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Poverty, health and nutrition, and the lack of access to education are the challenges that are linked each other, facing us and become horrible nightmares for the government, and of course children at this time. And nowadays, those nightmares haunt Indonesia, Jakarta – the capital city – for exact. The challenges are come up by the poverty. Within the poverty, malnutrition and the lack of access to education happened badly. Children, as the innocent parties, also have to feel the impacts. Poor children will become the poverty conservationists.
Poor conditions in childhood will only lead to a slower cognitive growth, stunted physical and limited access. Jobs that can be achieved with low education is also very limited. Therefore reduction of poverty might be large and long-term impact when the roots of the problems of poverty such as poor nutrition, education, improved quality of life can be made since the early. No matter how many individual and anecdotal exceptions there may be, the fact remains that the children of the poor simply do not have the same opportunities as the children of non-poor.
Whether measured by physical and mental development, health and survival rates, educational achievement or jobs, prospects, incomes or life expectancies, those who spend their childhood in poverty of income and expectation are at a marked and measurable disadvantage. Economic and political conditions often make getting an education ‘impossible’ for children. Families may require their kids to work so that they have enough money to survive or even sell their children for labor, sex, or adoption because money is too tight.
In other cases, obligatory school fees may prove prohibitive. Discrimination, attacks on secular schools, displacement as a result of war or persecution, and other conditions are often to blame. Poverty and prosperity are the two words that opposing each other. Poverty shows the distress and unprivileged situations, while the prosperity shows a luxurious and affluent situations. Traveling Jakarta, everyone can see the luxurious cars like Mercedes-Benz or Hammer along the road, and at the same time, beggars raise their hands, asking for help.
The contrast between poor and rich is very pronounced in this very interesting megalopolis. Despite a robust economic growth, Jakarta is still a place of poverty. There is no doubt that the poverty is an intractable problem in Indonesia. Problems associated with poverty is the effect of the poverty for the growth and development of children’s lives as they are called to work. In Jakarta, so many school-age children spend most of their time for begging and busking. Most of them started to be beggars and buskers since the age of under five.
They were forced to leave the school for work, to provide themselves and help the family economy. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, has conveyed that there are a number of rights of children should be guaranteed and fulfilled by the state, which every child has the right to be born, to have a name and nationality to have a family who loved and to love, to live in the community safe, peaceful and healthy environment, to get enough healthy food. The deprived of these basic children’s rights causing the growth process of the children stunted.
One of the emerging social problems in Indonesia, especially in the Jakarta, is the increase of the children as beggars and buskers along the streets, even in the roads. According to the results of a survey of social welfare problems conducted by the Central Bureau of Statistics and Ministry of Social Affairs in 2000, the estimate of the number of the street children is about 50,000 children comprising 83% males and 17% females. According to the same observation, Prasadja and Agustian reported street children in Jakarta aged 13-15 years by 40% and 16-18 years by 30%.
From those who had dropped out of school around 60% to 70% do not want to go back to school with a variety of reasons, specifically ashame because already mature, and prefer work to help parents. Meanwhile, the data from the Department of Social in 2005 also shows that more than 1,1 million toddlers are spend most of their times along the roads and the total amount of street children in Jakarta are 3. 3 million. This large population of street children causing of the strength of the street fascination.
According to the ChildFund Indonesia, in 2010, these children were taking to the streets only to help their parents. The streets become the easiest locations to looking for work because it requires no capital and skills. The other problem in Jakarta’s many slums is child malnutrition. Most residents of the neighborhoods don’t have kitchens or cooking supplies to prepare their own meals, so they purchase cheap street food that is usually high in fat and sugar, but low in protein and nutrients.
As a result of this poor diet, at least 17% of children throughout the city suffer from acute malnutrition, as well as anemia and stunted growth. That percentage is much higher in the slum neighborhoods where poor families are concentrated. The child poverty really needs serious attentions. This country doesn’t have an accurate data of children poverty population. However, if the percentage of the poverty reaches 39% or around 40 millions of the total population, means that the total poor children has a larger amount.
The poverty of children exposed in the amount of information street children, dropped out of school, malnutrition, child prostitution, children trafficking and child labor. The possible causes of the child poverty that related to the health and nutrition of the children and the lack of access to education are 1) the low wages, contrary to some stereotypes, 56% of children in poverty have a parent who works full-time, according to Robert Fellmeth, Price Professor of Public Interest Law at the University of San Diego School of Law and executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Institute.
