Interesting that there is a swing to a western pedophile teaching at JIS (12 years ago) in the press which is gathering more momentum than the actual people who committed the crime, I guess that is a sad reflection on sensationalising stories in the press.
Even CNN picked up on the Pedophile.
But in terms of sexual abuse in International schools, I am sure abuse happens, there are always tales in the press in far flung places in Indonesia that does not really mean much to people in Jakarta but I would not like to think it is a common thing.
I think that there should be a clear and open discussion about how children should be made aware of the dangers of growing up and how to react to strangers young and old and to not to be afraid to speak up. I also think that parents need to pay more attention to their children, not just leaving them with family or friends, the maid, the driver and so on and take responsibility for them and make sure that they also teach their children about strangers.
Whilst I am sure that there will be more uncovered and more sad tales of abused children, there will be more shock and horror to the fact that schools are unlicenced or checked and there will lots of heads being scratched by those wondering how that could happen in the Education Ministry while they talk on their iphone 5 with their shiny new BMW outside being polished. Hmmm
Teachers in every school I am sure will feel upset over this issue and again moving on they should also be supported and educated to identify signs of abuse, beit from within their workplace or from outside and not be afraid to ask or report it. I would imagine a lot of the time they wont in case the parents get upset and pull their child from that school and go next door and the school gets a bad name, which sadly is the case in the city due to the amount of schools all jostling and competing for students. However, again I feel everyone in education needs to take responsibility for the safety of every child from the cleaners to the principal and that there are checks, training, support and guidance issued to the employees on how to behave and act around children.
I am happy that this has not been allowed to be so far, brushed under the carpet but will remain in the public domain and as long as this does not become a witch hunt or finger pointing exercise to Western or Indonesian teachers and the support staff in schools then perhaps there will be healthy discussion and debate and learning from this.
As for background checks, there are no official guidelines I am aware of in Indonesia but as I have stated before EF has implemented them as a manatory part of the job application process along with drug and HiV free statments which is legally required.