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  • » 11/23/2010, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Sumatra: local authorities close Catholic school without explanation

    Mathias Hariyadi

    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.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In the city of Kamp (province of Riau - Sumatra), more than 400 children are likely to remain without an education. City authorities want to close a Catholic school of the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. The decision was communicated to the sisters on Oct. 29, but so far no one has stated the real motives for the gesture and at any moment the building could be cleared.

    The sisters have sent a petition to the governor of the province, the chief of police, the military commander. They have also written to the President and Parliament. Over 300 letters of protest were sent by parents to local authorities, who had previously supported the opening of the school.

    Local sources tell AsiaNews that the measure has no legal basis and authorities can not prevent or suspend the educational activities in schools. The Indonesian constitution in fact allows civil foundations to build schools or educational institutions that help the State to promote education for the entire population.

    The request for the establishment of the school was started in 2007, to meet the needs of the district population who for some time had been asking for an institute for their children’s education. In April 2009 the school was opened with the permission of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference, the diocese and the local authorities and placed under the supervision of the Sacred Heart Children's Foundation (Yayasab Puteri Hati Kudus - Yphk) and led by Sister Clarent.

    The source for AsiaNews says that since the early days, "the response from the population was vibrant" and in May 2009, the institute opened registrations and in 2010 presented its regular report to the local official for education. To date the institute has 465 students including 60 children in kindergarten, 176 primary and 229 in between middle and high schools.

    "The most important issue - sources say - is that now we have to prepare the final exam for the 120 high school children to be held in 2011."
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    See also

    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.

    06/09/2005 INDONESIA
    Cardinal of Jakarta calls on police to protect churches from attacks by fundamentalists
    Catholic, Protestant and a Muslim religious leaders demand security forces intervene to stop violence by Islamic extremists.

    12/09/2006 INDIA
    Lucknow: Muslims and Hindus condemn attack on Loreto Sisters

    After Hindu fanatics attacked a school run by the sisters on 10 September, a group of scholars joined the Church of Uttar Pradesh in condemning the action and calling for fitting punishment to make an example of the culprits.



    03/02/2012 INDIA
    Nun may be arrested for "desecrating" Hindu objects
    Sr. Ajaya Mary, dean of the Nirmala Covent School institute, did not allow a student to perform a ritual dedicated to the goddess Saraswati. Hindu activists accuse the nun of "having wounded the religious sentiments of the community." The nun speaks of a "false and malicious campaign" against a school that "for 42 years has served society."

    07/05/2007 NEPAL
    First Nepalese bishop ordained
    Mgr Sharma, 40 years a priest, has committed himself to work to create a democratic and prosperous society and to encourage inter-faith cooperation. What people say about him, and the story of a young Church that is nonetheless active in helping the people, especially in backwards rural areas.



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