At least 79 junior high school students from a number of educational institutions in Sampang Regency, East Java have dropped out of school because they were married at an early age. Section Head of SMP Development Curriculum at the Sampang Education Agency (Disdik) Amir Sholeh said, the number of junior high school students who quit school for marriage reasons is known based on the report of the national exam organizing committee some time ago.
In addition to being married at an early age, some of the 79 students who officially quit and did not take the national exam this year, was because they joined their parents to work overseas as Indonesian Migrant Workers (TKI).
Amir Sholeh further said that the role of technical implementation unit of the Education Agency at the sub-district level in the future needs to be improved so that similar cases would not happen again. The unit serves to provide understanding to students’ parents that education is important and it is the responsibility of parents, the community, including teachers and religious leaders.
Based on data of the Sampang Education Agency, the total number of junior high school (SMP) students in 2017 was 8,965 students with the number of MTs students totaling 6,261 students, so the total number of UN participants for SMP and MTs is 15,226. However, out of that figure, only 15,147 students took the exam, because 79 dropped out.