Kupang, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - The East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Education and Culture Office stated that 10 high schools in Kupang City have started implementing the policy of commencing school at 5:30 a.m. local time for grade 12 students.

"There are 10 designated schools that have begun (their activities) at 5:30 a.m., (and currently,) only 10 schools apply (the policy), and all the principals have expressed the ability to do it," the office head, Linus Lusi, stated here on Wednesday.

The 10 schools that have implemented the policy of starting school at 5:30 a.m. local time for grade 12 students include Kupang City's public high schools (SMAN) and vocational high schools (SMKN).

Lusi explained that the policy was implemented since the provincial government was keen to build top excellent schools in the East Nusa Tenggara region.

The provincial government is also striving to realize the goal by facilitating collaboration among teachers from potential top schools and college-level academics in East Nusa Tenggara and Java Island regions.

Lusi said that the provincial government will select two out of the 10 chosen schools that apply the early morning school policy.

"The evaluation has been conducted for one month from February 26 to March 27, and then, two top schools will be selected," he stated.

The provincial government said the policy aims to "train the students' character and work ethics."

The policy has drawn dissent from several official institutions, such as the watchdog Ombudsman and the province's legislative council (DPRD).

"This policy does surprise all of us and the DPRD has not been invited to communicate regarding this policy," Deputy Speaker of East Nusa Tenggara DPRD Inche Sayuna stated on Tuesday (February 28).

Sayuna cited several studies indicating that the sleeping time of students going to school too early may get disrupted, which can lead to mental health problems.

The head of the province's Ombudsman, Darius Beda Daton, has urged Lusi to review the policy.

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Translator: Aloysius L, Kenzu
Editor: Sri Haryati
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