Lenny Tristia Tambun
Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo on Saturday launched the Jakarta Smart Card initiative, which will grant student holders up to Rp 240,000 ($25) in monthly allowance to support their schooling needs.
The cards are intended for less-privileged elementary to high school students in the capital, with elementary school students to receive Rp 180,000 per month, junior high school students Rp 210,000 per month and high school students Rp 240,000 per month.
Joko symbolically distributed the cards to students of high school SMA Yappenda in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, during a launch ceremony on Saturday.
Over 3,000 cards were distributed to students in North, South, Central and East Jakarta on Saturday, and the Jakarta administration is planning to distribute some 6,300 more cards by the end of the year and 332,000 next year to students of public and private schools alike.
“In the name of God, I hereby launch Jakarta Smart Cards, which are immediately available for use,” Joko told those attending Saturday’s ceremony.
“And those are not for school fees … because [the government] already pays school fees,” he added, according to Indonesian news portal merdeka.com.
Jakarta Education Agency head Taufik Yudi Mulyanto explained that the cards would allow student holders to purchase school books, shoes, uniforms and food, as well as pay for transportation to and from school.
The cards are basically ATM cards issued by provincially owned Bank DKI, and schools are expected to monitor card use by their respective students to prevent abuses.
“This year we’ll only issue Jakarta Smart Cards for high school and vocational school students. Next year it will be for all levels of education in Jakarta [excluding higher education],” Taufik said.
Bank DKI managing director Eko Budiwiyono, meanwhile, reminded students to use the cards prudently.
“Be careful when using the cards,” Eko told the SMA Yappenda students. “You must really keep them secured, and they can only be used by students whose names are on the cards. Don’t let other people know your PIN numbers.”
The rollout of Jakarta Smart Cards comes just a few weeks after Joko launched Jakarta Health Cards, which entitle holders to free medical services at 200 community health centers (Puskesmas) and Class III wards of 17 hospitals across the capital.
The health cards are expected to reach about 4.7 million underprivileged Jakarta residents.
BeritaSatu & JG
Lenny Tristia Tambun