Jakarta, the capital region of Indonesia, is set to expand the use of an existing student smart card credential to include the delivery and use of university scholarship subsidies.
Per a report from the Jakarta Globe, Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama has announced that the expanded use of the smart cards will begin later this year and continue into the foreseeable future. The project will leverage more secure smart card technology to link cardholders’ identities to the credential in an effort to ensure the scholarship money is used only for educational purposes.
Students from Jakarta receive the equivalent of roughly $1,352 in government subsidies to attend any public university in the country. The scholarship money is to be used to cover expenses such as tuition, fees and university related daily expenses.
Education is one of the largest expenses for the Jakarta government and as such has to be closely monitored. The decision to implement smart card credentials is, in part, due to past instances of students and families misusing the cash subsidies for non-educational purchases.
Government officials say that the city administration has devoted more effort to making sure that the funds are not misused — efforts that have resulted in the capital saving billions of rupiah. The extra money saved is expected to be redistributed back into the educational system in Jakarta in the hopes of further increasing the quality of education in the region.
The card, known as the Kartu Jakarta Pintar, or KJP for short, was first introduced for school students by the Governor of Jakarta in 2012 to, among other things, help provide underprivileged school children with cash to buy books and uniforms. It is now being used by an estimated 531,000 students in the region.