Protesters criticise education costs, call for free schooling on Car Free Day

Source – July 7, 2024
Protest at Car Free Day in Jakarta calling for free schooling – July 7, 2024 (Kompas)

Syakirun Ni'am, Icha Rastika, Jakarta – Protesters called for free schooling and criticised the high cost of education during a healthy walk event on Car Free Day (CFD) in the Thamrin area of Central Jakarta on Sunday July 7.

This event was initiated by the Indonesian Education Monitoring Network (JPPI), Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW), Forumouan and a number of other non-governmental organisations.

The dozens of protesters wore uniform black shirts with the slogan "Schools Free of Cost" printed on them.

They walked along the side of Jalan MH Thamrin while carrying posters with criticisms of the high cost of education. "Transactions are for the market, not in schools", read one of the posters.

Through loudspeakers, they also criticised expensive tuition fees at tertiary educational institutions.

In addition to the issue of high education costs, they also criticised the implementation of new student admissions (PPDB) for 2024-25, which continue to repeat the same problems as previous years, such as extortion and gratification.

The PPDB issue has also been highlighted by the Indonesian Ombudsman. The institution found problems with the implementation of PPDB in 10 provinces.

Indonesian Ombudsman member Indraza Marzuki Rais said that the problems in PPDB include manipulation of documents, procedural errors and discrimination against students.

"These are things that are quite prominent. Because if asked 'are there no findings of all provinces?' The answer is that there are. However, this is quite prominent because the other findings are the classic problem", Rais said during a press conference at the Indonesian Ombudsman Office in Jakarta on Friday July 5 as quoted by the state news agency Antara.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was " Massa Suarakan Sekolah Bebas Biaya di CFD Thamrin".]