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A CAMPUS FOR INDONESIAN KIDS IN SABAH


Kota Kinabalu: Plans are afoot to build a permanent school at a two-acre site at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) in Sepanggar to serve as the education headquarters for Indonesian children in the State. This means that except for Filipino children who are prone to ending up as street kids and left to the generosity of Malaysian taxpayers, including their upkeep at detention centres, Indonesian children have a proper place to gain knowledge and skills.
Acting Consul-General Rudhito Widagdo said, Tuesday, they are determined to purchase the State land and relocate from the present Sekolah Indonesia Kota Kinabalu (SIKK) in Alamesra near 1Borneo. He said the plan augurs well with their aim of ensuring no Indonesian children are deprived of formal education as provided for in the Indonesian Constitution.
"Our application to purchase the identified land is under process É we submitted it to the relevant authority last year. Actually we need between five and seven acres for the proposed project but we decided to go for two acres initially to house students of primary and secondary classes. The proposed school would be bigger than the present one in Alamesra as it would accommodate between 500 and 600 students," Rudhito said.
Towards this end he called for the State Government's full cooperation to help them bring to fruition a permanent school at KKIP. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman has been attentive to the Consulate's aspiration of providing free formal education to children of its countrymen in Sabah, he said.
He said this to Daily Express at the opening of SIKK, here, Tuesday, by Secretary of Directorate General of the Management for Primary and Secondary Education under the Indonesia Ministry of National Education, Bambang Indriyanto. The school started operating on Dec. 1.
Rudhito said the present location of SIKK in Alamesra along Jalan UMS-Sulaman is only a temporary premises that houses 215 primary pupils from Years 1-6 and six teachers.
"The school here is built only for our countrymen to ensure they procure proper education while their parents are working in Sabah. We are renting the present premises for two years for RM9,800 a year.
"We provide education to Indonesian children residing around here, charging no school fees and giving them free textbooks and school uniforms," he said.
Rudhito said the pupils would be taught according to the Indonesian education syllabus and that a subject on local customs, culture and law would also be included so that they would have better understanding of the people's lifestyle here.
According to him, only 25 per cent of the total 24,199 Indonesian children in Sabah are provided formal education either from international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) or other quarters that run learning centres in plantations and estates.
"Out of the total, 6,175 Indonesian children in Lahad Datu are given proper education at a learning centre actively run by Borneo Child Aid Society or Humana for children of foreign workers, including from the Philippines.
We have sent 109 Indonesian teachers to teach the children using the Malaysian education syllabus."There are also study groups operating in community halls covering about 800 Indonesian children here, Penampang, and Keningau," he said.
Considering many Indonesian children have yet to get the formal education, Rudhito said they have a long-term plan to build more schools for them in Lahad Datu, Sandakan and Tawau as well as other areas that have quite a number of Indonesian children.
DAILY EXPRESS NEWS
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