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Satu Hari Mendongeng bersama Anak Indonesia

In the celebration of Sumpah Pemuda, on 28th October 2018 Project Child Indonesia with DESA (Developing Rural Area by Social Activities) in collaboration with Kita Beraksi, 1000 Guru Jogja, and Yogyakarta Mengajar held an event called “Satu Hari Mendongeng Anak Indonesia” in one of our river school, Gadjahwong. The event was initiated as an effort to raise awareness about the importance of literacy in children’s life. The event combined interesting storytelling and games in order to give inspirations for the children that books can be interesting too.

The event was successfully held at 09.00 until 11.30, and was divided into two session of storytelling. The first session was a general storytelling, then on the second session the children were divided by their age group and they listened to another story. Around 27 children came and took part in this event. Instantly, they were captivated and mesmerized by the stories. They were passionate in listening and watching the storytelling.

After the first and second session, the children were given some questions regarding of the stories that they’ve just heard. The children were very enthusiastic in answering questions about the story. The question and answer session were followed with giving out the door prizes. Project Child Indonesia gave out books and school essentials for the children that could answer the questions about the stories.

At the end of the event, in the spirit of celebrating Sumpah Pemuda, the children and volunteers recited the youth pledge. Then the children received tumbler from a generous donation by Travel Lover Yogyakarta. We were so happy to conduct this event in our river school, Gadjahwong. We want to thank you for the communities that took part in our event. We hope to see similar events on other school also!

Green Teachers of Today: Towards a Green Generation of Indonesia

A seminar and workshop by PCI with the mission of promoting better environmental education

With the current condition of the earth, it has become increasingly important that we teach the younger generation to understand and care for the environment. It is essential that children nowadays grasp the importance of living a sustainable lifestyle- otherwise the environmental problems they face will just get worse and worse.

Like with any other life skills, teaching children involves all layers of society, namely: their homes, schools, and the community.

The government has recognize that environmental education, formally known as Pendidikan Lingkungan Hidup, is an important topic to be taught at schools, and has thus introduced the Adiwiyata program, which conducts environmental education in formal schools. This program was first introduced in 1975 by IKIP Jakarta, limited to only a small number of schools in the capital city. Now, this program is run all over the country, with most public schools actively implementing or at least aware of this program to some level.

Although this is a national program which is regulated by the Ministry of the Environment, a lot of schools are still struggling with it. With that in mind, Project Child Indonesia (PCI) held a seminar and workshop titled “Guru Hijau Jaman Now: Menuju Generasi Indonesia Hijau” (Green Teachers of Today: Towards a Green Generation of Indonesia). In this event, PCI invited 45 elementary school teachers from around Yogyakarta to participate. The seminar invited 3 speakers: a representative from the Center of Environmental Studies UGM, and headmasters from SDN Bhayangkara Yogyakarta and SDN Giwangan Yogyakarta- both who have much improved the implementation of Adiwiyata in their schools. The seminar  was aimed to provide the teachers with a deeper understanding of the urgency of environmental education, and also the basics of Adiwiyata implementation. The workshop was held as a focus group discussion (FGD) which was geared towards understanding the teachers’ perception of the Adiwiyata program. The aim was to gather insight from the teachers which could be used as feedback to the Environment Agency who runs the program.

From the FGD, we understood that most teachers still found the Adiwiyata program challenging. Most teachers generally understand that environmental education is important, but translating that into classroom activities for elementary children is tough. Even though the government has provided guidelines for the curriculum, they feel that it is not specific enough and it very much requires the teachers to be creative and to actively search for ideas and materials for the class. Since most elementary school teachers do not have a formal background in environmental education, this becomes a big challenge. Another problem is that not all teachers have received the guideline or necessary information to effectively deliver the program. While some teachers are able to find different ways of integrating the material in their everyday lessons, some teachers have never even read the lesson plan for the Adiwiyata Program.

The seminar and workshop was able to provide the teachers with a space to learn from each other and share their troubles. Although the Adiwiyata Program has much potential to be a program that will have a significant impact towards the future of the environment and the next generation of Indonesians, a lot of work still needs to be done. We hope that this short experience will motivate the teachers to better implement the Adiwiyata Program, while also being a reminder for the government to improve their planning and systems related to this program.