INOVASI and Ma’arif NU conduct joint monitoring of education activities in Sidoarjo and Pasuruan, East Java

Sidoarjo and Pasuruan, 19 November 2019 – Over the past two days, representatives from the Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI) program, Ma’arif NU and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta travelled to partner schools in Sidoarjo and Pasuruan to observe progress and learn from teacher experiences.

Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI), a program partnership between the governments of Australia and Indonesia, first signed a partnership with prominent Islamic association Ma’arif NU in late 2018. This agreement represents an exciting opportunity to broaden and sustain activities that strengthen educational quality and improve student learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy – particularly in the early grades.

In early 2019, Ma’arif NU received grant funding support from INOVASI to implement a range of education pilots in East Java. Grant activities were launched on May 25, 2019 in Surabaya, East Java.

Through its grant pilots, Ma’arif NU is implementing ways to improve early grade literacy and numeracy outcomes in 30 partner Islamic schools (madrasah) across Sidoarjo, Pasuruan and Sumenep districts. Working with students, teachers, principals and school committees, the pilots seek to improve a range of issues, including how teachers understand literacy and numeracy learning in the early grades, their skills in managing the classroom, and student literacy learning outcomes.  The pilot is also finding ways to build a stronger reading culture in target districts.

After a year of implementation, there have been positive results and emerging progress in Ma’arif NU partner schools across the three districts. Numerous promising practices have been captured.

“The partnership between INOVASI and Ma’arif NU is a very important effort to improve the quality of learning in Indonesia,” said Kyai Zaenal Arifin Junaedi, Head of Maarif NU.

“This partnership between INOVASI and Ma’arif NU is a great opportunity to improve the quality of Islamic education in East Java, especially in Ma’arif NU schools. After a year of implementation, we have begun to see positive results and progress in partner Ma’arif NU madrasah, across all three districts. Several promising education practices have been developed, which we have been fortunate to observe during this monitoring visit,” said Michelle Lowe, Counsellor for Human Development from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta.


 INOVASI (INOVASI for Indonesian School Children) is an Indonesian and Australian Government education partnership program that aims to find and understand ways to improve student learning outcomes – especially those related to literacy and numeracy skills, both in class and at school. Working with the Ministry of Education and Culture, INOVASI has established partnerships with 17 districts spread across four provinces, including West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, North Kalimantan, and East Java. The program will run from 2016 – 2020 and is managed by Palladium on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

For more information, please contact the INOVASI Communications Team, or visit our website, Facebook, and Youtube at the following links:, Facebook Inovasi untuk Anak Sekolah Indonesia, and YouTube INOVASI Pendidikan.

About Ma’arif NU

Ma’arif NU is one of the largest and most prominent Islamic associations in Indonesia, managing a large number of primary schools under the Ministry of Religious Affairs. With a significant presence in the education sector, Ma’arif NU works to promote local culture and religious tolerance throughout Indonesia.

For more information, please contact:


Dian Kusuma Dewi

INOVASI Provincial Communications Officer, East Java

Phone 08111502034, email:


Stephanie Carter

INOVASI Communications Manager

Phone 0811 870 7970, email:
























INOVASI and Ma’arif NU conduct joint monitoring of education activities in Sidoarjo and Pasuruan, East Java