4) 1945 Constitution, Anwar Arifin pointed out that it hadn’t. According to Anwar Arifin, in 2008 National Budgeting, with the teachers’ salaries as one of the components, the budget for education only reached between 18,6-19,3%. Even though so, according to the Vice-Chairperson of Commission X People Representative Assembly of  Republic of Indonesia who were in charge of Education, Youth, Sport, Tourism, Art and Culture matters, the Government would keep on trying to increase the budget for education gradually every year so that the minimum number prerequisited by Article 31 Paragraph (4) of the 1945 Constitution could be fulfilled.


Before closing the trial, the Head of Panel of Justice, Jimly Asshiddiqie, reminded the government in this case to refer to the regulation stated in the constitution, that was the budget for education was in the minimum of 20 percent of the State Budgeting and the Regional Budgeting. The Chief Justice also pointed out that the regulation with binding power could be dull if not carried out consistently.


“The attitude that demanded the fulfilling of the 20 percent requirement was only a minimum requirement. If the number goes above the standard, it would not cause any problem,” explained Jimly.


The case for conducting a trial on National Education System was filed by Dra. Hj. Rahmatiah Abbas, a teacher from Wajo Regent, South Sulawesi, and Prof. DR. Badryah Rifai, S.H. a Professor in Law faculty Hasanuddin University, Makassar, with his legal counsel Hj. Elza Syarief,S.H.,M.H. et al. The Petitioner considered Article 49 Paragraph (1) Act on National Education System was very much against the 1945 Constitution Article 31 Paragraph (4), because it had made the salaries of teachers and lecturers an exeption from the National Budgeting. [Kencana Suluh Hikmah/Yogi Djatnika]

Wednesday, January 16, 2008 | 12:21 WIB 282