Like most other Indonesian students, Salsa Fadilah and her classmates attend school assembly every morning. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
High School Student's Life in the Thousand Islands
BY : EMILY GILBERT
AUGUST 08, 2019
The Thousand Islands is a chain of 342 islands off the northern coast of Java, about an hour by boat from Jakarta. Although there are hundreds of islands, only a few are inhabited. Eleven are home to resorts and two have been turned into museums preserving the history of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company, or VOC. The rest are privately owned or support small fishing villages.
Pramuka Island is the district capital and home to a city hall and hospital. The island, which is about 45 minutes from Jakarta by high-powered speedboat, also serves as a transportation hub for tourists. It also has the district's only high school, with dormitories for students who live too far away to commute every day. There are nearly 500 students in Public High School 69, with about 50 of them living in the dormitories.
One of them is Salsa Fadilah, whose life is in many ways like those of students on the mainland: she posts on Instagram, goes to morning ceremony every Monday and works on group assignments during class. She dreams of becoming a doctor after graduating from high school and she is proud to be on the school's flag-bearer team.
However, because her parents' house is five hours away by small ferry, Salsa lives in a dormitory with other girls from the islands. She enjoys her independence, but often misses her family, as she can only go home during school holidays.