Private Schools Threatened to Disband

Kompas, page 13, Saturday, June 10

Thousands of private schools are threatened to close due to budget constraints if the government does not equally give attention to private schools and public schools. Whereas, before the existence of state schools, private schools supported by religious institutions have had an important role in educating the nation’s children.

Chairman of the Private School Forum (BMPS), Suparwanto said that the government has forgotten the success stories of private schools in the past in educating the young generation and fighting for the nation’s independence. A number of policies for state schools lately seem to leave private schools in a desperate state and are threatened to close down.

He said that private schools were present when Indonesia was powerless against invaders. At that time, religious institutions built schools to educate the nation’s children. The founders of private schools have a civilized idealism that is believed to be the universal truth values of humanity. To this day, the principles of civilization and character education of the nation’s children are still strongly fought by private schools in addition to academic education.

Chairman of the Kupang Catholic Education Foundation, Rm Kornelis Usboko, said that a number of government policies continue to undermine the private schools’ sense of comfort. The policy of withdrawal of state teachers from private schools who are in the process of analysis seriously disturbs private schools. If the state teachers are withdrawn, it would increasingly burden the finances of private schools. Similarly, the requirement for physical development assistance of private schools and other supporting facilities must be provided on a land certificate under the name of a foundation, whereas most of the land is usually under the name of religious institutions. Similarly, School Operational Assistance (BOS) are not allowed to be used to pay temporary teacher honorariums, while almost 85 percent of private schools employ temporary teachers.

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