Thu, 27 May 2004

Pakistani school in Menteng given a year to move

Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso gave the Embassy School of Pakistan a year to move to another location in the city as the school is presently located in the plush area of Menteng in Central Jakarta, which is designated as a residential area.

"I give the school management a year to look for a new location. The permit will expire in 2005," Sutiyoso said, following a meeting with the Pakistani Ambassador to Indonesia Syed Mustapha Anwar Husein at City Hall on Wednesday.

"There are students from different countries studying at the school. We must take into account our diplomatic relationship with their respective countries," he said.

Sutiyoso set a one-month deadline on Monday for officials to make sure converted houses, which had become commercial or business premises -- particularly in Menteng, as well as in Pondok Indah, Kebayoran Baru and Kemang, all in South Jakarta -- were operating in accordance with city regulations.

Meanwhile, Jakarta Middle and Higher Education Agency head Margani Mustar said many embassies in the city were associated with schools that were not situated in areas designated for educational or social purposes.

"They usually obtain permits from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but permits for international schools (owned mostly by private companies) are issued by the Ministry of National Education."

According to him, the Pakistani school had permits, both from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Education. "But, the administration has the authority to recommend the suitability of a location for a school. It seems that the (Pakistani) ambassador really understands the issue," he said.

"The school has been granted a one-year temporary operational permit ... The administration has also assigned the Jakarta Building Arrangement and Supervisory Agency to help the school's management look for a suitable location," Margani added.--JP