Presidents Visit DBE-MBE Activities
In November 2006 after an APEC meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, the US President, George Bush and his wife, Laura made a brief visit to meet the Indonesian President, Bpk Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, Ibu Ani Kristianti.
The meeting took place in the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java. On 20 November the US president arrived at the Halim Perdanakusuma airport and was taken by helicopter to Bogor, which was very quiet, because many of the roads in the town had been closed for the day to guarantee the safety of the VIPs.
Several displays had been setup inside and around the palace by the Indonesian government. USAID also held an event to show off its education program in Indonesia. A DBE assisted school, SD Papandayan 1 was chosen to create model classrooms in a tent in the Botanical Gardens in Bogor, next to the palace.
Two classrooms where created: a grade 6 room, where a science lesson was organized and a grade 2 room, where reading and writing activities took place. In the grade 2 room there was a special guest, Elmo, a symbol of the assistance being given by USAID in developing the TV program Sesame Indonesia, which is due to start broadcasting later in 2007.
In order to help the teachers and principal of SD Papandayan to prepare for the event, several MBE and DBE facilitators came to Bogor. In the classroom inside the tent Ibu Tati, the grade 2 teacher was assisted by Ibu Mariaulfah, while the grade 6 teacher, Ibu Rumasti was assisted by Ibu Silvana from Sidoarjo, who is also a member of DBE staff. Other MBE facilitators helping the preparations included Bpk Kadis (Pati) and Ibu Sri Wahjuni (Batu). They were coordinated by Bpk Masjudi and Lynne Hill from MBE and Bpk Maskur and Jennifer Rose from DBE.
The two presidents and their wives, accompanied by the Minister of National Education, Bpk Bambang Subidyo, visited the two classrooms for over 40 minutes to watch the lessons and talk with the students, teachers and facilitators. You can see some more pictures of the visit by the two presidents on the back page.
Final MBE Evaluation
An MBE evaluation team of four people: David Evans, Michael Thair, Basri Wello and Rasdi Ekosiswoyo started work in the middle of January 2007 to evaluate the implementation and impact of the MBE program, and to make recommendations concerning future USAID activities.
They visited three districts in Central Java (Banyumas, Semarang and Pati), three districts in East Java (Batu, Malang and Probolinggo), as well as Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar. They were able to visit both project and non-project schools in order to make comparisons, and to hold discussions with stakeholders at both district and school levels.
Above: David Evans holding discussions in a school in Probolinggo about the MBE program
They also visited two DBE districts, Kudus and Sidoarjo and held discussions with DBE personnel at central and regional levels. They were very impressed with what they saw and discovered in the field.
They reached the conclusion that the MBE program was well organized and has had a clear impact in the field on school management, community participation and teaching and learning. You can read a summary of their report on page 20.
MBE Nearing the End of the Road...
The MBE program was due to finish at the end of March 2007, but activities have been extended for three months by USAID, using a remaining amount of funding.
The activities in these three months will include training of district facilitators from the phase 3 districts and Aceh, as well as a Final Review Meeting and Exhibition in Jakarta during May involving all 23 partner districts.
We should like to express our thanks and our best wishes for the future to all those who have worked with us on the MBE program. We hope that the benefits of the program will continue to be felt and developed over the long term.