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Documentation. A merchant in conversation with a buyer of school uniforms in Tulungagung, East Java, Wednesday, September 8, 2021. (Antara Jatim/Destyan Sujarwoko/zk/my) - 

A member of the Surabaya city legislative body (DPRD) has urged the city government to provide an online school uniform shopping system that functions as an option for parents or guardians of students.

"It is simple, actually. Next year, the Education Office is expected to provide an online uniform shopping system," said Herlina Harsono Njoto, member of DPRD's Commission D, in Surabaya, the capital of East Java Province, on Saturday. 

She noted that several private schools in Surabaya have implemented an online uniform sales system. The system in question can be in form of an application accessible to parents or guardians.

According to Njoto, the application can avoid the polemic of school uniform levies that occurred almost every new school year.

The House member opined that the polemic occurred in the wake of no alternative for parents or guardians to obtain uniforms for their children.

"If the parents (or guardians) were given the option, then I do not think this uniform issue will become a polemic, and the community will be well-served," she remarked.

Njoto suggested that the Surabaya city government should ideally be able to create a digital platform or application as an alternative to enable the sale of uniforms in the school environment.

"Surabaya is already a smart city. I think the mayor is IT literate, so he should be able to provide an application for purchasing uniforms online akin to the existing application, which is e-peken," she noted.

With the availability of online services, parents can determine which uniforms they want to buy, and they can also compare prices. If the students' (parents or) guardian fell in the low-income community (MBR) category, then they will not be charged for uniforms obtained through the application.

"The advantage is that we know exactly the need for uniforms, and we can also compare prices, so this can be very helpful for parents," she emphasized.

Njoto informed that the public can access the application directly from their devices. Parents or guardians that are facing difficulties in accessing it can seek help from the school to purchase uniforms online.

"Hence, there are several options for parents, specifically from school cooperatives, public markets, and online. Students from low-income groups are also well-served," she added//ANT


A number of Mutis Eban 1 Senior High School students attend COVID-19 health protocols socialization on September 11, 2021. (ANTARA/HO-The Indonesian–Timor Leste Western Sector Border Security Task Force/uyu) - 


The Indonesian–Timor Leste Border Security Task Force has educated students in Eban Village, North Central Timor District, East Nusa Tenggara Province in implementing health protocols to thwart the COVID-19 transmission.

"We teach the protocols to the students, because Mutis Eban 1 Senior High School has started to carry out face-to-face learning," First Lieutenant of Medical Corps Andri Markhoni told ANTARA from here on Saturday.

He is the doctor serving with the Indonesian–Timor Leste Western Sector Border Security Task Force Land Artillery Battalion 6/3 of the Army’s Strategic Reserves Command.
He said the teaching involved some 30 students, who are representatives of each class.

It is expected that all students could practice the health protocols when they participate in offline learning.

The main topic emphasized in the teaching was the implementation of 5M -- wearing masks, washing hands with soap and running water, maintaining distance with other people, staying away from crowds, and limiting interactions.

"We also urge the students to not only apply the 5M at school, but also at home and other places," Markhoni said.

Furthermore, he said the school had also received directives from the central and local governments regarding the implementation of the face-to-face learning program.
Hence, the teaching has been conducted to ensure that the implementation of the program goes well, as a joint effort to curb the transmission of the pandemic.

"The teaching of health protocols must continue to be carried out by all elements to ensure the students and community to understand and apply them," he added.

Markhoni said he hoped that through the activity, the students will be able to expand their knowledge about the health protocols and share them with their relatives//ANT


Afghan women wearing full face veils sat in rows at a Kabul university lecture theatre on Saturday (Sep 11), pledging commitment to the Taliban's hardline policies on gender segregation - 


Afghan women wearing full face veils sat in rows at a Kabul university lecture theatre on Saturday (Sep 11), pledging commitment to the Taliban's hardline policies on gender segregation.

About 300 women - covered head-to-toe in accordance with strict new dress policies for education - waved Taliban flags as speakers railed against the West and expressed support for the Islamists' policies.

