District Mapping And Planning Changes
As part of an active program to support continuing quality improvement in mapping and planning, district officials and MBE consultants worked together in an extensive series of District and Provincial level workshops in January, February and March.
The general format of the District workshops was similar: Districts presented and discussed the results of their mapping and recommendations to their District-level peers, and MBE consultants then provided constructive feedback.
A clear pattern of good practices in mapping and planning emerged from these workshops. Some really good technical practices being demonstrated by Districts are: The collection of complete data sets that are relevant to local planning needs; the clear and consistent presentation of data; and clear, realistic and databased recommendations.
Left to Right Husni Tahir, Head of Commission D, DPRD; Robert Cannon, MBE; M. Mahsun Ismail, Deputy Bupati; Sayekto, Heado of Education Office; Parlan Hadinoto, Leader of Education Council.
In several Districts, it was very impressive to see the enthusiastic and active leadership by District leaders, including the Bupati or Walikota, in the processes of developing databased plans (see photograph).
MBE consultants observed a very significant outcome from these workshops. That outcome is the development of local planning understanding and capacity and progress towards the building of transparent, democratic institutions where there is open and representative participation in local planning activities.
Baseline data collection in Aceh
MBE conducted a baseline survey of learning and teaching in partner schools in Kota Banda Aceh and Kabupaten Aceh Besar between 20 and 26 March 2006. The survey included data collection from observations of conditions in a sample of schools and from interviews with school principals.
In addition, MBE facilitators and consultants tested childrens' academic performance in grades 1, 3 and 5 in Reading, Writing, Bahasa Indonesia, Mathematics and Science.
The children, teachers and principals were very enthusiastic about the visits to their schools and were most cooperative during this baseline data collection process. In fact, at SDN 57, Kota Banda Aceh, the boys seized the opportunity during their lesson break to enjoy a game of football with MBE consultant Toto Purwanto (see photograph)!
The data gathered in Aceh is now being analysed. It is too early to make firm conclusions but the data gathering teams reported concerns about the levels of student literacy, quality of handwriting and overall performance on tests in several schools. MBE sincerely hopes that the positive experiences of children and teachers following the introduction of PAKEM - especially the focus on joyful learning - will help to soften the sad experiences of many children following the tsunami and the past conflict in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam.
Hj. Fauziatul Halim, MBE facilitator and Principal of SDN 40 Kota Banda Aceh, conducts a one-on-one reading test with a Grade 1 student at MIN Sungai Limpah, Kabupaten Aceh Besar.
There is clearly a great need for the kinds of professional support that MBE and its partners in DBE can provide in Aceh. The data gathering team is really looking forward to monitoring the outcomes of educational development activities in Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar as they believe there is enormous willingness among key stakeholders to work hard at improving the quality of school education in the two new Aceh districts.
PATI: The Role of the Education Council
In an effort to raise the quality of school committees, the education council in Pati district has tried several activities:
It has sponsored the formation of a Communication Forum for School Committees from primary school to upper secondary school level for the whole of Pati district and has invited the primary school forum to make a study visit to Batu and Blitar. The picture on the right shows Bpk Soebawi accompanied by Ibu Mistin during a visit to Batu Education Office (above) and to school (below).
It has designed a program to publicize the role and function of the school committee to each communication forum.
It has campaigned for school block grants to be continued by referring to the interim unit cost per student calculations, which were drawn up by school principal from primary and junior secondary schools together with the Education Office, Local Development Agency, Ministry of Religious Affairs and the District Finance Department.