Legislation passed by an Indonesian regency that requires boys and girls to be taught separately is looking to follow it up by denying the two sexes the ability to ride motorcycles together.
Aceh is the only province that follows Islamic law in the Muslim nation. The province, which has a history of implementing faith-based laws, approved the legislation last week, which also requires the Koran to be read every night by students.
“What we do now will be just like what happens currently in traditional Islamic boarding schools,” said Fauzan Hamzah, a member of the regency’s legislature. “I hope this policy won’t only be implemented in the North Aceh regency but in the entire province.”
Legislation concerning the ability of unmarried couples to ride motorcycles together will be considered next by lawmakers. Many believe that couples who share a ride could become more tempted to commit “sinful acts”.
“Unmarried people sitting closely together on a motorcycle is clearly against Islamic Sharia as it could lead to sinful acts,” politician Fauzan Hamzah told the AFP news agency. “We will make efforts so that deeds which can lead to sin are eliminated gradually in North Aceh district,” he added.
If anyone is caught breaking the new law they could be forced to apologize, attend religious services or perform community service.
In 2013, lawmakers banned women from sitting on motorcycles any other way than side-saddle in an effort to protect their “morals and behaviors.” However, that rule has rarely been enforced.
More recently, the province passed an anti-homosexuality law that would see anyone caught having gay sex with 100 lashes. The province is the only one in Indonesia that allows a cane to be used for flogging.
Indonesia allowed the province to use Islamic law as part of a 2005 peace agreement, putting an end to a separatist movement that had lasted for 30 years.
Meanwhile in the country, 3,773,372 Junior High School (SMP) and Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTS) students are preparing to take national exams with serious consequences.
“In addition to the implementation of a paper-based test, some 9,512 schools will hold a computer-based test,” Head of Research and Development of the Ministry of Culture and Primary and Secondary Education, Furqon, stated here on Monday.
For the first time, this year’s results will not affect a student’s ability to graduate.
“However, if the secondary students do not achieve the standard score, they will not take another test the following year as an average score will not determine graduation,” he affirmed.
The national exam is used to determine the quality of education throughout the country, a way to select the next level of education, and offers guidance in the improvement of education.