Central Lombok teacher working group makes independent effort to change education for the better

To ensure long term program sustainability, independent effort and scale out are key components. In all of its pilot activities, the INOVASI program works closely with government stakeholders and local decision makers to encourage and support the expansion of pilot activities to non partner schools and communities. In 2019, this has been a core program focus – including in Central Lombok, one of six INOVASI partner districts in NTB. Since 2017, INOVASI has implemented several key pilots in Central Lombok, aiming to improve the quality of literacy learning in the early grades, and to strengthen inclusive education. Education stakeholders including school principals who have demonstrated new knowledge, experience and skills gained during the pilot, then play a key role in helping to spread this guidance to other non-partner schools in the district. In this story, Ni Ketut Mayoni, an INOVASI local facilitator (or ‘Fasda’) and school principal shares her experience in expanding INOVASI pilot activities to her local teacher working group (KKG)

In Central Praya , a sub-district of Central Lombok, teachers from various schools have been coming together in their Cluster 1 working group (KKG) to use and learn from INOVASI’s early grade literacy module. The initiative has been led by Ni Ketut Mayoni, principal of SDN 2 Batu Nyala primary school, and an INOVASI Fasda.  She is also the head of the cluster and is passionate about bringing together different schools to learn – independent of the INOVASI program. This is key to program scale out.

“There are two KKG activities that we do alone in Cluster 1 of Central Praya District. The high-class KKG is for grades 4, 5, and 6. The first-grade KKG for grades 1, 2, and 3. The activities take place every day, from Monday to Friday, and are not always in the core group but can also take place in elementary and elementary schools. So, there is at SD 2 Batu Nyala as the core group, there is also at SD Selebung. And the assistant is the principal of each school,” explained Ketut enthusiastically.

KKG activities in Central Praya 1 cluster have involved 5 core schools (SDN 2 Batu Nyala) and 4 non-partner schools, namely SD Gereneng, SD 1 Lajut, SD Selebung, and SD 1 Batu Nyala.

Since October 2019, Ketut explained that the teachers have been equipped with training content for basic literacy and classroom management. Training material also uses the Big Book learning media.

“The KKG activities that we do not only discuss activities that become content such as K-13 devices. In the middle of the semester we also gave training material from INOVASI, which is about basic literacy, literacy classes, and we will continue with the Big Book, “said Ketut.

He added that there was always a waiting period between the teacher training, and evidence of results in the classroom. He is confident that the teachers will not only understand the content, but apply it effectively in their classrooms and schools.

KKG activities bring about positive change

The positive results of the independent KKG activities, using INOVASI’s literacy training module, have also been felt by Yenny Anita, a teacher at Gereneng primary school. The most fundamental change for Yenny has been the arrangement of the classroom. Since attending the Central Praya Cluster 1 KKG session, Yenny designed her classrooms so that they look visual and engaging, even building a reading corner for the students.

“After participating in the KKG activities, I gained a lot of knowledge. With this activity I was inspired to create a reading corner and also add decorations in the classroom. I made it with pleasure and moved me to make what is in the class now. My goal is that my students feel at home in class, feel comfortable and happy in the class. Changes in this class even make students reluctant to leave the classroom. Some students also say they are happier at school than at home. Before I took part in the KKG activities, there was not much I could do,” she said.

Positive changes have also been recognised by Gereneng primary school’s principal Lalu Ramdan. “After the KKG program and the literacy program, I saw one change that had taken place. Now the class is lively. Like there is a park in the classroom. Not to mention the decoration of the pictures attached. This also makes children motivated to learn,” she said with a smile.

The impact of the implementation of the KKG activities shows that so far almost 80% of the teachers who have followed it have implemented it well, as expressed by Ketut. In addition to the focus on literacy, INOVASI also focuses on inclusive education in Central Lombok, aligned with the priorities of the district government. An inclusive education pilot began in 2018 and continues to run in 2019, incorporating literacy skills but with an additional focus on inclusive education and parental engagement. This pilot has been implemented in 19 partner schools. Ketut said that specific content regarding inclusive education will be delivered to the independent KKG participants in the second semester of the current school year.


Encouraging active and independent KKG activities

The KKG ‘quality journey’ still has a long way to go. Ketut acknowledges that there are still challenges to overcome, such as  encouraging teachers to routinely participate in KKG activities and implement the training materials that they receive into teaching and learning activities in their classrooms.

Ketut highlighted one possible method to sustain motivation, namely asking principals to give ‘rewards’ to teachers involved. This may include certificates of KKG training participation, signed by the local district education office.

While the independent KKG activities led by Ketut are one small step to strengthen education across the district, he believes that with the effort of all stakeholders, teacher mindset and skills can truly be transformed.

“I want to cultivate, build the mindset of teachers that the KKG is a necessity for them. Not that they come to KKG because they were told to. But how do we design KKG activities so that teachers feel this activity is important. That is my motivation to change the mindset of my fellow teachers. That the KKG is not a necessity but a necessity for them. We also hope that no matter how big our intention is to implement an independent KKG, we still need support from the local government, KUPT, or support from supervisors. At least we can monitor activities or provide motivation so that they are more optimal,” she concluded on a hopeful note.

Central Lombok teacher working group makes independent effort to change education for the better