School in Bali Accepts Coconuts as Payment

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. afflict / əˈflɪkt / (v) – to cause someone or something to suffer

    The people afflicted by the typhoon need assistance.

  2. hone / hoʊn / (v) – to improve something and make it more effective

    He honed his talent in singing by taking voice lessons.

  3. optimize / ˈɒp təˌmaɪz / (v) – to make something as effective as possible

    The new technology will help optimize the factory’s operations.

  4. plethora / ˈplɛθ ər ə / (n) – a huge amount of something

    We found a plethora of references for our research.

  5. herbal / ˈɜr bəl / (adj) – made up of plants that are often used for medicine or cooking

    Some types of herbal tea help relieve coughs and colds.


Read the text below.

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.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it’s a good idea for the Venus One Tourism Academy to let students pay their tuition fees with coconuts and herbs? Why or why not?
• Do you think alternative payments can work in your country too (e.g. crops, community service)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Should schools encourage students to sell products to pay for their education? Why or why not?
• In what other ways can schools help students pay for their education (e.g. offer them jobs, introduce them to employers)? Discuss.