Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tangerang school lacks chairs, desks, electricity, students

A critical lack of classroom chairs and tables is causing enrollment at SDN Pondok Kacang Barat II state elementary school in Pondok Aren, Tangerang, to plummet every year.

“The school's classrooms are devoid of desks as well as chairs, and there is no electricity,” parent Sony Syarudin said.

“Students are forced to sit on the floor when studying in the classrooms. This has been going on for a long time,” Sony told The Jakarta Post.

He added that parents have repeatedly filed complaints with the South Tangerang municipal office and the Pondok Aren district education agency to no avail.

“We also met with the school principal but he did not pay any attention to the parents' complaints,” Sony said.

These conditions have impelled parents to move their children to schools with better facilities.

School principal Madanih said students had been dropping out of the school. However, he said the poor conditions at the school were not his responsibility.

“My task is to simply manage study activities. It is the responsibility of the South Tangerang Education Agency to equip the classrooms with furniture,” he said.

He added that the state-run electric company PT PLN had cut the school’s electricity because of unpaid bills.

The school, nestled between the Bumi Serpong Damai and Bintaro housing estates, had 27 new students in 2008. That number dropped to 20 in 2009 and 18 in 2010.

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