Schools From Around the World: Education in Indonesia via @Yitzha_Sarwono

Recently, I have decided to host in my blog a new page which is called ”Schools from Around the World”. I have been asking from teachers from all around the world to introduce education conditions in their country as well as their own teaching reflections in the country. Some weeks before I was lucky enough to gain a new friend: Govinda from Nepal. You can read his guest post here. This time, another friend, Yitzha Sarwono, shared her reality from Indonesia.  I am inviting all of you to write a post about our teaching experience in your country.

Here is what Yitza shared with us:

Indonesia is a developing country consists of many islands with beautiful landscape and rich heritage. We are also very rich in term on culture. This diversity of course not only affecting the way we run our daily life but also in nurturing the young mind. Education in Indonesia comes in many kinds of form and way. From public schools, to the variety of private school. For those who live in big city, the options on finding the school that suitable for their needs are even wider. But for those who live outside the big city and in Remote Islands, education is still a luxury. Cause even when they don’t need to pay anything, to get to school isn’t an easy thing to do with the small number of school and teachers available there, not to mention conquering the nature just to get the knowledge since they usually have to travel miles to get to school. We actually have a program set by government and also independent organizations like Indonesia mengajar or Indonesia’s teaching (http://indonesiamengajar.org/) to settle the matter, but somehow with the population here, it is hard to reach all.
Public school is no doubt the 1st choice for almost everyone. Not only it provides the kind of education that is needed for everyone, here it is also free and filled with dedicated teachers. The only problem is that there’ll be so many students in one classroom that sometimes the teacher will find it hard to discover each student’s potential or help them 100% in reaching their goal.
Private school in Indonesia comes in many kinds and guarantees to fulfill each student’s needs. From a religion based school to nature school, homeschooling based school to Montessori school. Each offers prepared curriculum and experienced teachers. For people who are lucky enough to make a good fortune, they will surely choose Private schools as the number of students in each class aren’t as many as in public school and they can choose the one that is suitable for their needs.
But whether you go to public school or Private school, one thing for sure though, the final exam is conducted by the government and English is taught in every school.
I currently work in a Montessori Kindergarten based school. All lessons here are presented in English. And because we run our own curriculum, we can make sure that what we teach in the classroom has everything our students need in order to achieve our goal. Of course we try to keep it up to the national standard of Indonesia’s education which is for our students to be able to read and write when they start their primary school. It is quite hard sometimes and demanding as parents expects so much from us, being the private school with high tuition. But good thing that we don’t have a lot of students in the classroom (the most is 10 for my school), so all teachers can try their best to make it happened.
But being a teacher in Montessori school does give me a lot of new experiences. Not only because here we have different method than most school, we are also equipped with our own learning tools that we ought to mastered in order to teach them properly. And I am very fortunate that my school provides weekly, monthly and term training to all teachers. That is our way to make sure that we got what it takes to bring our students to their best and at the same time, expanding our ability as teachers.
To reflect about how I started of as a teacher, we have to go way back in my junior high school’s time. I was offered to tutor my classmates in refining their English, since I was doing kind of okay there. And I just knew it from the start that I love sharing! I’m a blabber, I love talking and I can go on telling things for hours and hours! So I thought, why not put that ‘quality’ of mine to a good use; Teaching!
I started as an English teacher professionally back in 2001. Later in 2008, I began to be drawn by early childhood education, merely because I believe that the young learners are pure like a new paper, ready to be written on. So I was so eager on playing the part of preparing them with a godd basic. Didn’t somebody say that everything we know, we learnt it in Kindergarten? 😉 So here I am now. And I have always been so blessed by the opportunity to work in good places where I could not only experience great things and share my knowledge but also the chance of growing as a person and educator. And that is why I am also so moved to be involved in many things in hope that I could inspire young people in Indonesia to also be teachers, since we still need plenty of them, especially in remote area. And I’d love to thank Elinda for giving me the chance to introduce you guys to my country, Indonesia. Thanks so much, and as I always say : “aza aza fighting!”

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Thank you so much my dear Icha!!

There is an open intvitation for everyone who wants to share the teaching conditions and experiences from his/her country. Do not hesitate to contact me here.

The reality of a school from Nepal

I have recently connected on facebook with an educator from a school from Nepal,  Govinda Prasad Panthy. He was so kind and agreed to share with me and my blog readers his teaching experiences. Here is what Govinda told me about his school, his life and his teaching.

