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More on Tourism Academy 'Closing'

Minister Ardika Explains Why No New Students Can Be Received at STP.

(6/7/2004) Further to the report at balidiscovery.com [Bali's Tourism School to be Closed?], Indonesia's Minister of Culture and Tourism has now provided background information surrounding his Department's order to Bali's Tourism Academy (STP) to not accept any new students for coming academic year.

That decision, according to Minister I Gde Ardika, was in keeping with National Education Law Number 20 of 2003 which mandates schools and training centers originally established to educate civil servants be returned to their original function. He explained that when the STP was first established in 1978 its purpose was to educate those working in government tourism posts. However, over time, the STP's function changed dramatically where today it accepts more public students than government functionaries.

The new law, passed in 2003, is intended to improve the quality of the Indonesian Civil Service by returning the training institutes to their original roles.

Speaking to the Indonesian-language Bali Post, the Minister explained how, on two separate occasions, he had been reminded by Commission VI of the Parliament (DPR) of his responsibility to return the STP to its original function. The decision to stop the intake of new students was, according to Minister Ardika, "better than making a bad situation worse by receiving new students who would only later find themselves in an uncertain situation when the new law is implemented." The Minister said the order to halt the admission of new students was in keeping with his responsibility to anticipate future developments.

The Minister acknowledged the controversy unleashed in the community by the decision to stop new admissions. And, he also acknowledged STP's contribution to national tourism development in successfully graduating some 10,000 tourism professionals since its inception.

However, the Minister reminded all concerned that the matter was far from over, with all parties awaiting the issuance of the implementation procedures for the National Education Law Number 20 of 2003.