Parents Sue John Calvin Int’l School over Fraud

The Jakarta Post,  Jakarta   |  Fri, 07/11/2008 10:12 AM  |  City


You Hye Seung was one of four parents who filed a complaint with the Jakarta Police on Thurday accusing the management of the John Calvin International School of deception.


She looked fed up when she said she could not get her children’s school reports from John Calvin, so as to register them in another national plus school.


“What should I do? None of the school management can tell me when can I get my children’s reports. I really need reports as proof that my children have passed one academic year at the school,” she told The Jakarta Post.


Andre Legoh, spokesman for the school board of directors, said he had explained to one of the Korean parents they had to pay the school fees before they could receive the reports.


You Hye Seung said she did not pay the last two months’ school fees because she heard the school was in financial difficulties and would close.


She had not expected the school would retain her children’s reports.


John Calvin International school started to operate in the 2007 academic year with 108 students and was closed down in June this year, supposedly temporarily.


Andre said the school management faced financial problems because they had stopped renting the school building in Pulomas, East Jakarta, due to failures of the developer, but had not been reimbursed advanced rent.


“We paid the rent for two years. We are now waiting for the developer to return one year’s money because we only used the building for one year,” he said.


During the first year, the school did not get electricity and was forced to buy a generator, he said.


“We will probably return the money of some parents’, who paid more than one year’s development fee, when the developer returns our money,” Andre said.


The school has shown goodwill by offering the parents to send their children to Saint Peter’s school, he said.


Many John Calvin parents, including You, have been forced to look for other schools for their children, as they refused to enroll their children in Saint Peter’s, as recommended by the John Calvin management.


Rizal Panggabean, another parent who enrolled his children in John Calvin, finally decided to send his five daughters to Sevilla, another national plus school in Pulomas.


“I think the new school is more reliable. I trusted my daughters’ education to John Calvin last year because of the big name of Wardiman Djojonegoro, the former education minister who has a share in the school,” he said.


He demanded the school return the development fee because he had paid three academic years’ fees for five children, who each received only one year’s education from the school, he said.


Shirinnada Panggabean, one of his daughters, said she hoped the new school would provide better education, as she was already fed up with John Calvin.


“I hope we will have a much better experience in Sevilla,” she said.