Agents of Change in North Sumatra
Belinda Tanoto, a member of the Board of Trustees of Tanoto Foundation, visited Kabupaten Batu Bara and Kabupaten Asahan, North Sumatra Province, in July 2017. During this visit, Belinda Tanoto made observations of various activities of Pelita Pendidikan program and held direct discussions with school principals, teachers, local government, and communities in the regions.
Pelita Pendidikan is one of Tanoto Foundation programs aimed at improving the quality of education in Indonesia, especially in rural areas. To date, Pelita Pendidikan has supported 518 rural schools in North Sumatra, Riau, Jambi and DKI Jakarta provinces.
“Going to the field is our way of seeing firsthand how Tanoto Foundation programs are run. From this, we can evaluate various programs as the basis for further development, both in terms of quality and scale of beneficiaries, “said Belinda Tanoto.
Pelita Pendidikan program consists of four components, namely Pelita ASRI to help schools be healthy, clean, and environmentally friendly; Pelita Guru Mandiri to improve the competence and capacity of teachers in schools; Pelita Pustaka is a program to increase reading interest of children; and PAUD program is a program to improve the quality of early childhood education.
On the first day, Belinda visited SDN 010157 Sei Muka, SDN 010152 Sei Muka, and SDN 010155 Sei Muka in Kecamatan Talawi, Kabupaten Batu Bara. There Belinda made direct observations on teaching learning activities in the classroom.
Then, observations were also made on Pelita ASRI, Pelita Pustaka, and Pelita Guru Mandiri programs run in those schools. In addition, a sharing session was also held with local school teachers who have been trained as local facilitators by Tanoto Foundation.
“In Pelita ASRI, Pelita Guru Mandiri, and Pelita Pustaka programs, Tanoto Foundation does not take the leading role. The main actors are actually the teachers and other school components. They are change agents in North Sumatra. Here we only act as a catalyst. Our hope is that, after having participated in our various trainings, teachers can share their knowledge with other teachers within the same Kelompok Kerja Guru/KKG (Teacher Working Group), “continued Belinda Tanoto.
On the second day, Belinda Tanoto continued her visit to Kabupaten Batu Bara. There she made observations of the activities of Pelita Guru Mandiri and Pelita Pustaka programs that have been replicated by 24 schools in Kabupaten Batu.
On this occasion, Belinda also observed Training of Trainers activities for local facilitator candidates at SDN 013874 Bulan Bulan in Kecamatan Limapuluh. Belinda also took time to see KKG activities at SDN 0100148 Padang Genting Kecamatan Talawi.
“Through trainings from Tanoto Foundation we have learned many new methods to teach our students with. Hopefully, we can apply what we receive here in our respective schools, “said Ibu Rahuni, one of the participating teachers from SDN 015882 Guntung, Limapuluh, Batu Bara.
On the last day, Belinda visited Tempat Penitipan Anak/TPA (Children Daycare Center) Kebun Pulau Maria, Kabupaten Asahan, North Sumatra to see first hand quality of the facilities and adequacy of the educational content in the TPA. Then the visit was completed with a visit to Tanoto Foundation partner schools, namely SDS Bina Dharma Gunung Melayu and SDS Bina Dharma Muara Tiga, located in Kecamatan Rahuning, Kabupaten Asahan to see the activities of healthy school campaign and reading campaign.