AUSTRALIA hands Indonesia $500 million to build 2000 schools, 1500 of them ISLAMIC SCHOOLS

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has pledged $500 million toward new schools in Indonesia during her visit to the southeast Asian nation.

NEWS AUMs Gillard came bearing gifts on her first prime ministerial visit to Indonesia, promising Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono $100 million for each of the next five years to boost his push to ensure all Indonesian children have at least nine years of schooling by 2015, The Australian said.

The money will be used to expand up to 2000 schools and to support 1500 Islamic schools to lift their standards to qualify for accreditation to national standards.

The funding continues previous Australian commitments to the Indonesian education system, including efforts to reduce radical teaching in Islamic schools. (But by their very nature, Islamic schools ARE radical)

Dr Yudhoyono expressed his appreciation for the assistance, but was non-committal on Ms Gillard’s push for a policy shift on asylum-seekers. “I have proposed that early next year we could sit and discuss within the framework of the Bali Process how to best and efficiently deal with the issue of people-smuggling and trafficking in persons,” he said. (That’s right, we sure don’t want any “new policy” to interfere with the way we ship out our poor, uneducated Indonesian refugees to Australia so you can take care of them) H/T Matthew