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Government Funding Free Education for Bali Kids

Governor Pastika Keeping Pledge to Provide Absolutely Free Schooling at State-Run Schools Through Grade 12.

(9/28/2009) Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika has taken concrete steps to deliver on his campaign pledge to improve the education of the island's children by allocating Rp. 250 billion (US$2.5 million) that will pave the way for his desire to put in place free education for all by 2010. That allocation will be in the form of two separate allocations of Rp. 125 billion (US$1.25 million) in both the 2009 and 2010 budgets.

Quoted in the Jakarta Post, Pastika said, "that amount will ensure the public real free-of-charge education, instead of the fake one," he said recently. The governor was apparently alluding to current programs that promise a "free" education for children, yet still burden parents with an assortment of fees and donations.

The governor is calling on all of Bali regencies to match provincial funding for free education by coming up with a further Rp. 125 billion (US$1.25 million) in each annual budget. The governor added, "the amount each regency must set aside will be calculated based on the number of students in that regency and the regency's locally generated revenue." Bali has nine regencies and one municipal government.

The combined funding from both the provinces and regencies in Bali is intended to be sufficient to provide 12 years of free education through high school at state-run schools.