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Jakarta Post

Agency removes principal over ‘jihadi’ kindergarten parade

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 23, 2018   /   10:43 am
Agency removes principal over ‘jihadi’ kindergarten parade Students of Kartika V-69 kindergarten, which falls under the supervision of the 0820 Probolinggo Military Command (Kodim) in East Java, march on Aug. 17 in an Independence Day parade in black robes and niqabs, carrying props resembling assault rifles. (Facebook/-)

A controversial Independence Day parade at an Indonesian Military (TNI) kindergarten in Probolinggo, East Java, has resulted in its principal being removed and transferred to a different post.  

Hartatik, formerly the principal of Kartika V-69 kindergarten that falls under the supervision of the 0820 Probolinggo Military Command (Kodim), took up her new position at the Probolinggo Education, Youth and Sports Agency (Disdikpora) on Thursday.

On Aug 17, students of Kartika V-69 marched in the parade clad in black robes and niqabs, carrying props resembling assault rifles in the school's Independence Day parade, themed "Fight with the Messenger of Allah to Increase Faith and Piety". 

Photos and videos of the parade went viral on social media, which generated comments accusing the school of fomenting radicalism among its students.

Disdikpora head M. Kaskur said that Hartatik had admitted to neglecting her duties in connection with the parade, particularly in not consulting the agency or the 0820 Probolinggo Kodim on the "jihadi" costume parade.

“This is a strict administrative sanction. We [the agency] agreed to remove Hartatik [as principal], and she will assume the role of an agency staffer as of Thursday,” Kaskur said on Wednesday, as quoted by kompas.com.

“The principal's position [has not been filled]. We will hold a coordination meeting to discuss the new principal,” he added.

Hartatik has since apologized for the event, saying she had no intention of committing any misconduct, that the parade was solely for entertainment and that the kindergarten was just using the items it had in storage.

The military command's Army Wives Union (Persit) 35 head Yuliana Tungga Dewi also apologized to the public.

“We apologize for this [incident]. We will be more careful. We have no intention of instilling radicalism [in children],” Yuliana said. (sau/swd)