The story of the son of an Indonesian migrant worker in Malaysia who receives a scholarship and wants to bring his parents home

TIME.CO, Jakarta – Kasmir Rullah is one of the repatriated children from South Sulawesi currently studying at Vocational High School (SMK) Negeri 1 Banjarbaru City. He did it Scholarship Affirmation of Secondary Education (Adem) Repatriation of children of Indonesian migrant workers living abroad, particularly in Sabah, Sarawak and Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

When he first entered school, Kasmir admitted that he was surprised because the town of SMK Negeri 1 Banjarbaru had so many students. However, he expressed his pride in being able to study in Indonesia.

“The first time I went to school it was difficult for me to adapt because I didn’t even speak Indonesian fluently. “However, after studying here I am proud and will study seriously,” Kasmir said as quoted by the Ministry of Education’s professional page on Monday, October 16, 2023.

Initially, Kasmir dreamed of becoming a soldier. When he went to school at SMK Negeri 1 Banjarbaru City, he wanted to become a fine arts teacher. His interest in art grew. “For this reason, after I graduate, I want to continue studying in Makassar with a fine arts study program,” he said.

This student who took part in the extracurricular taekwondo course also advised his younger siblings at the Community Learning Center (CLC) to continue their education at a higher level.

“For younger students in Malaysia, be enthusiastic about learning. If you graduate from middle school, don’t work on plantations or construction, it’s better to go to school on a scholarship. The school here is good, just study good,” Kasmir said.

Another story comes from Serin Andarias. He is studying at SMK Negeri 1 Martapura, South Kalimantan, specializing in Accounting and Government Finance. Initially, she Serin didn’t believe she could study in Indonesia with the Adem Repatriation scholarship. “I am proud to be able to attend school here. “When I was at CLC, I never thought I would be able to attend free school in the best school in South Kalimantan,” she said.

This student who dreams of becoming a police officer said the biggest change in him after attending school in Indonesia was to become independent and more responsible. “I thought I had to be successful and be able to bring my parents back to Indonesia. “After all, life in Indonesia is better and more comfortable,” said Serin, born in Keningau, Malaysia.

In line with Kasmir and Serin, there is Joakim Naya Watun or Joe who is also grateful to be able to study in Indonesia. Previously, he knew nothing about South Kalimantan. Joe is currently studying at SMK Negeri 1 Martapura specializing in Visual Communication Design. He is a student from Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, born in Sabah. Now his parents live in North Kalimantan.

“Even the name South Kalimantan, I don’t know at all. “But after a year of living here, I feel comfortable and fit in with a lot of people,” Joe said.

After graduation, Joe plans to study computer engineering or musical arts.


Collaborates with 108 schools

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology or Kemendikbudristek provides Adem repatriation scholarships to junior high school graduates to continue secondary education in 108 schools. All these schools are distributed across 11 provinces. There are Bali, East Java, West Java, Yogyakarta, Central Java, Banten, South Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, Lampung, West Nusa Tenggara and South Sulawesi.

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