W. Nusa Tenggara Gets Education Fund

The Jakarta Post, page 5

The Australian government through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is providing A$48 million (US$36,26 million) in grants to finance the Indonesian School Children Innovation Program (Inovasi) to be conducted in six regencies in West Nusa Tenggara from 2016 to 2019.

Australian Embassy development cooperation counsellor Sarah Lendon on Monday after the appointment of six Inovasi recipient regencies at the NTB Development Planning Board (Bappeda) office in Mataram, said, they will provide A$12 million annually for the Inovasi program in six regencies in NTB. She said, the program will run from 2016 to 2019 and may be extended for another four year.

Lendon said the Inovasi program was aimed at improving student performance, especially in mathematics and reading for elementary and junior high school. The Inovasi program in NTB is a pilot project in cooperation with the culture and Education Ministry and the NTB provincial administration. Lendon said the program was aimed at identifying problems and solutions together with partner regencies.

According to Lendon, as an educational program that focuses on improving the quality of learning literacy and numeracy in primary education, Inovasi will work with teachers, partners, principals, supervisor, local administrations and other stakeholders in breakthrough efforts. She said, in the past few years in the field of education, Australia had also helped with the construction of 41 junior high schools, accreditation of 132 madrasah Islamic schools and improved the capacity of 564 teachers and 394 school principals.

The Culture and Education Ministry’s Center for Educational Assessment and Research Center head Nizam said the Inovasi program in NTB was the first program that would be replicated in other regions in the future. Nizam acknowledged that the level of literacy and numeracy of elementary and junior high school students in Indonesia was still very low. Many fourth graders in Indonesia do not meet defined literacy and numeracy standards.

Nizam added that the Inovasi program would make efforts to find and identify problems at the school level and would formulate solutions using bottom-up methods involving concepts and ideas from schools, students, teachers and the community in the school environment. This is contrast to government program that are generally directed from the top down.

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