Since beginning its first provincial partnership with West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) in 2016, INOVASI has continued to work closely with district education offices to improve basic education. Areas of improvement have included a more effective classroom learning atmosphere, improved teacher quality, and improved children’s learning outcomes. As INOVASI looks to the future, the question of sustainability remains key. To ensure that results and education approaches are sustained, a comprehensive strategy must be put in place, driven by local government.
In Bima earlier this month, after National Education Day celebrations, INOVASI met with the Bima district government in a district planning meeting to discuss program sustainability and scale out. The event took place in the Bima District Regent meeting room.
The meeting was opened by the Secretary of Bima District, Drs. H.M Taufik Hak, M.Sc., also the acting Head of Education. INOVASI shared latest program developments and achievements, from its pilots in Bima – including the literacy and mother language transition short course pilot, and partnership pilot with Sunbright from the East (SPI). A video testimony from the teachers was played, showing the positive changes taking place in the classroom. Literacy has been strengthened in numerous classrooms, including both partner and now non-partner schools. To date, 462 primary schools have received teacher training support, including under those activities funded by local government funds (APBD). 43 schools have participated in INOVASI’s mother language and literacy pilot (known locally as GEMBIRA).
When giving his opening remarks, Taufik Hak highlighted the condition of education in Bima, which needs ongoing attention. He greatly appreciated the progress of INOVASI so far and hoped that all of these good achievements could be maintained or even expanded. In particular, he expressed his hope that 10% of the regional budget could be budgeted for village literacy activities.
Secretary of Bappeda H. Fahrudin, S.Sos, M.Ap, said that the Bima district government is committed to continuing what has been achieved by maximizing the functions of replication schools. He also stated that his party would encourage an allocation of funds to support literacy programs in the village medium term development plan. This would be done in 53 villages that have just carried out village head elections. Between 10-15 million rupiah would be allocated to support village literacy activities, including the development of the village library, the appointment of village literacy volunteers, and a mobile library and local village literacy community. In addition, Bappeda plans to include a literacy program in the Bappeda’s Socio-Culture Planning and Development Division, which is planned to be ratified this May.
The district planning meeting continued with further discussion, and participants were divided into three groups. They each discussed and mapped scenarios and conditions related to the program’s follow-up plan from three perspectives, namely authority, ability, and acceptance. The existence of number 11 Regent Regulation (Perbup) on the Literacy Movement in Bima Regency (which has just been passed) is considered strategic to the continuation of INOVASI activities in the district. The Perbup will be the legal umbrella for the formulation of policies and budget allocations in all sectors that favour education, especially literacy.
The regulation will encompass several key activities, including the development of regional literacy policies and direction, strengthening of a literacy movement, training and mentoring for education units, communities and families, and monitoring and guidance. After the initial socialisation of the regulation in March this year, the literacy district movement will plan to launch more widely on the anniversary of Bima district on 5th July.
As the district planning meeting came to a close, some key recommendations and conclusions were agreed upon. The Regional Devices Organisation (OPD) will continue to support the replication effort and scale out of education activities in Bima. Meanwhile, the district education office will expand the benefits of the teacher training to more schools across the district. The Bima Community and Village Empowerment Service District office will encourage villages to provide special budget allocation for literacy activities, while Bappeda remains committed to pushing for a literacy program budget from the district to national level. Although the movement to strengthen literacy in Bima is in the early stages, much has been achieved already.