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Jakarta Post

Schools in Medan, Pekanbaru open doors to refugees

  • Gemma Holliani Cahya and Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta and Pekanbaru   /   Tue, July 9, 2019   /  06:34 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Refugees tend to a baby on a sidewalk in Kebon Sirih, Central Jakarta, on Friday. Lacking the money to rent accommodation, they are forced to live on the street.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

It is a privilege for children of refugees and asylum seekers in any place of the world to go to school while seeking to reach their destination countries. When Medan in North Sumatra opened its state elementary schools to 279 refugee children in the city last year, the news brought hope and joy to the refugee families, especially the children, who had spent years at their shelter without schooling. The decision was made after a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by the Medan Education Agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to allow the refugee children to enroll in the state school system. Even though Indonesia has yet to ratify the UN Convention on Refugees, a similar schooling program has been adopted in the neighboring province of Riau. The Pekanbaru Education Agency recently announced a plan to pla...