Journalists and media stakeholders gather in Waingapu to discuss the importance of improving educational quality

Following an MoU signing with Nusa Tenggara Timur in November 2017, the Innovation for Indonesia’s School Children (INOVASI) Program has begun program implementation in all four districts of Sumba Island – including East Sumba, Central Sumba, West Sumba and South West Sumba. To support pilot implementation, INOVASI places sharing and dissemination at the core of program activities. Local media stakeholders play a key role in helping to spread promising education practices and learnings experienced by teachers at the classroom level.

From 20-21 February 2018, key journalists and government public relations staff from across all districts of Sumba Island and from provincial level publications and government in Kupang, came together at an INOVASI Media Engagement Workshop. Held at Padadita Hotel in Waingapu, East Sumba, the workshop aimed to strengthen relationships with local media and government PR representatives. In addition, workshop participants were introduced in more depth to INOVASI’s distinctive bottom up approach ‘Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation’ (PDIA) and learnt more about the Program’s 2018 activities and pilots.

The Media Engagement Workshop was opened by the Head of the East Sumba Education Office, Mr Yusuf Waluwanja, as well as INOVASI’s Communications Manager Ms Stephanie Carter.

“From the research conducted by the INOVASI program across our districts, there are many things that contribute to low educational outcomes and quality. This includes children living in rural and remote areas, and children who cannot speak Bahasa Indonesian well yet”, said Yusuf Waluwanja.

He also outlined the important role that parents play in supporting improvements to quality of education, and student learning outcomes.

“Education is not only the business of teachers and government alone, but parents must play an active role in supporting their children to study well. They must prepare the children at home and help them learn.

“The existence of the [INOVASI] activity is very supportive for the education of students in Sumba, including East Sumba. We will work and look for key issues affecting education, especially for teachers and students”, he added.

During the two-day workshop, media stakeholders explored how the PDIA approach is being applied to pilot activities in the field, and also heard a first-hand testimonial from one of INOVASI’s East Sumba Local Facilitators. Key concepts around active learning and what makes an effective promising classroom teaching practice were also introduced. INOVASI’s Provincial Manager based in Sumba, Mr Hironimus Sugi, outlined the Program’s 2018 pilots and plans, as well as speaking of the importance of child protection in reporting.

At the end of the workshop, a new media education community of practice was formed, with two journalists volunteering as group leaders. This new group will plan to meet in the coming months, and will liaise closely with INOVASI’s Provincial Communications Officer.

Said one journalist and one of the new leaders of the community of practice, Mr Dion Umba Ana Lodu, “There are good practices and active learning models that can be shared to motivate teachers and students, in order to develop a better education”.

In 2018, Round One pilots in Sumba will focus on the transition from using mother tongue to Bahasa Indonesia in the classroom (East Sumba), whole school development (Central Sumba), the Guru BAIK pilot (South West Sumba), and improved school management (West Sumba).

The first round of Sumba Island education pilots will run until July 2018 in all four districts.

Journalists and media stakeholders gather in Waingapu to discuss the importance of improving educational quality