Abdurahman Idrus is the principal of SDN 017 Tanjung Selor state elementary school, one of the schools participating in the INOVASI Early Grade Literacy program in Bulungan regency, North Kalimantan. The school is located on the banks of the Sungai Buaya (Crocodile River). The name stems from the fact that the river is inhabited by many crocodiles. Abdurahman has been working in the education sector for 38 years and has carried out the mandate as the principal of SDN 017 Tanjung Selor since 2014.

The local people often refer to SDN 017 Tanjung Selor as SD Tanjung Rumbia elementary school. The school is surrounded by several villages with few residents. There’s another elementary school that serves children in the area that is located one kilometer across the river. In 2014, only four grade one students were enrolled in SDN 017 Tanjung Selor. Like most elementary schools in Bulungan, Abdurahman’s school faces similar challenges, namely the low reading skills of early grade students. Generally, children who enroll in grade one, are not yet able to read.

In 2018, SDN 017 Tanjung Selor state elementary school became a partner school in the INOVASI program. The teachers at this school have been intensely trained to overcome the challenges of learning literacy in the early grades. According to Abdurahman, the trainings have helped the school tremendously.

“I see that our teachers are now more creative. Learning has become more interesting because the teachers are using learning media. The students enjoy learning even more now,” said Abdurahman.

Over time, the number of students enrolled in SDN 017 Tanjung Selor has increased.

As a school principal who sees positive changes taking place in his school, Abdurahman is very supportive towards the implementation of the INOVASI program. In order to show his support, he has set several policies in place.



Abdurahman and the teachers regularly hold meetings. During these routine meetings, they discuss problems that are happening at the school. Abdurahman focuses on motivating the teachers. This motivation is important for the teachers to remain enthusiastic. Abdurahman belives that no matter how small a task is, if it’s appreciated, the teachers will feel encouraged. With this in mind, he encourages the teachers to continue to be creative and innovative when it comes to learning.


Office Stationery Support

During the meetings, Abdurahman asks the teachers what kind of support they need. They usually need office stationery to make learning media and student worksheets. The teachers’ needs are met by the school through Operational School Assistance Funds (Bantuan Operasional Sekolah, or BOS).


Active Learning

Since being trained by INOVASI, the teachers have a better understanding of active learning. They are now more able to design learning media and create learning scenarios. As a result, the learning activities at SDN 017 Tanjung Selor are now more varied.


Class Visits

Abdurahman always makes time to visit the classrooms. During his visits, he pays special attention to new things that are in each classroom, such as learning media, students’ work, or the teacher’s teaching methods. He often asks the teachers about their latest learning media in the classroom, its purpose, and how it is used. That way, he knows what the teachers are doing and is able to appreciate each teacher’s work.


Reading Corner

Every classroom now has a reading corner. Abdurahman and the homeroom teacher also work together: the school provides the books, and the homeroom teacher arrange the way they’re displayed. Sometimes the teachers themselves are creative in arranging the bookshelf so that it looks more attractive.


Teacher Working Group (Kelompok Kerja Guru, or KKG) Support

Abdurahman has always made it easy for teachers to participate in the KKG activities by providing them with their assignment letters. He always asks the teachers who have taken part in KKG to discuss what they’ve learned from the activities. By doing so, he is able to stay up to date on the progress of the KKG activities. He also asks each teacher about what kind of support the teachers need so that the KKG material can be implemented in the school.