One teacher and an eight-year-old student were killed after several ceilings collapsed in an elementary school in Pasuruan, East Java on Tuesday.
On Tuesday morning, the ceilings in four classrooms suddenly caved in while dozens of students were inside.
A 19-year-old substitute teacher named Fina Choironi and an eight-year-old student, identified by the initials IA, succumbed to the injuries they sustained in the incident. Eleven others — most of whom were students — were injured and then treated at a nearby hospital.
It’s not yet clear what caused the ceilings to collapse, but authorities pointed out that the incident happened during a clear and sunny morning with no extreme weather conditions observed.
Police say they suspect that the ceilings collapsed due to poor construction standards.
“We saw that the foundations of the building are not up to specification. [The ceiling] was constructed in 2017, so it’s only been two years and they have already collapsed,” Pasuruan Police Chief Agus Sudaryatno said.
As noted by Liputan 6, in 2017, the central government allocated IDR419.8 trillion (US$30 billion) towards education, which was a 13.3 percent increase from the previous year.
Speaking about the incident, President Joko Widodo implied that the ceilings collapse may have been the result of officials misappropriating funds.
“The quality [of construction] will suffer, bridges collapse, schools collapse, these are because they rush the construction,” he said yesterday.
Jokowi also called on officials to spend the 2020 education budget, which has been set at IDR508 trillion, efficiently.