Skip to main content

Schools go under as 13 rivers flood


Hundreds of thousands of children and university students have had their education disrupted by flooding after torrential rain at the beginning of February.

In what the Jakarta Post described as "the worst flooding in the capital city's 475-year history" many schools and college campuses were hit. Java and Sumatra were also affected.

The rains are connected with the La Ni$a climate phenomenon. The waters came from the 13 rivers that enter the Jakarta floodplain from the West Java Highlands to the south. Schools either found themselves inundated or pressed into use as relief centres.

Twenty-six state schools in the Penjaringan slum area in north Jakarata have been closed for more than a fortnight.

University exam schedules were thrown into disarray as students could not get to exam halls.

In the batik-producing central Java city of Pekalongan, the south Sumatra port of Lampung and the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya, classes were abandoned as schools succumbed to rising waters.

The floods bill has yet to come in, but for many poor children, this may spell the end of their schooling. Many households in poorer districts of Jakarta lost everything including school uniforms.

The state cannot afford repairs. Some regional authorities have just emerged from battles with teachers over unpaid pay rises.

The central government, meanwhile, faces a record budget deficit and cannot bail out local governments. The Jakarta city government, attacked for its tardy response to the floods, has, however, allocated emergency funding, some of which will go to education.

Indonesian meteorologists have said that the rains may continue for weeks.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you