Student rally in Bandung calls for 'total evaluation' of Jokowi government

Detik News – October 28, 2021
Students set fire to tyres in front of West Java parliament in Bandung – October 28, 2021 (Detik)

Wisma Putra, Bandung – Hundreds of students held a demonstration in front of the West Java Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) in Bandung on Thursday October 28 in which they highlighted President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo performance on education.

According to Detik News' observations, access to Jalan Diponegoro was closed off by the demonstrators who had set fire to tyres creating clouds of smoke.

A number of action demands were written on banners and cardboard placed in front of the entrance to the DPRD building. "#TOTALLY EVALUATE JOKOWI", read one of the demands written on a banner.

Several students took turns in giving speeches conveying their demands. One of them criticised Widodo's policies in the education sector.

"Viva the Indonesian people, 93 years ago [Indonesian] youth gathered to hold a congress, today we gather with anxiety looking at the oligarchy", shouted Endang, a speaker from the Indonesian Education University (UPI) referring to the October 28, 1958 Youth Pledge.

The students said that the administration of President Widodo and Vice President Ma'ruf Amin had failed to provide a just education system for their people. "[They have] failed to provide justice for the nation, today there are still students who do not continue their schooling, even drop out of school", said Endang.

The students also touched on the recent dismissal of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) employees and said that they felt concerned over the low wages received by honorary teachers.

"Today we see honorary teachers getting a wage of 300,000 rupiah [a month], parents selling their homes so their child can attend university, but when they become teachers they get a wage of 300,000 rupiah", said Endang.

The students also addressed the issue of the police who acted repressively towards a student in Banten, West Java, in a case of indecency committed by a police officer.

"We still see the repressiveness of the police, committing indecency. We ask President Joko Widodo to evaluate the Indonesia Onward cabinet", they asserted.

If Widodo is unable to conduct an evaluation, then the students said that the Widodo's administration should resign. (wip/mud)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Geruduk Gedung DPRD Jabar, Mahasiswa Soroti Kinerja Jokowi-Ma'ruf".]