Refleksi:  Sebelum krisis ekonomi global angka kematian dan buta askara  telah 
tinggi berarti dengan adanya krisis akan lebih bertambah tinggi sama hal dengan 
angka kemiskinan disebabkan banyak orang menganggur. Langkah apa yang akan 
diambil untuk memberantas kemiskinan yang adalah akar dari problem?

Illiteracy, mortality rates stay high

Panca Nugraha ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Mataram   |  Thu, 12/18/2008 11:18 AM  |  
The Archipelago 

West Nusa Tenggara was ranked 32nd among 33 provinces in the Indonesian Human 
Development Index (HDI), since its illiteracy and maternal and infant mortality 
rates remain high. 

During a ceremony commemorating the province's 50th anniversary on Wednesday at 
the gubernatorial office in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara Governor Zainul Majdi 
said his administration was committed to improving its HDI rank by making a 
concerted effort to improve the province's illiteracy, maternal mortality and 
school drop-out rates over the next five years. 

"We will take this opportunity, at the golden jubilee event for West Nusa 
Tenggara, to focus our energy toward improving public services. God willing, 
the administration will improve its HDI rank in the next five years by carrying 
out a number of development programs that we have already designed," Zainal 
said in his speech. 

Among those attending the event were Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari, East 
Nusa Tenggara Governor Frans Lebu Raya and regents and mayors from across West 
Nusa Tenggara. 

Based on data from West Nusa Tenggara Education, Youth and Sports Office, the 
number of illiterate people over 15 years of age in the province stood at 
316,200 this year, nearly five times the number in Bali (79,000). 

The provincial school participation rate was also low, especially at a senior 
high school level. 

According to data from West Nusa Tenggara Health Agency, in 2007 the provincial 
maternal mortality rate was 390 deaths per 100,000 live births, which was very 
high compared to the Healthy Indonesia 2010 target that aims at no more than 
150 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. 

In 2007, the provincial infant mortality rate was 61 infant deaths per 1,000 
live births, compared to the national target of 40 deaths per 1,000 live 

To improve the its HDI ranking, Majdi said his administration aimed to achieve 
zero illiteracy, maternal mortality and school drop-out rates. 

To support these programs, West Nusa Tenggara provincial administration has 
initiated free education and health care programs to commence in the 2009 
fiscal year. 

Provincial, regency and municipal administrations would jointly fund the free 
education program and provide health care subsidies for those not yet covered 
by health insurance, so as to increase school participation and reduce mother 
and infant mortality rates in the province, Majdi said. 

The provincial administration has set aside more than Rp 124 billion (about 
US$11.2 million) in its 2009 budget, toward free education. 

The education funding would be channeled through scholarship programs for needy 
students of elementary to senior high school levels, targeting 260,202 

Elementary, junior high and high schools would receive grants of Rp 30,000, Rp 
48,000 and Rp 65,000, respectively, per eligible student. 

To fund its Rp 250 billion scholarship program, the provincial administration 
will cover half the amount, while the rest will be jointly funded by regency 
and municipal administrations. 

The provincial administration will earmark Rp 8.5 billion for a health care 
program in its 2009 budget. This program includes health insurance for 
low-income families that are not yet covered by the Jamkesmas community health 
insurance scheme provided by the central government. 

Recent figures show West Nusa Tenggara has a population of 4,292,491 and 2,038 
of these people are categorized as living in poverty. 

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