Indonesia is building a foundation for its future and is expected to rebound strongly following the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.

The country is still forecast to be the third-fastest growing country in the world.

As it grows, the country wants to “plant a garden of pupils” who will soon grow into the future leaders of not just Indonesia but also Asia Pacific. Indonesia has highlighted these efforts its during National Education Month in May.

It commemorates the May birthday of a champion of Indonesian education, Ki Hajar Dewantara, who pioneered access to schooling for all in the country, not just the wealthy, developing the pathway for the future of learning in the country.

While the country’s cities have benefited from the combination of growth and access to education, allowing it to compete globally, the focus is now turning to bringing the same advantages to Indonesians in regional and rural communities who have lacked access to those opportunities.

A number of Indonesians teachers are looking to provide all Indonesians a better future and lift literacy rates.

They are being supported by organisations such as the Pusat Belajar Guru (Teachers’ Learning Centre) who are underpinning their efforts in East Java, in the Tuban and Bojonegoro regions.

PBG provides teachers a place to develop innovative and creative teaching and learning processes to improve Indonesia’s education.

This group, backed by ExxonMobil Indonesia, the Tuban Regency’s local education agency and other oil and gas companies are working to give Indonesian teachers the tools to change their students’ futures.

One teacher, M. Choirur Rofiq has started a new wave of literacy in the Tuban region called the Haus Membaca, Berani Menulis movement, or “Thirsty to Read, Dare to Write”.

Rofiq working with other teachers sitting around table

Rofiq has worked with other teachers to develop interactive programs to encourage literacy in his pupils. [This image was taken prior to the rise of COVID-19]

The movement encourages students to read a book in the classroom for at least 15 minutes a day, after which they rewrite the story in their own words or create a new story, helping to sharpen their literacy skills.

Rofiq said he was motivated to launch the program after attending PBG.

“At PBG, I met other teachers who are also passionate in what they’re doing. All of them want to learn and grow,” Rofiq says.

“Through books, we can transfer knowledge to the next generation; it’s why I encourage them to write.”

Javanese language teacher Emi Sudarwati also relies on the PBG to hone her own skills and help mold Indonesia’s students.

Emi smiling and holding a book

Emi wrote a book with her pupils on innovative teaching methods.

“I have also learned a lot from the PBG, such as teaching in a fun way to my students,” she says.

“I am proud to be able to share my knowledge with fellow teachers as a way to improve our teaching quality.”

These teachers are lifting Indonesia’s literacy skills, using the PBG as a launchpad for giving all Indonesians the key to a brighter future.


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