Batam (ANTARA) - Social Affairs Minister Tri Rismaharini, on Friday, gave three boats to communities on Bertam, Lingka, and Gara islands, Batam City, Riau Islands Province, to facilitate local children on their way to and from schools.

"We gave these three boats in response to the request conveyed by locals during my previous visit here. They told me that their children had been facing difficulties in reaching their schools since the schools are located across water," she remarked on Bertam Island.

Rismaharini noted that the Ministry of Transportation had given operational suitability certificates for the boats while adding that they are meant to be used to transport dozens of local children to schools, comprising 67 elementary school students and 28 middle and high school students.

"No need to worry (about the boats' quality) because the permits have been reserved. Hopefully, there will be no problems," she affirmed.

Minister Rismaharini further noted that the three assistance boats were manufactured in Surabaya City, East Java, at a cost of Rp1.5 billion (US$94.5 thousand) per boat.

After being declared ready to operate, the boats, equipped with global positioning systems, air conditioner, communication radio, and audio and video systems, were brought to Batam City, she stated.

She emphasized that the government handed over the boats in the hopes of facilitating local children to go to and from schools.

Abdul Ahad, a parent of a local student, extended his gratitude to the government for its willingness to offer convenience to children to go to school.

"I requested that Madam Minister provide us with these boats, and she granted the request. This is like a dream," he remarked.

In addition to handing over the three boats, Minister Rismaharini made the most of her visit to Batam to distribute school equipment, milk, and snacks to as many as 100 children.

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Translator: Ilham Yude, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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