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October 27, 2020, 11.57 PM

JAKARTA, – The Jakarta Provincial Administration’s Education Service is facing calls to keep track of schools whose faculty included teachers suspected of religious extremism or racist beliefs.

The Association for Education and Teachers (P2G) conveyed the suggestion a day after a screenshot of a religiously charged message from a state high school teacher identified as TS in East Jakarta went viral.

“The Education Service should keep track of clusters of teachers who are known to have intolerant tendencies. This is the Education Service’s role because they have oversight of the schools [employing the teachers],” said P2G spokesman Satriwan Salim on October 27.

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“These clusters can be detected from reports by students or their parents who interact with such teachers. [The Education Service] should also give students the right to criticize intolerant teachers and give them the necessary protection to do so.”

Satriwan hoped the measures can help schools to detect teachers disseminating radical or intolerant ideologies and prevent them from taking hold.

“We hope the Education Service can deradicalize [the schools] and rehabilitate them. The Service needs to put more effort into carrying out this step,” he noted.

“I hope that the authorities will process the incident in East Jakarta according to existing procedures and ensure it does not happen again.”

A screenshot of TS’ message originated from a WhatApp group chat last week where he weighed in on elections for his class’ intra-school student organization or OSIS.

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“Beware of voting for OSIS candidates 1 and 2 as well as their running mates, as they are not Muslim…and since we [Muslims] are the majority, we should have a candidate of the same creed,” TS said in the message.

“Please give your support to candidate number 3 and his running mate for meeting those criteria. Other students of the same faith better not betray [their brethren].”

East Jakarta Education Service head Gunas Mahdianto condemned TS’ actions. “We need to nip potential ethnic and sectarian tensions in the bud. All religions [in Indonesia] have the same rights.” 

“TS teaches students of different faiths. This type of incident should not happen again.”

Gunas added that the school principal have filed a report on the incident and dealt with him internally. He did not say whether TS is still teaching at the school.

(Writers: Walda Marison | Editors: Jessi Carina, Sandro Gatra)


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