Report of the May 2017 working visit to SDN Gorontalo and SDI Nanga Nae, Flores, Indonesia.
1. Introduction 2. Goals this visit 3. Practical matters, or ‘in the field’ 3.1. SDN Gorontalo & SDI Nanga Nae 3.2. Expenses in both situations 3.3. Future policy ideas 3.4. Sponsorship secondary education 4. Evaluation of this working visit 5. Recommendations for 2018 6. Concluding notes
During fall in the year 2011, a handful of Indonesia enthusiast decided to start a non-profit organization called 'Tolong Flores', aiming to aid the local inhabitants – and doing so specifically by supporting a school where possible. December the 16th this organization is established formally at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, number 54156475.
The goal of Tolong Flores can be formally described as: “Establishing or supporting one or multiple schools on the island of Flores Indonesia in particular, where the local inhabitants can hardly or not at all provide themselves with substantial forms of education, this seen in the broader scope of raising the standard of living and economic chances of the local inhabitants, carrying out the work that may be related to, or help attaining this goal."
Since 2012, a yearly working visit takes place. On the one hand to keep empowering and encouraging the school as well as the organization, and on the other hand to keep track of the schools development process. During this working visit we visited both schools. We’ve met the two new principals of the schools, which are motivated and willing to pick up where their colleagues left off. For the third year in a row, Tolong Flores has supported two former students of Gorontalo so that they can attend secondary school as well. This attempt to have a broad approach to education (across educational levels) has been a successful experiment. The principal of Gorontalo has been the coordinator in this process. Since the experiment has been a success, we have been supporting two former students of Nanga Nae as well, for the second year in a row. This process is managed by the principal of Nanga Nae.
In light of this broad understanding of education, Tolong Flores has been working closely with ‘Educhild’. This foundation supports the ‘SMK Parawisata’ school, which offers vocational education in the tourist sector. From this partnership between Tolong Flores and Educhild, it is possible to see early on whether children are eligible for this kind of education and/or need sponsoring.
2. Goals of this working visit Preceding the visit, the board has formulated a set of goals in line with the working visit. How are we progressing on the following topics with Gorontalo:
- The educational development of the school and the current condition of the school supplies. - The computer literacy education of the team. - The teaching of English.
How are we progressing on the following topics with Nange Nae: - The educational development of the school - The progression of English literacy of the school team - The furniture of the school in relation to the current state of the floors in the Nanga Nae buildings.
How is the acquiring or replacing of the following coming along for both schools: - Materials used for sports and games. - general materials Research into the coming years: In the coming two years, the budget for Gorontalo will be allocated as such: - General school-related materials, 1000 euro yearly. - Professional development of the school team, 1000 euro yearly.
The coming two years, the budget for Nanga Nae will be allocated as such: - General school-related materials, 2000 euro yearly. - Professional development of the school team, 1000 euro yearly
Financial support for secondary education for four children. Following the signals of the former principal of Gorontalo, two former students of Gorontalo are financially supported to attend secondary education. The costs consist of school fees, educational books, uniforms and transport (from-to) school. Total costs are around 250 euros. In the same way, we support two former students from Nanga Nae. During this working visit, we’re hoping to get some clear insight in how they are progressing.
3. Practical matters, or ’In the field’.
3.1 SDN Gorontalo We arrived at the schools Tuesday morning the 25th of April. Our welcome is warm as always and both sides feel happy to re-connect again. There have been extensive talks about the agenda, and practicalities relating to Gorontalo.
- The educational development of the school – the school is stable in terms of number of students. There is a slight gap in the transmission towards secondary education. - The water supply – the water pump still is not functional. This summer a Dutch family [including an employee at Duivelaar Pompen] will visit Gorontalo, and will come with a plan of action with regards to this problem. - The computer literacy of the team – nearly all the laptops have stopped working. We’ve decided to refrain from taking laptops from the Netherlands, and will look into buying them locally. Linda is currently looking into this. - English lessons – finally, an English teacher is found available, Charles Deon. During this visit, one of the goals is to assess whether employing him is a viable option.
