In Dompu, one of six INOVASI partner districts in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province, INOVASI has been implementing an early grade literacy pilot. Aiming to strengthen teaching skills and knowledge in how to effectively teach early grade literacy and reading, the pilot has been implemented through local teacher working groups (KKGs) at the sub-district and cluster level. Recently, INOVASI local facilitators (Fasda) in Woja sub-district took the initiative to independently replicate INOVASI’s literacy pilot short course model to non-partner schools. Holding a series of inexpensive training activities for teachers in KKG forums, they proved that program replication doesn’t necessarily require large costs and resources. The pilot replication has not only helped to improve the ability of more teachers in the district but has also helped to revive the strategic role of the KKG as a forum for ongoing teacher professional development. In this article, Fasda share their experiences supporting the pilot replication.
Nunung Suryani, a grade 3 teacher at SDN 29 Woja primary school in Dompu, was surprised when some time ago a student’s parents came to see her at school. The parents were curious after their child had told them all about improvements to the classroom. Things were now more tidy, lively and engaging. Their child was excited to attend school.
“The mother came to ask what the class had on display, and I was happy to take her to look inside,” Nunung said.
Not long ago, Nunung’s classroom did not look like this, and there were no displays. Inspired by the INOVASI pilot training, where she learnt new teaching and literacy skills, Nunung decided to make a positive change. At the first teacher working group and pilot session, she was given material which outlined how to help strengthen student literacy skills. Immediately after the training, she set about re-arranging her classroom and making it a more engaging learning space.
Nunung has continued to attend the pilot training sessions in her local KKG forum in Woja sub-district or cluster. Across five meetings, she has continued to build her knowledge of effective literacy teaching and learning.
Building on the success of the original INOVASI literacy pilot in Pajo sub-district with 10 schools, a team of regional facilitators (Fasda) were keen to improve the teaching capacity of others in the district – not just partner teachers. They wanted to expand the benefits of the pilot.
“We met with the Head of the UPTD Woja who then gathered the Principals. And Alhamdulillah the response was good. In fact we immediately made a real plan of activities,” explained Haryono, a Fasda who was part of the initiating team.
In Dompu, INOVASI has implemented a number of pilots since 2017. Many local Fasda have been recruited and trained. Haryono himself is one of the Fasda from the earlier literacy pilot in Pajo.
Understanding the pilot benefits for literacy teaching and leraning, Haryono and other Fasda took the initiative to provide the same training independently to all schools in Woja sub-district, where their school is located. For operational training, they agreed that each participant teacher would only pay Rp 10,000. The fee would be used to buy snacks and office stationery supplies (ATK) as part of training sessions.
Haryono explained that the KKGs in the Woja cluster have not been very active. Meetings have been very rare and even then usually only to prepare for an exam or test. Other activities are almost non-existent, especially in the form of capacity building for teachers. He, along with his fellow INOVASI Fasda, felt it their responsibility to revive the KKG – turning it into a place for teacher learning.
Local school principals were very enthusiastic about sending teachers to participate in the training replication. Because of the high interest, the training was eventually divided into three zones. Each training was held simultaneously in all three zones. In addition to literacy, the teachers were also provided with further guidelines on delivering K-13 curriculum – this was done on a different day.
The replication initiative soon reached the ears of the head of the Dompu District Education, Youth and Sports Office (Dikpora).
“Alhamdulillah, at the first meeting which was also the opening ceremony, the Head of the Department of Education and the Office Secretary also attended and they gave an extraordinary reception,” said Haryono proudly.
The Department of Education and Sports itself is now planning to further establish and strengthen KKGs. According to the Head of Basic Education (Dikdas) Dompu Dikpora, Zaenal Afrodi, S. Pd., M. Pd, some time ago it had re-recorded the existing KKGs and refreshed the management structure. The good initiatives that have already taken place in the Woja Cluster will be replicated elsewhere.
“God willing, in 2020, I and the Head of Office have committed to injecting incentive funds into the KKGs or the Clusters,” said Zaenal. With this institution, they are expected to be able to provide more benefits and contribute to improving the quality of education in Dompu District.”