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Jakarta Post

Pandemic exposes vulnerability of Indonesia's private schools

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Mon, April 5, 2021   /  09:22 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) officers in Central Jakarta prepare to spray disinfectant in a school in Jakarta on March 3, 2020.(JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on educational institutions across the country, with children from low-income families who attend private schools bearing the brunt of the impacts. With millions of Indonesians pushed out of jobs and scraping by with reduced incomes because of the prolonged epidemic, parents have struggled to pay for their children's tuition, said Indonesian Private Education Forum Body (BMPS) head Saur Panjaitan. Private schools are often associated with students from elite families, but in Indonesia, they account for a portion as 80 percent of private schools in the country target lower socioeconomic groups, Saur said. They offer alternative education for students who cannot pass the tight competition for seats in state schools. "The foundations that run these schools have had their cash flow disrupted [...] They're running out of money,...