The Bhaktapur village:

                     The students:

Vision of the SAV School:

Rural students at the SAVSchool will attain an education from caring instructors that will prepare them for life in modern day Nepal while helping them build a personal vision for a positive future for themselves and those around them.

Who is Govinda:

I was brought up in a poor rural farmer’s family but my parents never stopped me going to school. I started going to school when i was 8 and I always came first in all the classes till Grade 10. Having passed Grade 10 we had to leave our village for higher studies. So I moved toKathmanduvalley (capital) with my brother. I had to find a job for living myself since my parents were not at the level of supporting me financially. But i wanted to continue my further studies. I got an opportunity to teach in an English medium private school nearKathmandu; that was in Bhaktapur town. I joined for I.A (Intermediate in Arts) in an evening campus and continued teaching at the school as a primary math teacher. Having finished I.A., I studied B.Ed. to become a teacher. I couldn’t attend my classes in the college as I had to do my teaching job at school for my two ends meet.

When I was in the final year, one of my friends from Bageshwori (village, where I’m now, near Bhaktapur town) requested me to start an English medium school in his village. I surveyed and decided to help villagers as I knew the painful educational situation of village children. People who were really illiterate and poor were willing to help me for starting an English medium school but those who could send their children to the town were not so much positive. I visited and sat on discussion with the village people three times and reached on decision to start an English medium school as the children of the village had to walk more than  an hour to reach English medium schools in the town. The paths would be muddy in the rainy season and dusty in the winter and summer. There was no bus service. We do not have regular bus service yet due to the poor and narrow roads. For those reasons, I started Shantideep Adarsh Vidhyasadan (SAV School) with 13 children of the village in 1998. As I was brought up in the remote rural area ofNepal, I’ve experienced and could realize the situation of rural family students. Regarding financial problems I used to recycle papers myself. (eg; I used to write in ink on sheets of paper. I would collect them and when my new sheets of paper finished, I would dip them in soap water (water with castic soda)  and dry them up in the sun and would reuse them.) I used to make and sell materials from bamboo for buying pen, books and paper and would pay exam fees. We never had lunch at school. Though I was the school topper at study, I was once kicked out from the exam hall since my parents couldn’t pay nominal exam. fee on time,  etc. These bitter events of my childhood experience and the educational status and the willingness of the parents to educate their children/grandchildren in English medium pushed me to decide to start an English medium school.

I hired one of my college friends to teach these innocent 13 students in my absence. Next year the number of students increased. More villagers sent their children to school as they knew our hard work. Gradually the number of students increased and we went on upgrading the school every year. We have 10 classrooms from Nursery to grade 6. We had 127 students last year.

The proud teacher:

Problems the school faces:

New school begins in mid April. Unfortunately a number of students(more than 30) dropped out this year due to lack of school’s funding on hiring good teachers, lack of school supplies other basic infrastrural facilities. School collects $3 to $6 from the parents of the students, and each teacher gets below $50 each month which is really a low pay comparatively to the public school teachers. To hire a moderated/capable reachers we need to play at least $100+ every month.  Me (the founder Director of the SAV School) have been working in a public school as a teacher so that I can get better salary there and pay my teachers who teach at the SAV. I really want to spend my time with the SAV students, but it’s a pity, I can’t give them full time due to the financial crisis at the SAV. To solve this problem to some extent, I’m working as a part time English teacher in a nearby public school which is about 40 minutes walk from the SAV School. Indeed the SAV students and guardians want me full time at the SAV School. I’ve come to know the potentiality of the technology. I’d love to expand it and bring it into my real classrooms.

I’ve been trying to collect help for short term and long term projects for School Improvement (Physical development/ Educational betterment) so that the SAV School can open the door for all the school going ages. Any sort of help will be highly appreciated.

Goals:

SAV School along with the partner or donor agencies aims to reach the following goals:

1. to strenthen Financial position of the school so that teachers and other staffs are well paid.

2. to bring modern technology into the SAV School classroom.

3. to establish well furnished school library (SL) and computer lab with intenet connectivity and Science lab.

4. to bring technology into the classroom to integrate in teaching.

5. to build own school building on its own property.

6. to bring materials of the games and sports .

Here are some pictures from the school life:

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The shcool is located in Bageshwori-7, Bhaktapur, Nepal  and if you would like to contact Govinda you can find him on facebook  here.

Than you so much Govinda!

 Would you like to share your own teaching experience from your country? You are welcome! Please prepare a post, add some pictures and send them to me. (elindagjondedaj@gmail.com).