PEKANBARU, KOMPAS.com – Sixty-four Indonesian school principals in Indragiri Hulu regency resigned following allegations they were victims of extortion attempts by representatives of law enforcement and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
“Yes, it is correct,” Acting Head of Indragiri Hulu Education Agency Ibrahim Alimin confirmed the mass resignation to Kompas.com on Wednesday, July 15. “A total of 64 principals of government junior high schools have resigned.”
“During the audience, they presented their resignation letters. As the education agency head, I was surprised because we have just started the school year on July 13, 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said, adding that there were some student report cards and certificates that needed to be signed.
Ibrahim said the resignation had a connection to their task in managing the government-led school operational aid (BOS). The school principals felt they were disturbed by individuals when managing the assistance funds.
“They don’t manage a big amount of money as some schools receive the annual funds of $3,800, others receive $3,600, while some get $13,600. They were allegedly disturbed by NGOs and other individuals. So they would prefer to become ordinary teachers,” Ibrahim said.
“They have done the right thing and have no intention to be party to any misappropriation, but they still got the blame,” Ibrahim said.
Meanwhile, the resignation was also confirmed by the Head of Inspectorate Office at the Indragiri Hulu regency Boyke Sitinjak.
Boyke said he will hold a meeting with the principals to find out the reasons behind their resignation and escalate the matter. Boyke said he has not received details of the resignation.
“But there’s an allegation that law enforcement individuals tried to extort money from the principals. This is a serious matter that we will investigate further,” Boyke told Kompas.com on Wednesday, July 15.
He assured that the matter will be processed because it has tarnished the education sector.
"I’ve never previously heard in Indonesia of a mass resignation involving all principals of junior high schools in a regency. This is a big challenge for the inspectorate office to develop a good governance regency," Boyke said.
Under the BOS program, the government has allocated a total of 54.32 trillion rupiahs ($3.7 billion) in 2020 state budget, or up 6.03 percent from the previous year, according to the official website of the Ministry of Finance.
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