Tika Ayu, Jakarta – The Indonesian Teachers Union Federation (FSGI), through a statement issued by secretary general Heru Purnomo on Tuesday, criticized the latest policy introduced by the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) education and culture agency that forces school hours to start as early as 5 AM.
"The FSGI urges the NTT provincial government to reconsider the policy where school starts at 5:00 in the morning," the statement reads.
Heru said that the policy on school hours does not have a health perspective and is in the best interests of children.
"It is alarming for the child's development. It should be canceled because it is not in the best interest of the students," he wrote.
FSGI Expert Council Chair, Retno Listyarti, said teachers and parents had recently discussed this policy and from this meeting saw many disagree with the early school hours policy due to a myriad of issues.
"The responses varied, starting from the safety factor for children on their way to school, lack of transportation during those early hours, and the readiness of parents at home, such as providing breakfast, and various considerations for children's health," she said.
Retno concluded that policymakers did not consider the approval from educators before implementing it and also claimed that this policy had not been reviewed.
"Actually, many educators reject this policy. It means this policy was made without any studies," said Retno.
The early school hours were initiated by the East Nusa Tenggara government under the leadership of Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat and Head of the NTT Education and Culture Office Linus Lusi along with Heads of State SMA/SMK/SLB in Kupang City.