Further studies and teaching of RA. Kartini

Kartini loved her father deeply although it is clear that her deep affection for him became yet another obstacle to the realisation of her ambitions. He was sufficiently progressive to allow his daughters schooling until the age of 12 but at that point the door to further schooling was firmly closed. In his letters, her father also expressed his affection for Kartini. Eventually, he gave permission for Kartini to study to become a teacher in Batavia (now Jakarta), although previously he had prevented her from continuing her studies in the Netherlands or entering medical school in Batavia.
Kartini's desire to continue her studies in Europe was also expressed in her letters. Several of her pen friends worked on her behalf to support Kartini in this endeavour. And when finally Kartini's ambition was thwarted, many of her friends expressed their disappointment. In the end her plans to study in the Netherlands were transmuted into plans to journey to Batavia on the advice of Mrs. Abendanon that this would be best for Kartini and her younger sister, Rukmini.

Nevertheless, in 1903 at the age of 24, her plans to study to become a teacher in Batavia came to nothing. In a letter to Mrs. Abendanon, Kartini wrote that the plan had been abandoned because she was going to be married... "In short, I no longer desire to take advantage of this opportunity, because I am to be married..". This was despite the fact that for its part, the Dutch Education Department had finally given permission for Kartini and Rukmini to study in Batavia.

As the wedding approached, Kartini's attitude towards Javanese traditional customs began to change. She became more tolerant. She began to feel that her marriage would bring good fortune for her ambition to develop a school for native women. In her letters, Kartini mentioned that not only did her esteemed husband support her desire to develop the woodcarving industry in Jepara and the school for native women, but she also mentioned that she was going to write a book. Sadly, this ambition was unrealised as a result of her premature death in 1904 at the age of 25.


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