East Jakarta Schools Without Electricity Due to Negligence

The Jakarta Post, page 2

Students in eight public schools in East Jakarta have studied in dark and hot classrooms this week after electricity at their schools was cut off on Monday.

Due to the alleged negligence of Jakarta Education Agency officials, who did not allocate money for bill payments in the 2016 budget, the eight schools, along with another 26 across the city, are three to 10 months behind on their payments, with outstanding debt reaching Rp 2.6 billion (US$192,400).

Jakarta Education Agency secretary Susi Nurhati said on Tuesday that state-owned power company PLN had cut off power in eight senior high schools and vocation schools in East Jakarta because they had not paid their electricity bills. The eight schools are SMAN 9, SMAN 42 and SMAN 48 in Makassar, SMAN 93 and SMAN 51 in Kramat Jati, SMAN 104 in Pasar Rebo, SMKN 2 in Matraman and SMKN 10 in Cawang.

Susi said the payments were late because officials at the Jakarta Education Agency’s East Jakarta office had not included the electricity bills in the Education Operational Fund (BOP) for the 2016 budget allocation. They eventually included the payments in the 2016 revised budget allocation.

Susi said after learning of the power cut, the agency immediately negotiated with PLN. Her party pledged to pay the bill on Thursday. She hoped the power would be turned back on immediately.

Separately, M. Misbakhul Munir, SMAN 48 vice principal for infrastructure, said his school had accrued an outstanding debt of Rp 118 million since June.

Misbakhul said his students were forced to study outside because their classrooms were too dark and hot as the air conditioner and lamps had been shut off.

He said, water dispensers, attendance record machines and school bells also do not work because they rely on electricity, adding that the school also cancelled an examination training session for the Computer Based Test. While, Feri Putra Pratama, a 17-year-old student, said the power cut had disrupted his studies.

Acting Jakarta Governor Sumarsono said he would immediately summon the officials who were responsible for the incident. He added that if the power had not been turned on by tomorrow, the officials would be sanctioned.

Syamsul Huda, the general manager of PLN’s Greater Jakarta branch, said his company had given the city administration a long period of time to pay the bill. Syamsul said his subordinates had met with the Jakarta Education Agency to settle the payment.

He said, if the city gives them a statement letter to pay the bill, his party will turn the power back on. He said, PLN had offered city-owned Bank DKI the opportunity to pay the bill first, but due to complicated bureaucratic matters, the payment could not be executed.

Syamsul added, he would organize an agreement between PLN and the city administration to prevent such an occurrence from happening again. They could develop a scheme whereby Bank DKI could pay the bill first.

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