In INOVASI’s newest partner province, East Java, five districts and cities are ready to support innovation in basic education, in partnership with INOVASI. These include Pasuruan, Probolinggo, Sidoarjo, Sumenep and Batu City. INOVASI is an Australian-Indonesian education partnership program that seeks to improve the quality of basic education, especially in literacy, numeracy, and social inclusion.
To kick start partnership proceedings, a district planning meeting was held last month in Pasuruan, at Hotel Dalwa. Bringing together key stakeholders from across the district, the meeting aimed to explore key causes of education challenges in Pasuruan. Participants were then encouraged to discuss and plan activities at the district level to help overcome these issues.
From the mapping exercise, several complex education challenges were explored. As seen in the National Indicators for Education Planning (NIEP) 2018 data, it is evident that the school retention rate for early grade students in Pasuruan is higher than the average across East Java province.
Said Mustain, Secretary of the Pasuruan District Education Office, “this may be due to the lack of ability in literacy and numeracy. Especially for grade one, it was so low that they need to repeat the class.”
Based on this and other key factors, INOVASI will work in Pasuruan with a particular focus on increasing literacy skills. This includes student ability to read and understand text. As part of planned pilot activities, early grade teacher training will be conducted at the cluster level in Teacher Working Groups (KKG), both for madrasahs (Islamic primary schools) and primary schools.
In terms of its work with madrasahs, INOVASI will work a range of these schools across Pasuruan. Mohammad As’adul Anam, Head of the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Pasuruan, revealed that a key issue facing madrasah is lack of teacher certification. More than 67% of teachers had not been certified across the district.
“Hopefully, the high number of MI teachers in Pasuruan who have not been certified will not reduce their motivation to increase their capacity,” Mohammad As’adul Anam said. He explained that INOVASI’s partner madrasah schools will become a reference school for others in Pasuruan.
Zainal Abidin, Chairperson of the Pasuruan Education Council, emphasised that education is a shared responsibility. As a district with many large industries, Pasuruan has great potential to receive funds from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“It would be nice if this could be facilitated by the Pasuruan Government so that the future expansion of the INOVASI program could be partly through CSR,” he explained.
Hery Sri Wahyudi, Head of the Education Sub-Department of Bappeda in Pasuruan, shared similar thoughts. He plans to provide recommendations to relevant parties regarding the matter. In addition, Bappeda has prepared a budget that will supports INOVASI activities in 2019 while awaiting proposals from the Education Office of Pasuruan.