TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - As many as 500 students participated in the Banda Education Festival held at the Banda Neira Mini Palace complex in Banda Sub-district, Central Maluku on Sunday, November 27, 2016. The event was organized by Heka Leka foundation, in association with Bintang Nutricia, Kuark Internasional, Ganara Art Studio, Ayo Dongeng Indonesia, Humanity First and Sea Soldier.
The festival is aimed at improving education and student creativity in Maluku, particularly in Banda Islands. Banda Island is one of 18 sub-districts in Central Maluku, which has a rich history and culture. Banda Island is also known to be the place where prominent figures of the struggle for Indonesian independence Mohammad Hatta and Syahrir were exiled by the Dutch colonial government in 1937.
Banda sub-district administration secretary Rusdy Saiman said that the festival can help the local government to improve the quality of education for students. "We supported the event, because Banda festival of education can help to develop students’'creativity and imagination to achieve their dreams," Rusdy said.
Fakola Mekoran, official of the Banda Islands Education Implementation Agency (UPTD) said that everybody has the right to enjoy access to a good education. "Education can [help] shape children with strong [Indonesian] national character even though Banda is a remote area," Fakola said.