Since 2017, INOVASI has continued to implement a range of pilot approaches in NTB, all aimed at strengthening education quality and learning outcomes. In each partner district, a key indicator of success is the ‘scale out’ of approaches that have proven to work. When we say ‘scaling out’, we mean that non-government partners and local district partners decide to increase the number of pilot beneficiaries with independent funding. INOVASI plays a key role in supporting this scale out of solutions within districts. It is only by scaling out at this level that we can find out what approaches work in the districts and what is realistic, affordable and sustainable for local stakeholders.
In Bima, one of six INOVASI partner districts in NTB, several new teachers and educators have now been introduced to our pilot activities and approaches. One of these educators is Anwar Mas’ud, a school supervisor coordinator in Langgudu sub-district.
In October 2018, Anwar was invited to SDN Karumbu primary school, to take part in INOVASI’s basic literacy training for early grade teachers. The training was run in a teacher working group (KKG), and Anwar was invited in his capacity as Langgudu sub-district school supervisor coordinator. During the training, several early grade teachers from two schools, SD Karumbu and SD Pusu, were trained by local facilitators who had previously been mentored and trained by INOVASI. They were introduced to new teaching methods which aim to build children’s literacy skills at school.
Anwar found the provided training material very interesting. As a school supervisor coordinator, he found the material incredibly relevant for his own sub-district.
“This training is extraordinary, in my opinion, because it focuses on how to improve the learning process so students can really understand the lesson. This can improve the ability of teachers and benefit our students. Only, I regret that only teachers from two schools received these materials,” he said.
After the training, Anwar took the initiative to speak with INOVASI. He expressed his desire for the training to be expanded to other schools, with independent funding. This request was of course welcomed. Anwar then returned to his office and discussed the scale out idea with his colleagues at the Langgudu Technical Implementation Unit (UPT), including with Hamdiah, S.Pd, Head of the UPT. The idea was warmly received, and his colleagues forwarded it on to a number of other schools and principals.
In subsequent literacy KKG teacher training sessions, the number of participants increased even further. Initially there were only two schools, now there were seven. Five new schools had sent teachers at their own expense.
Hamdiah, Head of the UPT, said that improving the quality and capacity of teachers is an important need in Bima. She explained that not many teachers have the opportunity to be trained, referring to the difficult geographical conditions of Langgudu Subdistrict, as well as its distance from the district capital.
“The schools in our sub-district are so complex. There are still many that cannot be accessed by vehicles. There are those who have to climb the mountain by footpath, and there are those on the other side of the ocean,” she said.
Thanks to INOVASI, and its support and encouragement for ongoing scale out of pilot activities, there is new hope for the quality of teachers in Langgudu.
“I walked to school several times, I saw the teachers have taught differently. They no longer rely on standing in front of the class and writing on the board. They have used teaching aids including the big book. Of course children are happy with that,” Anwar said excitedly.
Efforts to expand the benefits of the INOVASI program will soon be intensified in Langgudu sub-district. Hamdiah explained that the UPT team plan to use various coordination meetings with school principals to socialize and encourage replication to be carried out immediately by more schools in the area.
In addition to Langgudu, independent replication of INOVASI’s pilot activities has also been carried out by a number of schools in Wawo sub-district. In Wawo, the number of schools scaling out is even more, around 18 schools. Just like in Langgudu, replication that took place in Wawo was also a result of initiative taken by the sub-district school supervisor.
Enthusiasm to scale out and replicate pilot activities is certainly aligned with the objectives of the Head of the Bima District Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Agency (Dikbudpora), Zunaiddin S. Sos, MM – a key one being that all schools across the district benefit from INOVASI activities and training. On several occasions, he has affirmed his commitment to scale out the existing INOVASI language transition pilot, to all existing primary schools in the district. This in turn will support Bima’s plan to become a literacy district.