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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 01/23/2013, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Authorities back away from compulsory Islam teaching in East Java Catholic schools

    Mathias Hariyadi

    After days of meetings and negotiations, injunction is rescinded. For a Catholic leader, the affair has a "happy ending". A false report had previously suggested that the schools were willing to accommodate city. Surabaya bishop mediated the dispute.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Six Catholic schools in Blitar, a town in East Java Province, will not be closed, nor will they have to provide compulsory courses on Islam and the Qur'an in response to an injunction by local authorities, this according to B. Djokodwihatmono, executive secretary of the Education Commission of the Indonesian Bishops of Conference (KWI). Speaking to AsiaNews, he said that after three days of "intense talks" between local officials and members of the John Gabriel Foundation, which acted on behalf of the Diocese of Surabaya, tensions were eased, resulting in a "happy ending".

    The six schools in danger of closure were Diponegoro Catholic High School, Catholic Vocational Training High School, Saint Mary KG, Saint Mary Elementary School, Yos Sudarso Catholic Elementary and Yos Sudarso Catholic Junior High School.

    At the end of last year, they received an injunction from the city to implement Regional Order 8/2012 by "19 January", which required that Muslim pupils be taught Islam in school (in accordance with National Law 55/2007).

    School administrators reacted firmly against Blitar's threat of closure. They noted that parents and pupils who register with the schools are "fully cognizant of the fact that only the Christian religion is taught in these schools". Muslim families have readily accepted such a requirement because Catholic schools are known for their high quality education.

    In recent days, the issue was made more complicated by some reports in Jakarta's English-language media according to which the Catholic schools were willing to offer courses on Islam.

    Such inaccurate and wrong information stems from a statement made by an official with the John Gabriel Foundation who, without any authorisation, said the schools were prepared to submit to the ultimatum. This led to heated and angry discussions among Indonesian Christians.

    The issue was finally solved through the mediation of Catholic leaders, including the bishop of Surabaya, Mgr Vincentius Sutikno Wisaksono.

    "I am firmly convinced that the city of Blitar has officially dropped its injunction," B. Djokodwihatmono said.

    Sources in Blitar City Hall, anonymous because unauthorised to make any public statement, noted that the decision to pull back is due to pressures from the Indonesian Democracy Party Struggle (PDIP), which backed the city's current leadership in the last election.

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    See also

    16/09/2004 INDONESIA
    Suspects in Australian Embassy blast named

    Threats made against Catholic school. Stop violence! It is against Islam, says convicted terrorist Ali Imron.



    03/08/2007 VIETNAM
    Dalat: Catholic schools for poor children
    The project launched by the diocese offers children education from kindergarten to primary school; more than 800 pupils are followed by religious and lay people whose point of reference is “the teachings on charity and love in the Bible”.

    09/02/2007 INDONESIA
    Qur'ānic exams now required in school and to get married
    A provincial ordinance in West Sumatra that takes effect in 2008 requires written and oral Qur’ānic test for students from elementary to high schools. Married couples must also pass the test. Test applies to Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. Local political leader shrugs off possible concerns for non Muslim communities.

    02/12/2010 INDONESIA
    Indonesian Government boycotts Catholic schools, at risk of closure
    Jakarta is calling for the withdrawal of state teachers from private Catholic schools, forcing foundations to pay salaries of new teachers. If the project goes through, the schools in the poorest and most isolated areas at risk of having to close because of bankruptcy.

    23/11/2010 INDONESIA
    Sumatra: local authorities close Catholic school without explanation
    The institute is run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and has over 400 students, who will loose academic year if school closes. The measure has no legal basis, and the sisters have written a petition in protest sent to all authorities, including the Indonesian President.



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