SDI Nanga Nae - The educational development of the school – the school has used the acquired materials of last year effectively, although a few of the materials are in need of replacement (such as footballs). - The progression of English literacy of the school team – since February 1st, a teacher of Nanga Nae, has started giving English classes to his colleagues. Currently, this classes are three times a week, spanning two hours, after school. English is of major importance. Although the attendance is not stable, Carlos remains motivated. - The furniture of the school in relation to the current state of the floors in the Nanga Nae buildings – last year, one classroom floor has been renovated.
3.2 Expenses in both situations: Gorontalo - One new desktop has been acquired, Linda will make an action plan to ensure continuity and progress in the computer literacy program. Furthermore, a number of sports-related materials are bought, as well as an announcement board for the parents. - Highlight is the hiring of Charles Deon as English teacher. The board has reserved a maximum of 1000 euros, as is discussed. A part of this will be transferred in 2017, and the rest will be transferred in 2018. The support in English lessons will commence the 1st of May 2017, until the 1st of May 2018. Every month, Charles will be contacting Sandi and the board. Following this contact, financial compensation will be transferred. Evaluation will occur May 2018.
Nanga Nae The new principal’s wish is to have more attention to reading for his students. Currently, there are books aplenty, yet these books are not stored properly, making them deteriorate quickly. To combat this, steel cabinets (9 in total) have been purchased in order to conserve these books. Additionally, sports materials are purchased and replaced. Carlos will continue his English classes and will be brought into contact with Arie, which runs an English-language school in Labuan Bajo. Furthermore, a solar panel has been purchased since Nanga Nae is not connected with the existing electricity network.
3.3 Possibility for future policy: - With regards to Gorontalo, we will be prioritizing English above all else. This priority is reinforced by the classes of Charles. Aside this, the digital literacy program will become more concrete, with Linda developing a new program. - Our focus on English as a subject is also priority for Nanga Nae, with Carlos reporting back regularly and continually develop his English. As of next year, we would like to spend more time in Nanga Nae.
3.4 Financial support of the four students - As of June, we hope that both Erna and Sam (former students of Gorontalo) will obtain their diplomas. Erna has even suggested that SMK Parawisata might be an option for her! There will be two new students eligible for financial support, to be picked via the principal and Charles. - Two former students of Nanga Nae are also supported financially. Ririn and Riski will progress into their second year of secondary education. - In order to increase the responsibility of those whom it concerns, and at the same time have more insight in the progress there now exists a Facebook group in which all can communicate with each other.
4. Evaluation of the working visit 2017 Again, our visit has been a success. Not only on the front of practical matters, but also in terms of drive and understanding of the school teams, the children and their parents. The goals which were set out proved to be manageable. The educational development of both schools has been on the rise because of various purchases and team-professionalization efforts. More practically speaking, the English education in Gorontalo will be boosted because of Charles Deon. Digital literacy will be improved further. Taking into account the new principal of Nanga Nae and his wish for improving reading, we will be trying to combine these efforts for effectiveness. All of the four children will continue their sponsored education, and two (Erna and Sam) will most likely be graduating.
5. Recommendations for 2018 - Let the English language remain a priority, developing the level of English of both the students and the school team. - The situation in Nanga Nae is somewhat different because of the policy choices of the new principal. - It’s great to see two children graduating because of our financial support, and we should keep this open as an option for the coming year. - There are possibilities for cooperation with SMK Parawisata, a school supported by Educhild. In joined talks with Educhild, we should explore how our organizations can strengthen each other.
6. Concluding notes We would like to give thanks to everybody which has given us so much support, and made this working visit possible - The support of the ‘Tolong Flores’ board, which provided clear goals to work with which again made this working visit a success. - All the sponsors, supporters, organizations and schools which have contributed greatly and made the purchase of much needed school supplies possible. - Last but not least: Sandi. Without him as our ambassador, this working visit would never have been such a great success. Sandi, terima kasih!
Koudekerk aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, May 2017. Kees en Linda van Beusekom, with the support of Cees de Greef & Els de Greef!