TheJakartaPost

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Jakarta Post

Never too old to study

  • Editorial board

    Jakarta

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 4 2020   /  01:00 am
An admissions officer at SMK Pembangunan Jaya-YAKAPI vocational school in Jakarta speaks to the parent of a prospective student on Thursday. The government plans to reopen schools at the start of the new academic year on July 13, after nearly four months since they were closed in early March as part of the COVID-19 social restrictions. JP/Seto Wardhana(JP/Seto Wardhana)

The new student recruitment system in Jakarta has triggered protests as age now counts, more so than academic merit and the distance between children’s homes and the state schools in which they want to enroll. The new mechanism is a consequence of Education and Culture Ministerial Regulation No. 44/2019 signed last December. Not all parents are aware of the new arrangement, or perhaps the government has not done enough to familiarize the changes made to the zoning system. Unsurprisingly, an infuriated parent called the new system a lie after her daughter was not admitted because she was younger than other students even though she lived quite close to the state school of her choice. The ministerial regulation sets the minimum age of new elementary school students at 7 years old and the maximum age of students enrolling in junior high school and senior high school at 15 and 21,...