Tanoto Foundation this year entered a new phase in supporting the improvement of basic education quality in Indonesia by expanding its Pelita Pendidikan Program activities to two new provinces: Central Java and East Kalimantan.
Previously, Pelita Pendidikan Program activities were only carried out in three provinces: North Sumatra, Riau and Jambi.
Tanoto Foundation has also extended these support programs, originally carried out only at elementary schools (including Madrasah Ibtidaiyah schools run by the Ministry of Religious Affairs), to junior high schools (including Madrasah Tsanawiyah schools) as well.
As part of preliminary support efforts, Tanoto Foundation has introduced various good practices which enhance learning and foster reading interest among students at schools in the new provinces.
In its bid to improve teacher quality and school leadership, Tanoto Foundation also partners with Teacher and Education Support Personnel Institutes (LPTK) in implementing its support programs.
In East Kalimantan, Tanoto Foundation has also visited several government agencies, including education offices and Ministry of Religious Affairs offices at the provincial, district, and municipal levels.
Successful partnerships with Kota Balikpapan and the Kutai Kartanegara regency in particular have showcased their respective governments’ commitments to working together with Tanoto Foundation.
“We wholeheartedly welcome this program. For a long time, we have looked at mentoring Madrasah Ibtidaiyah and Madsarah Tsanawiyah schools. Before this, very minimal support has been provided for these schools and due to this, their quality lags behind that of public schools,” said H. Hakimin, Head of the Ministry of Religious Affairs office at Kota Balikpapan.
Kota Balikpapan’s Education Office has also been very enthusiastic about the Pelita Pendidikan program, despite having previously participated in similar programs with other institutions, as these had only been of a temporary nature.
Tanoto Foundation’s programs, on the other hand, are long-term and sustainable thereby leading to measurable results.
“I look forward to the sustainability of the Tanoto Foundation programs so that we will benefit from comprehensive and long-term support. This way, improvement of human resource quality will also not be occurring on just the teacher level, but also on the principal or supervisor levels, paving a path for their maximum guidance on the teachers,” said Muhaimin, Head of the Education Office at Kota Balikpapan.
The Kutai Kartanegara regency government similarly extended a warm welcome to Tanoto Foundation.
Hifsi G. Fachrannas, Head of the Education Office at Kutai Kartanegara, stated: “I hope Tanoto Foundation’s support programs will improve the quality of teachers and students as well as the school management, and encourage community participation in education based on Tanoto Foundation’s experience of running the programs previously in other partner districts.”
Dr. Sofyan Noor, who heads the Ministry of Religious Affairs Regional Office in the East Kalimantan province, also extended his welcome and expressed appreciation to Tanoto Foundation for its willingness to cooperate with the ministry.
“We think these programs are very important because they are focused on school management and teacher quality improvement. The mindsets of the government and community should change – there are many who still think that education is only limited to the classroom, whereas there is a myriad of activities, teaching and learning methods which can be used both inside and outside the classroom.
“In the end, the priority is still teacher quality. Teachers should master various creative teaching media which enable two-way communication between them and their students, thereby enabling effective teaching and learning processes,” he said.
The East Kalimantan government’s enthusiasm has been a great impetus to the running of Tanoto Foundation’s support programs, as well as to the further development of these programs.
It is hoped that such enthusiastic collaboration will turn out to be a positive achievement for Tanoto Foundation, and its continuous aims to improve and facilitate the best education quality in Indonesia.