Date posted: July 27, 2016
Two students wearing red long-sleeve shirts combined with checkered skirts were chatting fluently in English while playing at the grounds of Kharisma Bangsa Bilingual boarding school on Tuesday afternoon. Meters away, in a guest room within the school’s lobby, a parent was speaking with a Turkish teacher.
Kharisma Bangsa, located in South Tangerang, Banten, is running business as usual despite the fact it use to have a partnership with non-profit organization the Turkey Pacific Countries Social and Economic Solidarity Association (PASİAD) from 2006 to 2014.
The PASİAD has been linked to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, accused of orchestrating the July 15 coup attempt that killed at least 246 people in Turkey. He is a political opponent of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
On July 23, Erdoğan ordered the closures of thousands of private schools in Turkey in his first decree while imposing a state of emergency after the failed coup. Soon after, he also urged other countries to shut down schools affiliated with Gülen.
“Kharisma Bangsa’s school activities were not at all affected because we ended our partnership with the PASİAD in 2014,” Sutirto, the Kharisma Bangsa principal, said.
The school has 10 teachers from Turkey, who are independently employed and not from the PASİAD. The school has 75 teachers from Indonesia and other countries including the Philippines, the US and England, he said.
Sutirto explained the school ended its partnership with the PASİAD because of a ministerial decree issued by the Culture and Education Ministry, which required international schools to adjust their curriculum.
“Based on Culture and Education Ministerial Decree No. 31/2014, these schools are no longer in partnership with the PASİAD, they have become joint-cooperation schools (SPK) with foreign education institutions namely, Amity College in Australia and Fulton in the US,” Thamrin Kasman, the ministry’s secretary of the Directorate General of Primary and Secondary Education toldThe Jakarta Post over the phone.
In Indonesia, schools allegedly inspired by Hizmet — Fethullah Gülen’s movement — currently operating are Pribadi Bilingual School in Depok, Pribadi Bilingual Boarding School in Bandung, Kharisma Bangsa Bilingual Boarding School in South Tangerang, Semesta Bilingual Boarding School in Semarang, Kesatuan Bangsa Bilingual Boarding School in Yogyakarta, Sragen Bilingual School in Sragen, Fatih Boy’s School in Aceh, Fatih Girl’s School in Aceh and Banua Bilingual Boarding School in South Kalimantan.
Source: Jakarta Post , July 27, 2916