As educators who hail from democratic nations, we have a tendency to falsely assume we are somehow immune to the proceedings of the developing nation in which we are living and teaching. Not so, as a group of 20 International Educators, soon to be deported, learned at Jakarta International School, Indonesia.
What happened is this: During an investigation into accusations of child molestation by members of the school’s ‘cleaning’ crew, authorities incidentally discovered that 20 of the 26 foreign-hire teachers were in violation of immigration regulations.
It came to light that the teachers’ work permits stipulated middle school teaching positions, but the teachers were actually working in elementary classrooms. You might say that this is really just a matter of semantics, but the teachers were charged with “falsifying a job description on Kitas documents”. All 20 foreign-hire teachers have been scheduled for deportation, leaving them jobless and the school in the lurch for teachers.
On June 6 the teachers’ situation took a surprising downturn when the parents of a kindergarten student came forward to report their child had allegedly been molested by a classroom teacher. The soon-to-be-deported teachers are now being detained in Jakarta for questioning by police.
In a seemingly unrelated move, The Indonesian Education and Culture Ministry (June 2) banned the word ‘international’ from use by foreign private schools, reporting there are 114 such ‘international’ schools in Indonesia. The new law goes so far as to further prohibit using the word in educational units, programs, classes and/or classroom lessons.
Not to diminish the gravity of the child molestation charges at Jakarta International School in any way ( ISR article Pedophiles Among Us), the deportation incident in Indonesia should serve as a heads-up for International Educators in all parts of the world. Yes! Upon arrival we are indeed subject to the laws of the land, even when they may not make sense to us.
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