Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto’s story on Ben Mboi Polytechnic on the border with NTT

TIME.CO, JakartaDefense Minister Prabowo Subianto spoke about his journey towards construction Polytechnic Ben Mboi Defense University in Belu, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). It is a campus under the Ministry of Defense which was built to develop a quality young generation in the border areas.

Prabowo said the creation of the polytechnic was also inseparable from his respect for former East Timor fighters. He admitted that he wants children and the next generation of ex-combatants in East Timor to receive a decent education.

“Many people ask: what is the point of building a polytechnic in Belu? I say that this is the goal of honoring our former Tim-Team fighters. We want the children of these fighters to be able to do well in school,” he said Prabowo in his statement, Sunday 3 September 2023.

Prabowo said he was underestimated by his plan to build a polytechnic located in the border area. However, Prabowo admitted that he chose to remain silent and continue working.


“At the time, many made fun of them, saying that it was impossible to create a polytechnic on the border, in Belu. “Many people laughed at me, we were calm, there was no big ceremony, but we built a campus in Belu Regency,” Prabowo said.

The Ben Mboi Defense Polytechnic campus was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo in March 2022. The campus was built on 140 hectares of land. Since then the teaching and learning process has begun August 30, 2021.

In the first class there were 175 students of which 79 men and 96 women. There are numerous (prodi) study programs available, namely Dryland Agricultural Cultivation Study Program, Plantation Cultivation Study Program, Livestock Cultivation Study Program, Capture Fisheries Study Program, on Seafood Processing, Marine Engineering and Fish Cultivation Study Program. The capacity of Ben Mboi Polytechnic is expected to accommodate 525 students.

Prabowo hopes the development can continue so that more Indonesian children study at the Defense Polytechnic. “We keep building, we keep adding dormitories. We hope that next year we will add more, so that children can go to school there,” he said.

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