A six-month Good Weekend investigation has confirmed that children, possibly in their thousands, have been enticed away over the past decade or more with the promise of a free education. In a province where the schools are poor and the families poorer still, no-cost schooling can be an irresistible offer.
But for some of these children, who may be as young as five, it’s only when they arrive that they find out they have been recruited by “pesantren”, Islamic boarding schools, where time to study math, science, or language is dwarfed by the hours spent in the mosque. There, in the words of one pesantren leader, “They learn to honor God, which is the main thing.”
Whole terrifying story here.
[Photo by Michael Bachelard via the Brisbane Times]