Data supplied by the Education Department for the province of Bali shows that 1,500 children form the grade school and junior high school ranks have ended their education due to a lack of funds. To help counteract this trend the Bali government is allocating Rp. 320 billion (US$34.8 million) or 20% of all provincial expenditures for educational expenses. Previously, Bali had only dedicated Rp. 111 billion (US$12 million) or 11 percent of the provincial budget to pay for the education of its children.
Bali's Governor Made Mangku Pastika told the national daily Kompas that he hoped the increased spending for education in will stop Balinese children from dropping out of school. Speaking before the Balinese House of Representative, Pastika called on Bali's 9 regional governments to come into line with the law and allocate 20% of their spending to education.
The massive increase in education spending is the result of a recent challenge before Indonesian's Constitutional Courts that successfully contended that the Constitution absolutely mandates that 20% of the State Budget must be spent on educational pursuits.
Data collected from Bali's schools shows that 397,000 children finished grade school in the academic year 2006/2007. Of that total, only 36% or 145,372 continued on to the next level of education Ė junior high school. According to the Head of the Bali's Education Department, Tjok Istri Agung Kusuma Wardhani, the majority of education expenditures for the 2007/2008 school year were dedicated to the rehabilitation of school buildings, paying the cost of mandatory schooling through age nine and anti-illiteracy campaigns.
The Head of Commission IV of Bali's House of Representatives, I Ketut Karyasa Adnyana, said the hoped the large increase in educational funding in 2009 will be well spent, focusing on improving the quality of teachers and the education they provide to Junior High students.
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