During the SEAYC (Southeast Asian Youth Conference) my friends and I had the chance to share our opinion on education problems in Indonesia.
We joined with other students who came from Semarang and Batam. After the discussion, we concluded that the main problem with education in Indonesia is an economic one.
The government has a lack of funds to pay education fees as school is free at elementary level. An ILO survey has revealed that 19 percent of Indonesia's school-aged children could not afford to attend school.
The average cost of keeping one child in elementary and junior high school for one year (including transportation and uniform expenses) could be more than two months' gross salary for family wage-earners.
The second problem is the lack of schools and teachers in rural areas such as in Kalimantan and Papua. It is hard to get volunteers to teach in these places as they are quite remote.
It is not only in rural areas where students cannot to go to school, but also in conflict areas such as Poso, Central Sulawesi. There are many other problems that make it hard for them to get the education that they deserve.
Education is an essential thing for everyone. Every child deserves to have it. But, as there are many obstacles in the way, students cannot go to school.
As the new generation of our country, let us help them -- even through the smallest things.
-- Nina Tahija, Grade 10