Kepulauan Riau. Authorities in the island district of Natuna in the Kepulauan Riau province are planning to build a maritime polytechnics academy to help educate and develop local youth.
“The Natuna district administration is currently planning a maritime polytechnics academy, and the Indonesian Maritime Education Foundation fully supports this plan,” said Nada Faza Soraya, the foundation’s chairperson in Batam on Friday.
Nada added that the Education and Culture Ministry’s directorate general for higher education has already issued a permit for the school to be built.
“We only have to wait for its construction, and hopefully [the school] will be able to recruit new students in 2013,” said Soraya, who is also the head of the Batam city chapter of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
She also said that the polytechnics academy was the starting point for the foundation’s plan to establish a Maritime University, which is effectively a higher education institution which offers a degree.
“Indonesia has to develop its maritime sector so that it can become a strong country, And for that, children who understand maritime issues are needed,” Soraya said.
“Our children’s knowledge in maritime issues is very limited, and there is a need for an educational institute that teaches the maritime sciences,” she added, pointing to Indonesia, which despite being the world’s largest archipelago nation, has very few maritime schools.
The Natuna polytechnics will open two schools — a Maritime technology school as well as a Marine and Fisheries institution — and will cooperate with the Institute Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) in Surabaya.
“Some of the teachers will be sent from ITS while others will consists of other experts,” Soraya said.
The polytechnics academy, she said, will be a state-owned higher education institution that will receive a subsidy from the Natuna district government.
Soraya said that although the Kepulauan Riau province already has the “Raja Ali Haji Maritime University” the institution did not have a special school on maritime issues.