Regional Government Association wants Central Government to re-evaluate school zoning policies

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The Association of Indonesian Municipal Governments (APEKSI) wants Central Government to re-evaluate school Zoning policies on National Work Meeting (Rakernas) XIV, in Semarang, July 2019. (photo: IO/Dan)

IO, Jakarta – Following its national Work Meeting XIV in July, the Regional Government Association of Indonesia (Asosiasi Pemerintah Kota Seluruh Indonesia – “APEKSI”) held a Consolidation Meeting of regional heads. The meeting included, among others, the Mayor of South Tangerang, Mayor of Bogor, Mayor of Pekanbaru and other mayors. In the meeting they shared their aspirations, inputs, suggestions, and criticism. The issue that they complained about most was related to School Zoning. It is a major issue that confounds students, their parents, and regional administration staff when the time comes for school registration.

With the school zoning system, registration in a specific state school is determined not only by the students’ academic ability. Where they live also counts: students who live too far away from a school are not allowed to enter that school. There are also points awarded to students who live close to a school: the closer their home is to school, the more the points, vice versa. These points are added to academic ability scores, and entry is allowed only to students who earn a certain score.

This policy is meant to minimize the tardiness of students in schools and to ensure that study time is used effectively. However, the zoning system is considered to be unfair to students with high ability who want to enter a good school at a distance from their home. It indirectly forces students to study only in nearby schools.

Chairwoman of APEKSI’s Management Council Airin Rachmi Diany stated that many regional heads agree that the Government should evaluate its policies concerning geographical zoning for schools. “Yes, there are criticisms towards the Government about many other issues, but school zoning is the major one. In any case, we will submit the aspirations of these regional heads to the Central Government, and we will wait for its recommendation for these regional heads,” she stated at Sultan Hotel, Jakarta recently.

APEKSI further stated that all of its members have agreed to advance together in all fields, especially in industry, economy, and tourism. “No one will be left behind. We have agreed to advance together for the sake of the progress and welfare of the citizens in our respective areas,” she said. (Dan)