A full 28% have parents who work part-time and only 16% of parents are unemployed. Generally these parents work in low-wage jobs with few benefits and no room for advancement. Though parents work, the wages are not enough to support their families so children live in poverty 2) single parenthood, is that children living in single-parent families, particularly those headed by women, are much more likely to be poor. On average, women earn less than men, reducing their ability to support a family. Two-parent families also have twice the income potential as single-parent families.
This effect can be lessened if the father contributes child support 3) parental education, according to NCCP, children whose parents do not have a high school diploma are more likely to live in poverty. In fact, 83% of children with parents who did not graduate from high school live in poverty. The importance of good policy and initial favorable conditions has been identified as the main factors contributing to poverty reduction during the pre-crisis period in Indonesia. There were four main important policies and programs devised by the new order government (1969-1998).
First, the rice policy, which subsequently led to Indonesia’s attainment of “rice self-sufficiency” in 1984, was one of the important factors that had a lasting impact on alleviating poverty. Second, during the oil boom in 1970s, the government made substantial allocations to the social and human resource development sectors, as well as to transport infrastructure. It was during this period that the government implemented the expansion of primary schools (SD INPRES) and health centers (PUSKESMAS) to ensure wide access to these basic social services for the poor society.
Also during this period the government established the INPRES funding system, which allows direct grants from the center to the regions. Third, the government ensured that particular social sectors were protected within the development budget, primarily by utilizing the INPRES mechanism. Fourth, labor intensive projects, which have long been part of the government’s efforts to stimulate employment and income during tough economic times. But why does Jakarta still have the Child Poverty problems about the Lack of Access to Education and Health? Not all of those organizations ran properly.
Some of them are proceeded improperly. Some of them are troubled with the committees, additional costs, bribery, violence, etc. It is because the government does not look after it. They were just made the organizations, leave it, then entrusted to the committees. Virtually, not all the committees work inappropriately, but some of them are still, and unsettling the poor society. The central government and the regional should run the programs seriously in order to solve the poverty problems and improve the education level and health of street children in Jakarta.
The government should send some new teachers to the schools for street children (SD INPRES). Teachers who are not just smart or knowledgeable, but the teachers who have the soul of idealism to help improve the education quality of the street children, not really far to left behind the rich children. The teachers should also required to to attend training first, to treat the street children, who probably are very different than the usual children, in terms of behavior, character, politeness. Yet, it should not be resolved with violence.
They should give them a fit attention, because someday they will become the future successors. In addition, the government should establish an organization of art and music for the street children and send some teachers who are experts in the in that parts. Repeatedly, not just anyone. Only selected teachers who can teach them, have a strong soul of idealism about street children, enough patience, to bring the street children become more intense and make a lot of satisfactory artworks and wonderful pieces of musical.
The teachers have to take the children down to the competitions, contests, or talent shows to make them enthustiastic for developing their talents. For the health centers (PUSKESMAS), the problems are not very different with SD INPRES, but in additional their big fault is that the PUSKESMAS is just waiting for the patients. Some of the doctors and nurses should visit the poverty society routinely, especially the children. Because, some of them might can’t come to the PUSKESMAS causing the distance, transportation, or strength to keep themselves along the way to the PUSKESMAS.
Children and the elderly are the first parties that must be handled after the emergency patients then followed by adults patients. The other solution, is that the government should encourage the society, especially the poverty society, to make some latrines, repair the broken sanitation facilities, provide the mosquito nets and clean water. Also the government should appeal the people to implement the healthy life. For children, country, and the future. The fatal faults of adults, impact to the children. Nowadays, they have to face some big problems that they musn’t face.
Innocent faces, should dropped out from school because of costs and fees, do not eat healthy food – or even rare to eat – because of the lack of money to buy the healthy food, working along the streets under the blazing sun, while the other children sitting on the chairs at school at the same time. Dropped out from school, leaving the dreams. Some of their parents made those faults, made the poverty. The laziness, mischiefs and riots when they were still in youths built a big problem, failure that making bankrupts and end with poverty.
Regret comes late, so make it never happen. Parents who are failed in the term economy, ought not be fail at the family harmony and guiding children. Make them become worthy persons in the future, that lead the country becomes better and also decrease the rate of poverty in Indonesia, not only in Jakarta – even the world. For the government, they should distribute the agricultural assets, including land, and more access for the poor to better education and health facilities must be given as the first priority in poverty alleviation policies.
No doubt, the poor are better off when the government gives more focus and run the functional organizations responsibility.
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