The Jakarta Post
It was recess time at early childhood education school (PAUD) Tunas Bina in Tamansari, West Jakarta, on Wednesday, when Public Order Agency officers and city officials arrived with a backhoe to dismantle their classrooms.
The teachers and students later continued their lessons in the Tamansari district office on Jl. Kemukus.
The students’ parents had begged officials to delay the demolition until the end of the school year, according to a resident named Agus. But their request was ignored, and the backhoe destroyed the school right away.
“It’s sad to see that they did it in front of the kids. They’re 5 years old, they know nothing,” Agus said as quoted by kompas.com.
Pinangsia subdistrict head Ilham Agustian conceded that the students had been on school grounds during the demolition.
"[We] waited until their lesson was finished," he said, adding a new building would be provided and that the relocation was part of the Kota Tua revitalization project.
The new school building is located in a green zone, he said.
“[Students and teachers] will keep using the district office until a new school, which we’re currently building on Jl. Kunir, is complete,” Ilham said.
However, a surprising turn of events occurred after the school was destroyed: Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced on Thursday that he had removed Firman Ibrahim from his position as Tamansari district head.
“Yes, that’s true. I’ve dismissed the district head,” he said.
Firman, meanwhile, denied that his dismissal had been related to Wednesday’s events, claiming that he had just been suspended.
He added that he would not make any further comments as he waited for an official letter from the West Jakarta municipality administration regarding his employment status. (vla)