National Education Day was a celebratory sight to behold in Bima. In the court yard of the Bima Regent’s Office, hundreds of teachers and community participants attended the flag hoisting ceremony to commemorate the day. The ceremony was followed by the announcement of awards for accomplished students, teachers, and principals across the district.
Three school principals who are involved in the INOVASI program, a partnership between the governments of Australia and Indonesia, became the pride of Bima by placing first, second and third at the award ceremony, for demonstrating the strongest mission and vision for primary school principals in Bima. These three principals are also local INOVASI education facilitators, specifically supporting the Language and Learning pilot program in Bima, one of six INOVASI partner districts in NTB.
Julaikha, S.Pd from SDN Taloko was awarded as first winner; Rita Handawati, M.Pd from SDN Parado Wane as second; and Furqan M.Pd from SDN Wora as the third winner.
Julaikha acknowledged that the INOVASI program has helped motivate her to provide creative and innovative ideas in teaching, especially in the fields of literacy and numeracy. Conventional teaching ideas have been transformed into more modern and active teaching. This has helped her in carrying out her duties and responsibilities as the school principal at Taloko Elementary School.
“INOVASI helped me find a more creative and innovative learning method so I could apply it to my school,” said Julaikha proudly.
Similarly, Rita Handawati and Furqan admitted that INOVASI has created a positive influence in their daily life as principals.
Through the various pilot workshops held by INOVASI over the past year, the three have been trained to find new teaching methods that are appropriate to the local school and district context, beginning with learning to identify problems and then find solutions. The students’ low literacy in Bima they found was due to a low ability of students and teachers to utilise Bahasa Indonesia well in the classroom. Often the mother tongue is used as the medium of instruction in the lesson, thereby impacting the low score of the student exams, because the exam books use Bahasa Indonesia.
The three school principals continue to constantly innovate and create new and engaging ideas for teachers, to improve classroom learning using Bahasa Indonesia. Julaikha, Rita and Furqan have decorated their schools with various learning media, pictures, and writing in Bahasa Indonesia to help familiarize students with key words and letters during reading. Not only that, there is also regular teacher coaching for students to improve their Bahasa Indonesia.
Through the momentum of National Education Day, the three principals hope that education in Bima can not only continue to be progressive and to improve, but also be competitive with other regions in Indonesia. Together, education stakeholders can work together to create a golden generation.