Foreign teachers at Indonesian private schools are being forced to take tests to determine their sexual orientations and attitudes towards LGBTQ rights in what has been described as a psychological exam.
The agenda stems from a 2015 government regulation that prohibits international schools from hiring foreign teachers who have “an indication of abnormal sexual behaviour or orientation,” according to The New York Times.
The tests aren’t standardised and vary widely between schools. Some examples of true/false questions (listed below) ask for a simplified version of otherwise complex and personal answers.
I would feel uncomfortable knowing my daughter’s or son’s teacher was homosexual.
The gender composition of an orgy would be irrelevant to my decision to participate.
Teachers should try to reduce their student’s prejudice toward homosexuality.
I wouldn’t want to die without having experimented sexually with both men and women.
The introduction of the testing comes as LGBTQI people face growing hostility across Indonesia which has the world’s largest Muslim-majority population and was once seen as among the most tolerant countries in the Islamic world.
Under the new law, Indonesian schools are required to have the tests evaluated by a staff psychologist to prevent the schools from hiring paedophiles. In a highly controversial 2014 case, “a Canadian educator and six Indonesians” were given long prison sentences for allegedly sexually abusing young students at the Jakarta International School.
The “evidence” against the teachers included suggestions that they “used magical powers to seduce the children and render the crime scenes invisible,” reports The New York Times.
An official with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture by the name of Waadarrahman said that the tests aim to eliminate “deviant” sexual orientations from entering their schools.
“For foreign teachers, if the psychologist declares that a candidate has a deviant sexual orientation, certainly the school will not hire that person,” he said.
Same-sex relationships aren’t explicitly illegal in the country’s criminal code yet, but in 2020 the country’s parliament will reportedly consider a revision to make it so. It’s regarded as a nation-wide crackdown on the LGBTQI community.
Earlier in November, Indonesian government bodies faced domestic and international criticism after posting job advertisements that ban LGBTQI jobseekers.
The ministries of Trade and Defence, as well as the Attorney General’s Office (AGO), were found to be listing job advertisements requiring that civil servant applicants “must not be mentally disabled and not show sexual orientation or behavioural deviations,” according to The Jakarta Post.
When questioned about the recent ban, a spokesperson for the AGO named Mukri, defended the office’s actions saying that they aren’t interested in “odd” applicants.
“I mean, we just want the normal ones, we don’t want [to accept] the odd ones,” he said.
When news of the discriminatory employment advertisements surfaced last Friday, groups such as Amnesty International Indonesia were quick to slam the job requirements as a violation of individual freedom and human rights.
“Indonesia should be trying to recruit the best and brightest to its civil service, not applying arbitrary and hateful restrictions,” Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director, Usman Hamid said.
“This is against both Indonesia’s constitution and its obligations under international human rights law.”