INOVASI and Muhammadiyah conduct joint monitoring of education activities in Sidoarjo, East Java

Sidoarjo, 19 October 2019 – 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 Muhammadiyah 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, Muhammadiyah received grant funding support from INOVASI to implement a range of education pilots in East Java. Grant activities were launched on May 3, 2019 in Surabaya, East Java.

Through its grant pilots, Muhammadiyah is implementing ways to improve early grade literacy outcomes in 14 partner schools across Sidoarjo, Ngawi, Trenggalek and Jember districts. Working with students, teachers, principals and school committees, the pilots seek to improve a range of issues, including how teachers understand literacy and learning in the early grades, their skills in managing the classroom, and student literacy learning outcomes.  They also aim to strengthen parental and school principal support for teaching and learning, including the provision of effective learning tools and materials.

This weekend’s monitoring visit saw representatives from INOVASI, Muhammadiyah and the Australian Embassy in Jakarta travel to partner schools in Sidoarjo to observe progress and learn from teacher experiences.

After a year of implementation, there have been positive results and emerging progress in Muhammadiyah partner schools across the four districts. Numerous promising practices have been captured.

First grade teacher Istia Ningrum at MI Muhammadiyah Penatarsewu Islamic school is pleased to participate in the INOVASI – Muhammadiyah pilot in Sidoarjo. According to Istia, training has been highly useful.  “I used to teach students to read manually, only asking them to name letters and spell letters from books. The big books bring a variation in strategies to introduce students to letters and words. Moreover, the book is quite interesting and filled with colourful pictures. This makes students more interested in learning and learn to read faster while understanding the words introduced in the big book.”

The Australian Embassy Jakarta believes the cooperation between INOVASI and Muhammadiyah is vital and views the partnership as a great opportunity to improve the quality of Islamic education in East Java, and especially in Muhamamdiyah schools.

Abdul Mu’thi, Executive Secretary General of Muhammadiyah, explained that “the partnership between INOVASI and Muhammadiyah is a very important effort to improve the quality of learning in Indonesia.”


 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 Muhammadiyah

Muhammadiyah is one of the largest and most prominent Islamic associations in Indonesia, managing a large number of primary schools under the Ministry of Education and Culture. With a significant presence in the education sector, Muhammadiyah works to promote local culture and religious tolerance throughout Indonesia.

INOVASI and Muhammadiyah conduct joint monitoring of education activities in Sidoarjo, East Java