Indonesians enter high school at 15 or 16
Jakarta – Arab Today
Education officials in Indonesia’s Sumatra Island have proposed that senior high school students be forced to undergo virginity tests as part of next year’s schools admissions process
Muhammad Rasyid, head of the education office in South Sumatra’s district of Prabumulih, included the plans in a 2014 state budget published on a national website, Indonesian news magazine Tempo said.
The official was aware the plans would be controversial but said they were necessary, claiming there was a rise in premarital sex and rampant prostitution among female students in the region.
“Every woman has the right to virginity, on the other hand, we expect students to not commit negative acts. Therefore, we plan to implement the policy next year,” the Jakarta Globe quoted him as saying.
Twitter and Facebook users responded with outrage to the idea, with some calling the tests a form of child abuse that could emotionally scar pupils. Indonesian students start high school at 15 or 16.
Other officials, education experts and women’s rights activists also criticised the plans, according to Indonesian media.
Dedi Gumilar, an MP in the commission which oversees education, raised doubts over whether the proposal was constitutional, a local newspaper reported.
“Do we have a law stating that students must be holy? It’s written in the country’s constitution that every citizen has the right to education,” the Jakarta Globe quoted him as saying on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, provincial education chief, Widodo, urged Rasyid to abandon the proposal, saying girls should be nurtured, not judged.
The scheme would need approval from the district council to pass.
It is not the first time virginity tests have been suggested in world’s most populous Muslim country. A similar proposal made in West Java in 2007 was dropped after a popular outcry.
In 2010, a lawmaker in a regional parliament proposed that girls be required to pass a virginity test to be admitted to state-funded schools, but nothing came of the plan.