Helping RI children in the Indonesian outback

October, 07 2017 | 04:56 am Courtesy of
Courtesy of

Dozens of children who go to state vocational school SMK 1 Seimenggaris in Nunukan regency, North Kalimantan, have to travel many kilometers just to get to school.

Eighteen-year-old Agus, for instance, lives 12 kilometers away from the school. Every day, this automotive student has to wake up at 3 a.m. to arrive on time. In order to get to school, Agus has to ride his motorcycle along hazardous, muddy roads that often are slippery as a result of rain.

Agus’ daily struggle to get to school on time should not be something that children who go to school have to suffer.

To combat the issue of students living long distances from the nearest schools, the government is carrying out programs such as Front Line Teachers and Front Line Schools. These kinds of schools are designed for frontier, outermost and remote (or “3T”) regions in the country.

“Front Line Schools are a realization of the third Nawacita,” Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Muhadjir Effendy said during the recent Forum Merdeka Barat 9 media gathering, as quoted by

In 2016, the government built 114 of these schools in 49 regencies and cities. These schools are composed of 11 new school units and revitalization projects of another 103 schools.

The government is also working to make life for people like Agus easier by promoting “One Roof and One Dorm” school models, which are being created in the eastern parts of Indonesia such as Papua and Maluku. These kinds of schools serve as solutions for students who live far away from education centers.