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Jakarta Post

Long hard climb: Students clamber over a wall to reach their school in Kupang

  • Djemi Amnifu

    The Jakarta Post

Kupang   /   Tue, March 10, 2020   /   03:01 pm
Long hard climb: Students clamber over a wall to reach their school in Kupang Elementary school students in Indonesia. (Shutterstock.com/dani daniar)

A four-meter-tall wall has blocked an access road leading to Petra private Christian elementary school in Alak district, Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), forcing students to climb over it on their way to the school.

“It has been over a week since the landowner built that wall. It forces children to climb the wall to get to the school,” Petra elementary school principal Frengky Kase told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He added local residents had been using the road for around 20 years. Apart from Petra elementary school, the wall had also hampered students of Petra kindergarten and state vocational school SMKN 7 Kupang from reaching their respective schools.

School teachers were worried that students’ safety would be put under harm because they needed to climb the wall. It also made students to arrive late in school, as the access road is the shortest way to reach the school.

An alternative road to the school would add an additional 10 to 20 minutes walking.

Read also: East Manggarai to rebuild 'unfit' school following media coverage

The access road was blocked by property construction done by a company led by local businessman Bobby Pitoby, who owns the land. A wall was erected surrounding the construction area.

Penkase Oeleta subdistrict head Felipus Mau said the property in dispute between Bobby and another businessmen was Yano Laimonta or Cai Cong. He added the wall was erected due to the dispute.

“We undertook a serious mediation meeting between the related parties, including the two businessmen, so the road could be reopened for the public’s interest” Felipus said.

Frengky said he wished that Bobby would open the access road again for the school students.

The subdistrict head said his office was waiting for the Kupang National land Agency (BPN Kupang) to settle the dispute by, among other efforts, measuring plots of land owned by the two businessmen.

Felipus went on to say that Bobby had agreed to open the access road for the students, although the businessman said he would wait for officials from BPN Kupang to complete the measurement.

The subdistrict head said a 6-meter-wide road would be opened for the public. (gis)