Jakarta Post – Digital books in ‘the jungle’: One teacher’s journey

“I feel so lucky because INOVASI was there when I needed it,” said Paulina. The 48-year-old teacher has been learning new teaching methods since 2017, when she joined the Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI) program, a partnership between the Australian and Indonesian governments.

Working with Indonesia’s Education and Culture Ministry as well as local governments, such as the Malinau regency administration, INOVASI seeks to improve children’s literacy and numeracy. The program operates in 17 regencies and uses a distinctly localized approach to determine what does and doesn’t work to improve student learning outcomes.

In this Jakarta Post media article, INOVASI’s Mark Heyward and Erix Hutasoit explore how a digital books initiative with The Asia Foundation is helping to strengthen education quality in North Kalimantan.

INOVASI shares 2017 pre-pilot results and 2018 planning from West Nusa Tenggara

February 2018 – INOVASI and key education and government stakeholders from across West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) continue to learn and work together to promote local education innovations and solutions, and to improve education quality across the province. The latter half of 2017 was a key period for INOVASI, with five pilots in planning and design phase across six partner districts. As a next step, the findings and lessons learned from this pre-pilot process are shared with INOVASI stakeholders at the district and provincial levels.

From 13-14 February 2018, INOVASI stakeholders at the district and provincial level gathered in Mataram at a Dissemination Workshop to learn more about the findings and learnings from the pre-pilot phase. The pre-pilot is a small-scale program (e.g one class, a small number of schools or cluster), which is conducted over 3 months. Ideas and solutions are tested and tried out, prior to the full pilot design and implementation.

The Dissemination Workshop was opened by the Provincial Secretary of West Nusa Tenggara, H. Rosyadi H. Sayuti, Australian Government representative Benita Chudleigh, and Program Director of INOVASI, Mark Heyward. Several stakeholders were present, namely the Chairman of PGRI West Nusa Tenggara, Dean of FKIP, Head of LPMP West Nusa Tenggara Minhajul Abidin, representatives of BAPPEDA and members of the NTB Provincial DPRD.

“With this INOVASI program, we can address the challenges described earlier – improving the literacy and numeracy skills of our children that can certainly help improve their basic competencies. This is also in line with the law on our education: article related to literacy – the obligation to read 15 minutes before the start of class,” said Secretary of NTB, H. Rosyadi H. Sayuti.

“Building the habit of reading, to become a new culture for our children, in addition to other abilities that children need. This is the job of all of us. We will try to learn more about INOVASI so that in the future it can become West Nusa Tenggara’s program,” he added.

During the two-day workshop, various pilot themes and results were discussed in an effort to address the learning challenges that INOVASI has identified with stakeholders in each district. In Bima, for example, the focus of the pilot program is the transition of the use of the local language to Bahasa Indonesia as the medium of instruction in the classroom. In Dompu, the focus is on community involvement in improving student learning outcomes. In Central Lombok, INOVASI focuses on improving the quality of learning for children with learning disabilities. In North Lombok and West Sumbawa, the pilot program focuses on strengthening basic literacy skills, while in Sumbawa, the focus is on strengthening basic numeracy.

All pilots begin full implementation in February 2018, and will run until July.

INOVASI shares 2017 pre-pilot results and 2018 planning from West Nusa Tenggara

February 2018 – INOVASI and key education and government stakeholders from across West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) continue to learn and work together to promote local education innovations and solutions, and to improve education quality across the province. The latter half of 2017 was a key period for INOVASI, with five pilots in planning and design phase across six partner districts. As a next step, the findings and lessons learned from this pre-pilot process are shared with INOVASI stakeholders at the district and provincial levels.

From 13-14 February 2018, INOVASI stakeholders at the district and provincial level gathered in Mataram at a Dissemination Workshop to learn more about the findings and learnings from the pre-pilot phase. The pre-pilot is a small-scale program (e.g one class, a small number of schools or cluster), which is conducted over 3 months. Ideas and solutions are tested and tried out, prior to the full pilot design and implementation.

The Dissemination Workshop was opened by the Provincial Secretary of West Nusa Tenggara, H. Rosyadi H. Sayuti, Australian Government representative Benita Chudleigh, and Program Director of INOVASI, Mark Heyward. Several stakeholders were present, namely the Chairman of PGRI West Nusa Tenggara, Dean of FKIP, Head of LPMP West Nusa Tenggara Minhajul Abidin, representatives of BAPPEDA and members of the NTB Provincial DPRD.

“With this INOVASI program, we can address the challenges described earlier – improving the literacy and numeracy skills of our children that can certainly help improve their basic competencies. This is also in line with the law on our education: article related to literacy – the obligation to read 15 minutes before the start of class,” said Secretary of NTB, H. Rosyadi H. Sayuti.

“Building the habit of reading, to become a new culture for our children, in addition to other abilities that children need. This is the job of all of us. We will try to learn more about INOVASI so that in the future it can become West Nusa Tenggara’s program,” he added.

During the two-day workshop, various pilot themes and results were discussed in an effort to address the learning challenges that INOVASI has identified with stakeholders in each district. In Bima, for example, the focus of the pilot program is the transition of the use of the local language to Bahasa Indonesia as the medium of instruction in the classroom. In Dompu, the focus is on community involvement in improving student learning outcomes. In Central Lombok, INOVASI focuses on improving the quality of learning for children with learning disabilities. In North Lombok and West Sumbawa, the pilot program focuses on strengthening basic literacy skills, while in Sumbawa, the focus is on strengthening basic numeracy.

All pilots begin full implementation in February 2018, and will run until July.

Announcing the winners of the 2017 INOVASI Innovations Drive – West Nusa Tenggara

October 2017 – The NTB Provincial Government in cooperation with INOVASI earlier this year launched an Innovations Education Drive in areas of literacy and numeracy for all primary school teachers in NTB – including in partner and non partner provinces. The competition was launched by the Governor of NTB, Dr. TGH. M. Zainul Majdi during INOVASI’s Temu INOVASI education forum held on 25th April in Mataram.

With applications open for almost three months, the competition also aligned with the Learning Innovation Competition (INOBEL) held by the national Ministry of Education and Culture. INOBEL invited primary school teachers to submit innovative ideas in literacy and numeracy, explaining how they are addressing learning challenges in their own classrooms.

In his speech at the Temu INOVASI in April, the NTB Governor said that ‘INOVASI is right to choose and focus on innovation in literacy and numeracy, because both of these are very important for the future of our children who will become the main active actors in building the region and the nation’.

NTB became INOVASI’s first partner province in June 2016.

At the close of the Innovations Drive in NTB, INOVASI received more than 60 high quality submissions from teachers across NTB’s 10 districts, including short videos and written submissions with images depicting teachers using their local innovations in the classroom. Local solutions included ideas to improve student understanding of fractions and basic multiplication, and general reading ability.

Following an internal selection process, INOVASI selected six competition winners – three in numeracy, and three in literacy. It was felt that these winning ideas best tackled learning challenges in the classroom, and demonstrated local innovation. They were also found to be low cost and replicable.

Competition winners included Hj. Rohimah, M.Pd from SDN 2 Pancor Lombok Timur, Murdani, S.Pd from SDN 1 Gerung Utara Lombok Barat, and Husni from SDN Sondosia Bima to category of literacy. In the numeracy category winners included Aminudin, S.Pd SD from SDN 01 Kempo Dompu, Heri Febriansyah from SD Sapuraga West Sumbawa, and Dewi Kurniati, S.Pd from West Kalimati Sumbawa Elementary School.

All winners attended National Teacher’s Day celebrations in Jakarta in late November, where they displayed their ideas and innovations.