Its success in delivering operational funding to schools has been replicated in other parts of the systems and by many local governments. By 2014, all levels of the education system from Early Childhood Education and Development to tertiary have a ‘BOS’ type program and around a third of all local governments implement similar programs.

Every year, schools receive USD $50 for each primary and USD $60 for each junior secondary school student. This translates into an annual grant of about USD $20,000 for the average junior secondary school.

The World Bank recently published a report, entitled 'Assessing the Role of the School Operational Grant Program (BOS) in Improving Education Outcomes in Indonesia' which reviewed the program’s decade of implementation.

The key findings of the report are:

The financial burden to families of sending their children to school initially fell:

After the BOS program was introduced in 2005, families with children in primary and junior secondary spent about 6 percent less in the first year.
The poorest 20 percent of families saw the largest drops in spending, as did children who attended government schools.
The savings became more acute at the junior secondary level, where the spending of the poorest families fell by 30 percent, compared to 5 percent at the primary school level.
By 2009, however, as schools became more familiar with the workings of the BOS program, the costs for families began to increase. In real terms, the average spending for households in 2012 was 46 percent higher at primary than it was in 2003 before the introduction of the program.

More children attended school

Enrolment in junior secondary, particularly for the poorest students, increased significantly after the BOS program. Between 2000 and 2005, rates of enrollment stagnated among poor children at the junior secondary level. Since the introduction of the program, enrollment rates for poor children have increased by 26 percent.
BOS was expected to improve the chances of all children completing the nine years of compulsory education until junior secondary. However, there is little evidence to suggest that the program has significantly improved transition rates from primary to junior secondary education.

Schools managed themselves better

BOS helped establish school committees, and committee members are supposed to organize themselves to manage the program’s funds.
However, school committee members were rarely consulted when decisions were made for BOS fund allocations. More commonly, the school principal and teachers would agree on how to allocate funds, then communicate their decision to the school committee chair for approval.

Source: World Bank