The primitive Kubu tribe (also known as the Anak Dalam, or Anak Rimba) have long been viewed as being among the most uneducated of peoples. That view is beginning to change, as the Kubu have begun to embrace education.
While visiting a Jambi friend by the name of Mr. Fauzie (Pak Fauzie), in the City of Bangko (just left of center on the preceding map’s link ), we were offered to be taken off the main road to where some of the Kubu were residing.
After about a one and one-half hour drive (from Bangko), we finally reached their dwellings far back off the main road between Bangko and Muarabungo (north of the village of Rantau Panjang).
While we were with the Kubu, we saw that there was a small school that was available for the Kubu children (not sure how well it was attended).
An education program was first introduced to the Kubu tribe in 1998. Since that time, 226 tribe members, including 22 women, have learned to read, write and count.
There are currently as many as 60 tribe members attending classes in six different locations as part of the governments education program. That is up from 20 to 30 students in past years, a sign that more members of the Kubu now view education as an essential part of life.
Some Kubu who have already learned to read and write now want more knowledge on different subjects that affect their lives, including how to avoid or treat the different illnesses that are prevalent among the tribe.
Others are studying Bahasa Indonesia (the national language of Indonesia) so they can better communicate with people outside their jungle home.
Temenggung Tarib, who is one of the ten Kubu tribal leaders in the Bukit Duabelas National Park, said that though his tribe was seeking for more knowledge, they did not want religious indoctrination. “That would be against our nature,” he said. He indicated that the Kubu would not be who they are if they would give up the animistic and dynamistic beliefs they have practiced for centuries.