Education Ministry Caught Stealing from Teachers, Parents and Poor Children

A truly astonishing story has appeared in the Indonesian press today. The Education Ministry, which was formerly known as Diknas, is currently being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Commission. They have found that not only has the Ministry been stealing 10% of teachers’ travel allowances, amounting to trillions of rupiah, but they have even been demanding a cut of scholarships and allowances for disadvantaged children living under the poverty line.

Furthermore, poor parents have not escaped the rapacious greed of Diknas officials. They have been effectively extorted out of 10% of government subsidies as well, in what amounts to a Mafia-style stand-over racket.

All of this amply supports what we have been saying for 2 years; Diknas is a classic rent-seeker which is feeding off Indonesia’s people and future rather than running a decent education system.

As it turns out, the pious ‘priyayi’ at Diknas have been stealing food from the mouths of poor children, surely demonstrating their utter immorality, greed and vice. The full article from the Jakarta Post is unusually detailed and compelling. For anyone who cares about the parlous state of education in Indonesia, this is essential, if troubling, reading.

No wonder Indonesia has fallen to second last place in the international education ratings known as PISA when their education system is being pillaged by the corrupt officials at Diknas. The only note of hope is that the abuses are now being exposed, which is a hint that the new Jokowi administration is more serious about fighting corruption in education than the ineffectual second administration of SBY.

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