ACTNews, MENTAWAI – On Pigai Utara Island in Mentawai Islands, West Sumatera, there are still children whose education level is not quite high. Their schools have limited facilities, especially facilities for Islamic education. The children around Pagai Island has to go to Sikakap Sub-District to study Islam.
Responding to this situation, Global Zakat – Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) through the Outer Islands program distributed aid packages on Saturday (3/23) to Darul Ulum Private Islamic High School in Sikakap Village, Sikakap Sub-District, Mentawai Regency. Thirty food packages were distributed to the students and teachers in Darul Ulum.
Apiko Joko Mulyono of Global Zakat – ACT stated that the aid packages were given because Darul Ulum High School is the only Islamic High School available. Its students are poor students from Pagai Uraea Island.
“The aid packages were supported by ACT partners’ zakat funds,” explained Mulyono, Saturday (3/23).
Apart from food packages, Global Zakat – ACT also handed over scholarship aid to 24 students in Darul Ulum to help them continue their study in the two-year-old high school.
Headmaster of Darul Ulum High School, Iswandi, stated that the aid from Global Zakat – ACT is extremely helpful for his students. “We have 24 students here in this private Islamic High School coming from Mentawai hinterlands. The aid from Global Zakat – ACT is extremely helpful because the students also live here in this high school, paying voluntarily for their stay,” he said.
Sailing across the straits to go to school
The 24 students of Darul Ulum Islamic High School came from hamlets in Mentawai hinterlands. Limited Islamic educational facilities in their home villages, where they can only study until the third grade, have forced them to go to Sikakap to study.
Iswandi mentioned that it is not easy for his students to reach the school from their homes. They have to cross the river before sailing across the strait for an hour by boat. There’s no land access with which they can reach the school.
“They are the children from the Muslim settlements around Pagai Utara. It’s hard to find Islamic schools in Mentawai. Going to Sikakap is the only option for them to study in Islamic schools,” Iswandi concluded.