Electricity for Indonesia's remote schools: WB

Mataram (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - The World Bank (WB) is now providing electric-generating equipment for several schools located in remote areas in Indonesia's Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB). The assistance is delivered under the Safe and Energy Saved-Schools and Islamic Schools (SMAHE) program jointly conducted by WB and its counterparts that include the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), the People's Welfare Coordinating Ministry and the Education and Culture Ministry.

"Equipment to generate electricity is provided under the program and the equipment uses renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. In 2012, two schools in Lombok received solar and wind-powered electric generating equipment, and in 2013, we will give four more schools the equipment," Erita Nurhalim, WB Indonesia's senior operator officer, told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

Erita said the SMAHE program was part of the country's participation to support the One Million Safe Schools global campaign launched internationally in May 2010. To implement the program at the national level, the government established the Safe Schools National Secretary in June 2010. The Safe Schools program was piloted in at least 180 elementary and junior high schools and Islamic schools (madrasah) in three provinces: West Java, West Nusa Tenggara and West Sumatra.

"The basic idea of the program is how we can develop basic education institutions [...] to deal with natural disasters," said Erita, adding that Safe-Schools-guidance was published in May 2012.

NTB is the only SMAHE program area that receives electricity assistance due to the fact that many schools in the province's remote areas do not have access to electricity.

The SMAHE program in NTB is conducted by the World Bank under a partnership with the University of Mataram (Unram)'s Community Empowerment Institution (LPM). Nonong Tanaya, an LPM member, said since 2010, around 60 elementary level- schools and Islamic schools in NTB had participated in "Safe and energy-saved schools" program.

Nonong said the WB-initiated SMAHE program was funded by the Netherlands, who provided a total of 277 billion rupiah (US$28.5 million) and the European Union, who provided 213.4 billion rupiah, through the Basic Education Capacity-Trust Fund.

*US$1=9652.51 rupiah

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