Just wanted to share an article published in the Jakarta Post (largest English language newspaper in Indonesia) about Yayasan Anak Tangguh, the community organization I worked with in Bali over the summer. They said the real article has a picture of me teaching, but it’ll probably be awhile until I get the hard copy version. Tells a little bit more about the overall organization than I was able to put in my email blogs. Enjoy!
Aku ingin membagi tulisan dari Jakarta Post tentang Yayasan Anak Tangguh, organasi komunita di Bali. Aku berkerja dengan organasinya itu selama musim panas yang lalu. Mereka kata tulisannya di surat kabar ada foto dengan Aku mengajar, tapi musti tunggu waktu lama-lama sampai Aku bisa lihat fotocopynya itu (Aku tinggal jauh sekali). Aku harap mu suka tulisan ini, dan terima kasih banyak ke Anak Tangguh untuk baik hati selama musim panas yang lalu. Maaf jika Bahasa Indo ku tdk baik.. Rindu mu!
Alternative teaching style inspires creativity among children
Luh De Suriyani , Contributor , The Jakarta Post, Gianyar | Tue, 09/02/2008 10:22 AM | Bali
The children of Guwang village in Sukawati, Gianyar, were enthusiastic as Yoyo, a Japanese volunteer, demonstrated the cha cha and hula-hula dancing at the Sanggar Anak Tangguh alternative school recently.
Nearby, Susan, who comes from England, was teaching English, by showing animal picture books to about 40 elementary school children.
Sunday and Wednesday, the two days per week designated for the school’s alternative teaching schedule, have become favorite days for local children.
“The teaching style is different and there are so many new things,” said 11 year-old Kadek Dwi Satria.
Initiated by community leaders Mang Adi and Cok Raka, the school aims to give children more confidence to be creative and proactive.
Adi said that in his village, which has become a center for handicrafts and other creative industries, villagers are constantly crossing paths with tourists.
“But our children’s education is still the same as the one that we had 20 or 30 years ago. We can’t stay this way because times have changed,” Adi said.
He hoped the school could give the children more confidence to interact with international tourists and at the same time build up their creativity to help produce good handicrafts.
The school itself was a square 70-meter open hall. The roof was made of thinned-out bamboos, which made it look like the building was roofed with banana leaves.
“The school building didn’t cost very much either. All the materials were donated by the villagers. Some of them gave bamboos, rocks, sand and whatever they had,” Adi said.
Adi said plans for the school were first made in 2002, with the villagers finally doing the building work in 2007, having donated a 3-acre plot of land to house the school and providing various items for the school.
Soon enough, Adi said, all 190 children in the village took part and even their parents would sometimes turn up to watch the school at work.
“We have only been able to have two days of classes per week right now though, because the volunteers can only come for those two days. They work for the rest of the week,” he said.
Adi said he was happy that foreign volunteers could come and teach, because it helped the children to build English proficiency and reduced fear of communicating with foreigners.
He said the school had received a lot of foreign teachers, such as Patrick from Gambia, in West Africa, who was an international exchange student and Paulina and Rana from the United States who taught English.
Adi said the foreigners had a major psychological impact by the way they taught and approached the subjects.
“The kids especially love the international dances, because they’re so used to Balinese traditional dancing and it’s such a new thing for them,” Adi said.
Meanwhile, Susan, who said she was not well versed in English, was asking the children about the animals in the picture books.
“What is your favorite animal?” asked Susan.
“My favorite animal is elephant,” said one girl, her cheeks blushed as she pointed to one with a big trunk in her book.
Yoyo, who the kids watched intensely as she demonstrated the cha cha and hula hula dances, said it was a good experience.
“I feel like I’m worth something more to the local people here,” she said.
The alternative school also gives special classes on the environment. Children are asked to learn more about the village and explain what they know about the environment, for example, by visiting the beaches near Guwang village to learn about the marine ecosystem.
The children were also taught to look at garbage and see how they could help with waste-management. The village has yet to come up with ways to recycle waste. Most of the organic waste is thrown away at a local dump site.
To learn more about waste management, the Center for Environmental Education (PPLH) along with the Family for Environmental Action Team (Aksi Kecil) shared information on waste recycling techniques with the children of Sanggar Anak Tangguh.
The children began telling stories of how Plumeria flowers, manure and wood chips from carvings can be recycled. Kadek Dwi explained how unused wood carvings could be used in other ways.
“Guwang village is a sculpting village. So I see a lot of wood carvings being wasted. I think these wood carvings can be used for other things,” he said, showing a stove he made from wood carvings.
Mang Adi hoped the village would be able to manage waste better because it would make his community more independent and productive.
Copyright © 2008 The Jakarta Post – PT Bina Media Tenggara. All Rights Reserved.