Thursday, December 18, 2008

Earlier School Hours

The Traffic Condition in Jakarta and vicinity is getting worse from day to day! Especially during the rainy season, when most traffic lights are not working and many roads are flooded and/or blocked by tree branches/leaves that fell down after being struck by very strong wind blow.

Actually, the Jakarta government has made efforts to address the chronic traffic congestion, however the problem doesn't seem to decrease. The Busway Transportation system was built on existing roads, therefore in stead of lessening, it has worsened the traffic jam. While construction of the Mono Rail project has to be stopped due to uncertain financing policy and current global financial crisis.
Cornered by this never ending problem, the Jakarta government lately decided to shift school hours 30 minutes earlier. This decision is based on the result of a 7 months survey conducted by the administration with a transportation engineering and management consultant firm PT. Pamintori Cipta, students and teachers traveling to school contribute 14 percent to traffic congestion between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. in Jakarta. The Jakarta Post quoted the Jakarta Vice Governor Prijanto as saying that the Jakarta government will issue a Decree which regulates that starting 5 January 2009, after students of Elementary, Junior High and Senior High levels return to school from the December holiday, school children will have to arrive at the school by 6:30 a.m. instead of the current time of 7 a.m.

As a father who drove my son to school every morning, I am disappointed with this plan. Because if it is realized, my son would have to wake up 30 minutes earlier, thus he has to reduce 30 minutes of his usual sleeping time. However, if the government could implement concrete contingency plan to cure the traffic jam, for example by realizing the Monorail, the Subway system, and build more roads, then me and my son would not regret sacrificing some of our sleeping time for the good sake of our society.


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