By: Rodhi Dwi Priono
Indonesia is a nation that is very concerned with aspects of education. As stated in the Preamble of the 1945 Constitution, one of the goals of the nation is to educate the nation’s life. Which means, education is the primary thing for every Indonesian citizen. In this context, education intended is sustainable education. Thus, from each generation to the next generation, it is always hereditary along with upholding religious values in order to educate the life of the nation.
To implement this, the government is striving for a 12-year compulsory education program, which must be followed by every Indonesian citizen. Minister of Education and Culture, Muhammad Nuh, in his remarks at the commemoration of the 2012 National Teachers’ Day and 67th Anniversary of PGRI also said that the agenda he was currently making then was to expand access of all children of the nation in the world of education. All children of the nation means wherever they are, Indonesia juveniles in Correctional Institution are not exception, they are entitled to quality education.
The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) mentioned that the number of juveniles registered in the Integrated Services Unit managed by the Directorate General of Correctional Affairs has increased compared to 2016. Referring to June 2017 data, there were 2,559 juveniles who became convicts. This number is greater than the number of juvenile convicts in December 2016 with 2,320 juveniles. This means, many of them lose their rights while serving prison sentences, such as the right to freedom, participation and education.
Human are created by God Almighty with a set of rights that guarantee their degree as human beings. According to Miriam Budiardjo, basic human rights are human rights that have been obtained and brought along with our birth or presence in the community. This means that the rights apply to all people regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or social and national origin. The rights are also not bought or inherited because they are a part that is automatically inherent in humans. In addition to basic rights, humans also have obligations and responsibilities. Every person in his/her life has the rights and obligations that are essential as a human.
The problem here is, can convicted juveniles still experience the basic rights attached to them? The rights here refer to the rights to education as one form of the basic rights that they should receive.
Essentially, these children are assets and human resources who will later be the successors to build the nation. Fulfillment of children’s rights to education in correctional institutions is very important. This should not be ignored so that these children can still gain knowledge and continue their education.
Then, after returning to breathe the outside air, they can be accepted by the society and able to compete with the outside world which is competitive with the provision of knowledge gained. Convicted juveniles also have an obligation to build a better nation. In fact, they are the next generation who are able to advance the civilization and prosperity of the nation.
The fulfillment of the right to education for convicted children to realize social inclusion
Education is a matter that is very mandatory in any country, including Indonesia. In Indonesia, education becomes the main pillar in the progress of the nation. With education, we can know something that was not known before. With education, we gain knowledge that can reflect that the next generation of the nation must be able to be educated and beneficial human resources for the country.
As stated in the Preamble of the 1945 Constitution, one of the goals of the nation is to educate the nation’s life. Then, supported by article 31 of the 1945 Constitution which states that “Every citizen has the right to education”.
This means, every citizen has the same right in receiving education regardless of the status they have. In this case, the government should be able to expand access for all children of the nation in the field of education, including for children who are in Correctional Institution (Lapas). There should be no discrimination in terms of education. Although they are behind the bars, they still have the right to quality education.
If there is discrimination, it will certainly have a negative impact. As quoted on Liputan6.com, the Director General of Correctional Affairs (PAS) of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights I, Wayan Kusmianta Dusak, said that there are differences between juvenile in conflict with the law and children in general. Because their status legally results in deprivation of physical independence, both when detained in a detention institution or Temporary Child Placement Institution (LPAS), and when convicted at a Special Children’s Development Institute (LPKA). Their existence in Correctional Institution and their status as wards of correctional institutions do not abolish the rights attached to themselves that must be fulfilled and protected, especially in terms of education.
What happens if the children in the Correctional Institution do not receive proper education? Of course they don’t have enough knowledge to face the competitive world outside the prison. They will also be left behind in today’s global competition. It is likely that they will be ostracized and not be accepted when they return to the community.
When in the community, they are not accepted, they are even considered trash. They could return to committing crimes or violations. As contained in the Labeling Theory according to Lemert (in Sunarto, 2014), namely deviant actions caused by labeling from the community to someone who then tends to keep doing deviance. As a result, children with convict status are often considered trash. Because of this label they often get rejection and ill-treatment, such as losing their basic human rights.
Regardless of their status as convicted juveniles, they are still children who are entitled to receive educational guidance, as well as other rights in accordance with the law. According to Thoha (2003, H.7), correctional action is defined as an action, process, outcome, or statement for the better. In this context, there is progress, improvement, growth of various possibilities. This is also supported by regulations on the education system specifically for school-age children in correctional institutions, including the SPPA Law. In the SPPA Law, it is regulated that every child in the criminal justice process has the right to education. Therefore, there is no reason for Lapas to avoid the regulation.
Considering the situation, the fulfillment of children’s basic rights is very important. Child Protection Law No. 23 Year 2002 with amendment to Law No. 35 Year 2014 states clearly that every child has the right to receive their rights as a child. One of the children’s rights mentioned in the Act is rights to education. All of them realize that every child has the right to education and teaching in the context of personal development and increase their motivation.
The right to education is certainly acceptable to every juveniles in conflict with the law. This is reinforced by the existence of Law no. 11 Year 2012 on Juvenile Justice. The law states that every child who is undergoing a criminal period is entitled to his/her rights in accordance with the provisions of the law.
This is where the need for the government role (Lapas) and the community in expanding access to all children in education. So that they, including the convicted juveniles, can feel their basic rights, especially the right to education without discrimination. As it is known, efforts to fulfill the educational rights of convicted children are divided into formal and non-formal education.
Apart from activities related to formal and non-formal education, it is also important to see how the culture or routine is carried out by children in Correctional Institution. While serving their sentences, children also participate in various activities, even though these activities are not what they wish. These activities depend on or are based on institutional cooperation with Lapas.
Based on the explanation above, the forms of activities that can be carried out to fulfill the educational rights of convicted juveniles include:
1. Job Training
In this case, it’s possible to work with creative economic agencies or other institutions such as for training on various automotive, furniture, and sewing. In these training, children are only allowed to participate in the activities. They do not have the opportunity to participate in determining programs and providing equipment.
2. Pursuing Paket C (National High School Equivalency Examination)
In this case, this can work together with schools or other educational institutions. In training, children can learn to read and even write. Then, children can also learn about subjects, such as formula lessons and math geometry. Children can also get a diploma so that after they re-breathe the air in the outside world, they can be accepted in the midst of society and able to face the competitive outside world.
3. Pondok Pesantren (Islamic Boarding Schools)
That is, Correctional Institution (Lapas) can open integrated Pondok Pesantren in the Lapas area. The goal is that the fostered children can be motivated and be better when they get out of here. With this integrated pondok pesantren, these children will be given education about religion, such as reading the Holy Qur’an every day and also listening to tausiyah from the religious teachers who have collaborated with the Lapas.
With the fulfillment of basic human rights, especially education for children without differentiation between children in general and children who are in conflict with the law, the development of this nation can run smoothly and bring this nation to prosperity. The hope is that later they can become our successors when it is their time to replace the leaders of the nation.
This essay was written by Rodhi Dwi Priono for the essay writing competition organized by Program Peduli. The views of the writer do not reflect the views of Program Peduli.