Indonesia has performed well in increasing access to education, particularly at the primary school level. Enrolment has reached universal levels, as illustrated by the national indicators of both gross and net enrolment rates. However, the increased enrolment rates are not parallel with increased student learning outcomes. Results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) suggest that Indonesian students’ achievements are below those of students in other developing countries in the same region. The results from the Indonesian National Assessment Program (INAP) confirm that the students’ learning outcomes are still below expectation. Thus the government is focusing on improving the quality of learning and teaching to improve students’ learning outcomes.
Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI) is a joint education program, funded by the Australian government in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC), to support the Government of Indonesia in improving student performance, particularly in literacy and numeracy in the early grades. INOVASI works to understand and tackle the learning challenges related to literacy and numeracy in classrooms and schools in Indonesia. The first phase of INOVASI runs from 2016 to 2019.
INOVASI operates through pilots that test what interventions work in certain contexts to improve learning outcomes. A variety of pilots have been implemented across 17 partner districts in four provinces. Guru BAIK was the first pilot and was implemented in North Lombok and Sumbawa districts from January 2017 to May 2017. Guru BAIK aims to build the capacity of teachers, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to integrate action research principles into their teaching and problem-solving methods, in order to tackle immediate issues and challenges with regard to literacy and numeracy in their classrooms. The pilot, based on the principles of classroom action research, consists of a series of workshops and includes a multi-stage, problem-driven, cyclical process of identifying problems, planning action to address the problems, taking action and collecting data, analysing the results of the action, reflecting and re-planning the action.
A total of 50 schools participated in Guru BAIK from across North Lombok and Sumbawa, with 25 schools from each district. All schools were public schools, except for one Islamic school. All schools were also under the care of MoEC. At the time of the pilot, INOVASI worked exclusively with MoEC, before later collaborating with the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA).