House: State Needs Community in Implementing Education
Image

Member of House Commission III Taufik Basari testifying at a material judicial review hearing of Law No. 20 of 2003 on the National Education System, Wednesday (3/6/2024). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.


JAKARTA (MKRI) — The House of Representatives (DPR) asserted that the state should be fully responsible for implementing education. However, with its current ability, it still requires the participation and role of the community, said member of House Commission III Taufik Basari at a material judicial review hearing of Law No. 20 of 2003 on the National Education System (Sisdiknas Law) on Wednesday, March 6, 2024 in the Constitutional Court’s (MK) plenary courtroom.

“What the Petitioners expressed in their posita is true. The state should be present and fully responsible for its citizens. However, with its current ability, it still requires the participation of the community to jointly improve the quality of life of the community by participating in improving life in terms of education,” he said in response to the petition by Jaringan Pemantau Pendidikan Indonesia (JPPI) or Network Education Watch Indonesia (New Indonesia) and three individual petitioners—homemaker Fathiyah, homemaker Novianisa Rizkika, and mother and civil servant (PNS) Riris Risma Anjiningrum.

Taufik said national education standards are minimum criteria of the education system in all regions of the Republic of Indonesia that are used as a reference for the development of curriculum, education personnel, facilities, and infrastructure as well as management and financing. The vast territory of Indonesia, the distribution of population, and the state’s financial capacity pose a problem in equalizing access to education and efforts to improve the quality of Indonesian education as a whole.

“Therefore, the ideal condition as presented by the Petitioners can only materialize when the state finances have reached a stage that allows it to bear all the needs of education providers and all citizens of the constitutional right to quality and equitable education throughout the territory of the Republic of Indonesia including in remote areas,” Taufik added.

Guidance Needed

Taufik added that the vision of national education organizers is that all citizens receive education, at least at the basic level, that is fully funded by the government and local governments, which is to be achieved in stages. Of course, this is not an easy and short process.

He added that the House hopes that the Court can provide legal considerations to provide input or a basis for the House and the Government to regulate free compulsory education in future laws.

“So that the Petitioners’ expectation and so that all Indonesian citizens perform the obligation to carry out compulsory education and the state’s obligation to ensure that there is no cost for basic education can be fulfilled amid limited budget. Regarding the judicial review of the a quo article, the House fully submits to the honorable panel of constitutional justices to consider and assess its constitutionality,” he said before Chief Justice Suhartoyo and the other constitutional justices.

Responding to the statement, Constitutional Justice Enny Nurbaningsih said she was surprised to learn that the budget allocation for higher education managed by the Directorate-General of Higher Education (DIKTI) was only 2.7 percent of that stipulated by the Constitution.

“The Constitution indeed determines that a priority of at least 2.5 percent of the state budget is for education, which then begs a question when it is stated that the formulation in Article 34 paragraph (2) is very limited. We would like [you] to elaborate the budget allocation for organizing education so that it can meet the needs. After all, basic education is the foundation of education,” she emphasized.

In response, Taufik reiterated the importance of the Court deciding this case because the House and the Government need constitutional guidance on the direction of the education budget allocation in the future.

“Why is this important? Because we also need legal political guidance related to this matter. Why was the House’s statement I presented earlier was opened with the statement that the purpose of the state is to educate the nation’s life, [as mentioned in] Article 28C, Article 31 [of the Constitution]. It turns out that in the Constitution, the matter of educating the nation’s life and then its elaboration through education, the only article that mentions budget allocation concerns education,” he explained.

Also read:

JPPI Requests Private Compulsory Education Be Free of Charge

JPPI Compares Free Private Elementary Schools in Several Countries

Law No. 20 of 2003 on the National Education System (Sisdiknas Law) is being materially challenged to the Constitutional Court (MK). The Petitioners of case No. 3/PUU-XXII/2024 challenge the phrase “compulsory education for basic education free of cost” in Article 34 paragraph (2) of the Sisdiknas Law. The article reads in full, “The Government and local governments shall guarantee the implementation of compulsory education at least for basic education free of cost.”

At the preliminary hearing on Tuesday, January 23, 2024, legal counsel Arif Suherman alleged that the phrase was multi-interpretive since only basic education in public schools are free of cost. He argued that free basic education only applies in public schools, not in private schools. As such, the phrase “compulsory education for basic education free of cost” in Article 34 paragraph (2) has created legal uncertainty. This, he alleged, is a form of discrimination in education.

For this reason, in their petitum, the Petitioners asked the Court to declare the phrase “compulsory education for basic education free of cost” in Article 34 paragraph (2) of the Sisdiknas Law conditionally unconstitutional not legally binding if not interpreted as “compulsory education for basic education in public and private schools free of cost.” 

Author       : Utami Argawati
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.


Wednesday, March 06, 2024 | 17:19 WIB 35