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Schooling appeal for jailed teens

Juvenile prisoners at serious disadvantage when sitting national exams, Church official says

Junior high students taking national exams (Photo: Lensaindonesia.com) Junior high students taking national exams (Photo: Lensaindonesia.com)
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • April 20, 2011
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A  Church official and a child activist urged the education ministry today to offer lessons to prisoners in juvenile detention centers to better prepare them for national exams.

They said while the taking of national exams is the right of all students, child prisoners are at a serious disadvantage.

The government has allowed imprisoned juveniles to sit the national exams since 2009.

“They never attend classes. They do not know what subjects will be tested,” said Crosier Father Serafin Danny Sanusi, executive secretary of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace.

Therefore, “we ask the government to address this situation by providing these young prisoners with adequate lessons,” he said.

A similar concern was expressed by Aris Merdeka Sirait from the National Commission for Child Protection.

“The government should be preparing child prisoners for the national exams so they will not be afraid of sitting them,” he said.

The Ministry of Education is currently conducting national exams for junior and senior high students.
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