With the Asian Games coming up soon on Augusts 18, the Jakarta Provincial Government has announced another temporary policy to try and speed up the capital’s notoriously terrible traffic while it hosts the massive regional sporting event.
Following the trial expansion of the odd-even traffic rule and news that many of the city’s toll road gates would be shut down for the duration of the games, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announced yesterday that 34 of Jakarta’s schools will be closed for most of the games in order to reduce congestion around Asian Games venues.
“So the 34 schools are in the athlete traffic area from Wisma Atlet [the state-provided dormitory for athletes competing at the games] to the sporting venues. Taking into account the importance of ensuring the (Asian Games) go well, the children in these 34 schools will study from home and the community for nine days,” Governor Anies said at City Hall yesterday as quoted by Kompas.
Officials say the school shutdown will affect about 17,000 students and will run for August 21-31. They also made clear that students would not have those days off and that teachers would assign them work to complete during that time. Other schools outside of the area around the Asian Games venues will continue to hold classes as normal.
The government is under pressure to fulfill the requirement that athletes and sporting officials be able to make it between any of the venues as well as Wisma Atlet within 30 minutes — which should prove a near impossible feat for a few of the more far-flung venues.
Governor Anies’ administration has also been dealing with heavy criticism over some of their attempts to “beautify” the capital before the games, including the new, oddly placed lanes of grass on Sudirman and the curtaining over of the fetid Sentiong Canal, which lies right next to Wisma Atlet.