A handful wore blue burqas, which have only a small mesh window to see from, but most wore black niqabs covering most of the face apart from the eyes. Many also wore black gloves.


Women's rights in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed under the Taliban's 1996-2001 rule, but since returning to power last month they have claimed they will implement a less extreme rule.


This time, women will be allowed to attend university as long as classes are segregated by sex or at least divided by a curtain, the Taliban's education authority has said.


They must also wear an abaya robe and niqab.

The women, who organisers said were students, listened to a series of speeches at Shaheed Rabbani Education University in the capital, Kabul.


Large Taliban flags flanked the podium, as the female speakers criticised women who have protested across Afghanistan in recent days.


They also defended the new government of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which has banned demonstrations unless permission is granted by the justice ministry.


Daud Haqqani, director of foreign relations at the education ministry, said the protest was organised by the women, who had asked and been granted permission to demonstrate.

The public demonstration was in stark contrast with scenes in Kabul and elsewhere earlier in the week, when Taliban fighters fired into the air to disperse a number of protests against their rule, shooting two people dead.

"Women who left Afghanistan cannot represent us," one pro-Taliban banner on Saturday read.

"We are satisfied with attitude and behaviour of Mujahideens (Taliban)" read another.

The Taliban say they want to distance themselves from the harsher policies of old, when half the population was excluded from work and education.

Under new rules, women may work "in accordance with the principles of Islam", the Taliban have decreed, but few details have yet been given as to what that exactly might mean//CNA




The new coastal arboretum at Pulau Ubin will house around 500 trees from more than 70 native coastal species. (Photo: Facebook/NParks) - 


A new nursery for planting and growing coastal trees was launched at Pulau Ubin on Saturday (Sep 11) as part of efforts to rejuvenate the island's coasts.

The coastal arboretum will showcase about 500 trees from around 70 native species. They include the critically endangered Sea Tristania and Damak-damak Tahun, which was presumed extinct in Singapore until it was rediscovered at Coney Island in 2014. 

The plants in the arboretum will later be reintroduced to the coasts of Pulau Ubin as part of ongoing habitat enhancement efforts.

"It will supplement other habitat enhancement projects on mainland Singapore as well," said the National Parks Board (NParks). "This includes the reintroduction of coastal native plants at parks such as Coney Island Park."

Located at Ubin Living Lab, a 5.3ha facility for field studies, the new arboretum will serve as a valuable reference resource for students and researchers studying Pulau Ubin’s biodiversity, said NParks. 

“NParks will work with various school or interest groups to implement environmental education programmes as well,” it added. 

“These activities will encourage greater community involvement in conserving the island’s rustic charm, while nurturing a deeper appreciation and understanding of its rich biodiversity.” 

NParks also said two new insects were discovered in the mangroves of Pulau Ubin in 2018 and 2019.

One of them is a new species of Sepsid fly, whose larvae are scavengers that live in dung. 

The insect – which was previously thought to be another fly due to its physical resemblance – was determined to be not only a new species, but a genus or category new to science, said NParks. 

The other insect, the Long-Legged Fly, is predatory and feeds on other smaller insects such as sandflies and midges. 

“It shows that after all these years, we are still finding new wildlife on the island, underscoring the importance of biodiversity conservation,” said Minister for National Development Desmond Lee at the launch event.

NParks added that these findings will enable it to update Pulau Ubin’s biodiversity baseline data and its species inventory. This will contribute towards “developing better management strategies for the island and planning for future research, habitat enhancement and species recovery projects”.  

The agency also announced it will reforest nine sites across Pulau Ubin this year. 

They include Balai Quarry South, Bukit Surau, Chek Jawa Wetlands, Jalan Jelutong, Kekek Quarry and Ketam Mountain Bike Park.

These sites were previously used for granite mining, aquaculture, agriculture and settlements, and have since been abandoned. 

Many of the sites are also covered with non-native invasive plant species and do not support a high diversity of wildlife, said NParks//CNA