Learning to read in North Lombok

In September 2018, INOVASI commenced 27 grant-funded pilots, with 18 new grant partners. This grants initiative is a key part of our approach to expanding and strengthening engagement with Indonesia’s non-governmental education sector. One of these grant partners is Yayasan Tunas Aksara (YTA), working to strengthen early grade literacy teaching and learning in North Lombok, an INOVASI partner district in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) province. Working with 12 schools in across the district, the YTA program will equip 28 grade one and two teachers with Saya Suka Membaca (SSM) training, curriculum, materials and mentoring. Teachers will build the understanding and skills they need to teach reading effectively and in an engaging way, taking children from learning ‘bunyi huruf’ to being able to read simple words, short sentences and eventually short paragraphs and books with understanding. Each school will also be provided with a ‘Library in a box’, further enriching the school reading environment for early grade students. 

Nurtini, a first-grade teacher at Tariqhul Hidayah madrasah in North Lombok, speaks with excitement as she describes her pilot experience so far. She proudly shares a recent report from the parents of Aisya Safitri, a second-grade student who has joined her first grade class for the pilot teaching and learning activities. In the report, Aisya’s parents write positively about the changes in her learning, since joining the pilot. She is now more active when completing homework and studying alone at home, something she had never done previously.

Aisya’s parents also explain the positive changes in her cognitive knowledge when learning to read. She can now recognize names and the sounds of letters. According to the results of the initial pilot pre-test, Aisya was only able to recognise four letters. Now however, this has already jumped up to 20. When it comes to reading, this increase is making a significant difference.

Said Nurtini, “we included this child in the first grade because indeed she had difficulty reading, especially in terms of remembering the names of letters. Before being taught by SSM, his memory of letters was very weak. Suppose we just taught A, I, U, E, O, D, C, now we will ask for a moment, we must have forgotten again. She remembered only A and only a few of the rest. But, after I taught with SSM training, it began to develop and improve. She [Aisya] can already remember many letters from vowels and consonants. In fact, she elaborated on her own words that were in accordance with the letters taught, such as Letter O, for example there was a ‘medicine’ on the poster, she even mentioned other words like ‘people’, and more!”

Local education pilot facilitators have also noticed the improvement in Aisya’s learning. Before the pilot began, she was often absent from school due to illness or parental permission. She also found that the teaching methods in her classroom were not stimulating or engaging, and her attention and motivation to learn were low.

Now as a result of the pilot, Aisya’s enthusiasm and motivation has increased remarkably, with her teacher now using lots of interesting learning media and activities to explain key literacy concepts. The learning media has helped her to remember certain sounds and names of letters, making homework easier outside of class. With better teaching, students like Aisya become better students.

Video of interview with Nurtini can be viewed here.

Video of interview with Aisya’s mother can be viewed here.

Learning to read in North Lombok