From 6-8 August, joint monitoring was carried out in two INOVASI partner districts in East Java, namely Sidoarjo and Probolinggo. This joint monitoring activity involved representatives from the national Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Religious Affairs, and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.
The purpose of this joint monitoring visit was for key stakeholders to observe, provide feedback, and directly monitor results from INOVASI’s education pilot activities at the district level in East Java.
In Sidoarjo district, the joint monitoring team visited Ngampelsari primary school in Candi sub-district, and MI Ma’arif Candi and MI Darussalam Islamic schools (madrasah). In these three partner schools, the team saw firsthand the implementation of INOVASI’s early grade numeracy pilot, which commenced in August 2018 and is run through local teacher working groups (KKG). Madrasah KKG activities were also observed in MI Darussalam.
In Probolinggo district, the joint monitoring group visited two sub-districts, namely Paiton and Sukapura. Since August 2018, INOVASI has been implementing an early grade literacy pilot in Paiton, and multi-grade teaching and learning activities in Sukapura. In Sukapura, the monitoring team visited SDN Sukapura 2 primary school, to observe multi-grade classroom activities. They then travelled to SDN Ngadisari 2 school to join a multi-grade KKG session. In Paiton, stakeholders met with teachers and students from MI Raudlatul Munadhirin madrasah and SDN Sukodadi 1, to observe literacy activities.
The Probolinggo Regent Hj. P. Tantriana Sari, has previously expressed her appreciation for INOVASI’s literacy and multi-grade pilots in Probolinggo.
“I express my gratitude and appreciation to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta for the INOVASI program and its literacy and multi grade pilots. In several schools where this program is working, it turns out that the teachers and students are extremely enthusiastic and express their gratitude, because this is a new and exciting thing in Probolinggo. This program is able to open new insights and enthusiasm, especially for teachers, students and parents in Probolinggo district,” said Tantriana.
Sidoarjo Regent H. Saiful Ilah S.H, H. Hum, also expressed his support for INOVASI’s work to strengthen early grade numeracy in Sidoarjo. He explained that the presence of such education programs helps to greatly improve the quality of education in Sidoarjo district, contributing to improved human resources – especially the quality of teachers in the district.
Head of the Sidoarjo District Education Office Drs. Ec. Asrofi, MM, MH, explained that although Indonesia has always been focused on low literacy rates, numeracy is also important. “Numeracy is actually ranked lower than literacy achievement, so we support the implementation of this numeracy program in Sidoarjo.”
Said INOVASI’s Program Director Mark Heyward, promising education practices seen in Sidoarjo and Probolinggo can be shared more widely at the district, provincial and national level.
“We hope that the positive results of the joint monitoring visit can be shared with other districts and regions, so that we can continue to strengthen the quality of education in Indonesia.”
Emma Blanch, Second Secretary from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, also shared her reflections from the joint monitoring visit.
“The Australian and Indonesian governments have been working together for more than 10 years to strengthen the education system in Indonesia and INOVASI is the latest example of our partnership. INOVASI pilot activities in East Java are finding out what does and doesn’t work to improve teaching and learning in schools. Strengthening literacy and numeracy learning outcomes in classrooms, and addressing key issues like multi-grade teaching, can contribute to building Indonesia’s human capital for the future.”