In Indonesia, innovative education

Redacción: Devex

Resumen: El progreso de la agenda educativa en Indonesia es un objetivo nacional administrado por el ministerio de educación y cultura. Pero los datos sobre el conocimiento y las habilidades de los estudiantes en lectoescritura básica y aritmética muestran que los estudiantes indonesios tienen un rendimiento inferior en comparación con sus pares regionales y globales.

Progressing the education agenda in Indonesia is a national objective managed by the ministry of education and culture. But data on student knowledge and skills in basic literacy and numeracy show that Indonesian students underperform compared to their regional and global peers.

Supporting children in remote areas of the country, and those speaking a language at home different to that of the national curriculum, requires new ideas and approaches to build capacity. Australian Aid’s Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children program, managed by Palladium, is seeing Australian and Indonesian governments partnering to trial new approaches that could improve student outcomes in literacy and numeracy.

A total of 15 pilot projects are underway across 12 districts to find locally driven solutions to education challenges. Two such projects highlight the challenges facing the national education system and teacher training — and are delivering solutions to be fed back to the government.

INOVASI case studies

Two projects in particular are demonstrating the value of stepping back to focus on the basics of education.

In North Kalimantan, an initiative is supporting the districts of Bulungan and Malinau to strengthen literacy-based learning in the early years of education.

While early surveys in the region found that the majority of children enjoy reading, the books available were limited and often textbooks — not ideal to engage children and their imagination.

Local Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children Program, or INOVASI, facilitators in this region have been learning new methods and tools for exploring literacy-learning problems at the classroom and school level. Insufficient access to reading material and the inability of teachers to adapt learning plans to suit the needs of their students is a root cause of literacy and learning problems in the area.

The Gerakan menggunakan Bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar project, also known as GEMBIRA, taking place in the West Nusa Tenggara district of Bima, is supporting teachers to better plan and manage the transition from a student’s mother tongue to Bahasa Indonesian — the primary language used for classroom instruction and assessment nationally.

In this region, classroom and playground observations, as well as interviews with teaching staff and parents, found a significant gap between teaching practice, materials, and student’s first languages. Nine out of 10 teachers in schools being used in this pilot project were found to be using local languages in their oral instructional language, while supporting materials and assessment tools were in Bahasa Indonesian, as this was the nationally supplied classroom material.

A range of strategies were trialled by teachers in-classroom to bridge the gap, and enable a gradual shift to classroom education in the national language. These included contextualized approaches that used real-life learning materials found in the local context to help students make connections with new ideas and skills being taught, as well as encouraging students to develop target language skills by exploring their own personal and cultural experiences.

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