How the Monitoring was Done
In September 2005, small monitoring teams consisting of eight or nine local MBE Facilitators, consultants, and District Coordinators made monitoring visits to each of the Phase 1 and 2 district Education Offices and to a carefully selected sample of 77 schools including SD, MI, SMP and MTs.
The teams gathered information by using questionnaires, by studying documents, meeting principals, teachers and local government officials, and by direct observation of classes at work. Information from the field was recorded and then analysed in Jakarta. From the analysis of information, a very detailed 85 pages report was written. Anyone who is interested can request a copy of the report from MBE, but it is in English!
So, what does the report say? The report tells a story about the results of the activities of so many people in our MBE districts - and elsewhere in Indonesia. These results show very clear changes in the way children learn, in improving children's academic achievements, and in the ways in which their teachers are working with them to encourage more active, responsible and enjoyable learning. The report also tells a story about the enthusiastic management and other kinds of support that is being provided to children and teachers by parents, communities and by Education Office officials.
Children’s Learning Improving
Key outcomes for MBE are that children's learning achievements improve over time and that schools have supported this by adopt-ing an active, creative and joyful approach to learning and teaching. The results of the tests of children's learning in SD and MI are really very encouraging: scores rose from last years testing in the grade 1 and grade 4 reading tests, in grade 4 mathematics and in grade 5 science but fell very slightly in grade 4 writing. Overall, 78% of MBE schools' scores improved in 3 or more of the tests.
An interesting finding is that girls performed better then boys on the reading, writing and mathematics whereas boys performed slightly better than girls on the science test. MBE believes that these results confirm the strength of the learning and teaching approaches that are now being used in so many classrooms. 100% of MBE target schools have now sent teachers for training to learn about these approache.
On the basis of data collected, and judging these data against the criteria agreed with USAID, it is estimated that the active learning approach has now been adopted in 86% of target primary schools and in 91% of junior secondary schools. MBE believes that these results confirm the strength of the learning and teaching approaches that are now being used in so many classrooms.
100% of MBE target schools have now sent teachers for training to learn about these approaches. The monitoring of lessons in classrooms lessons showed that a very large majority of teachers are now using interesting and challenging strategies that support and encourage their students' active learning.
Teachers are using strategies such as organizing their students into small learning groups, making and using teaching aids from local materials, displaying children's work, giving more personalised feedback and help to students, encouraging students to express their feelings and opinions more openly and to write in their own words rather than uncritically copying material from books or the teacher's words from the blackboard.
Both the monitors and casual visitors to MBE schools have commented favourably on just how much classrooms have changed into attractive, warm and challenging places where children and teachers are enthusiastically engaged in active learning that is both enjoyable and rewarding.
Community Support Increasing
But it is not only the schools, teachers and children that are changing for the better. There are also changes occurring in the communities that support their schools and in the local government's management practices.
Schools have been moving towards local management and community responsibility for some years now and MBE has been supporting the continuing development of this approach with considerable success as the data in the monitoring report shows.
Over two thirds of schools are meeting all the criteria for effective school based management now. The criteria include having an active school committee that is involved in planning and budgeting and where communities are increasing their financial and other support for schools.