A coalition of education-focused NGOs have strongly rejected a plan by the Prabumulih municipality administration in South Sumatra to conduct virginity tests on female students, saying that it violated every citizen’s right to an education.
“The purpose of such a test is absurd. The 1945 Constitution as well as the 1999 Human Rights Law stipulate that education is one of every citizen’s constitutional rights. Therefore, the right of access to education cannot be denied under any circumstance,” the coalition stated in a press statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
“The planned test also violates the 2013 National Education Law, which stipulates that education shall be maintained with justice and without discrimination,” the coalition added.
Prabumulih Education Agency chief HM Rasyid said on Tuesday that the test would be conducted on all girls entering high school. “The test will be implemented in 2014 and will be paid for from the city budget,” he said, adding that the test was aimed at reducing sexual crimes committed against students.
Rasyid was optimistic that the test would have a positive impact, as it would steer female students away from what he called “negative activities”.