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The Venus One Tourism Academy in Tegalalang, Bali, has started allowing its students to pay their tuition fees with coconuts.
The program is meant to aid those who are struggling financially due to the pandemic. Wayan Pasek Adi Putra, an official from the academy, said that they had previously established an installment program to let students make partial payments for their school fees. However, he and his colleagues wanted to offer a more flexible payment option for those who were heavily afflicted by the pandemic. In March, they settled on the idea of accepting coconuts, as well as certain medicinal leaves, as payment.
Aside from helping students pay their school fees, the initiative also gives them a chance to hone their entrepreneurship skills. Putra believes that the school should educate its students on how to optimize the use of natural resources around them. He hopes that when the pandemic is over, the students will be equipped with a plethora of skills to help them start their own careers.
Putra said that the school is going to use the coconuts and leaves from the students to produce coconut oil and other all-natural herbal products, such as shampoo and soap. The school obtained an operational permit from the Gianyar Employment Agency to manufacture and distribute herbal products. These products are going to be sold to generate school funds. Students of the school can also resell these products so that they can earn for themselves.