Tika Ayu, Jakarta (Antara) – The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Legislative Council (DPRD) is set to hold a meeting with the local education agency which comes after the local government issued a requirement that sees school hours start at 5 AM.
DPRD NTT deputy speaker Inche Sayuna claims the policy came as a surprise as constituents and DPRD members were not involved in the planning where high school students must already be at school before the sun even rises.
"This policy indeed comes as a surprise for all of us and no communication was made to the DPRD regarding this policy," said Sayuna on February 28. "Quite frankly, us DPRD members were flabbergasted by this policy."
Inche then put this policy into perspective and said Indonesia's general school hours that start at 6:30 and 8:30 are already considered to be the earliest compared to other countries in the world. Legislators fear that this will greatly reduce the sleep quality of students and would affect other health aspects, which include mental health.
As reported earlier, FSGI (teachers union federation) 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.