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Pre-school education seminar in Indonesia

Carl M. Arnold

One of the main needs facing Indonesia today is the education of its children and the need for quality educational materials, especially in the local language.There is a great vacuum for character-building materials which reinforce a child’s moral training in day-to-day living and learning to communicate and relate to those around him. Children are the hope of the future and must be encouraged and challenged in a positive way.

On March 29-31, 2010 we conducted a three-day seminar for over 300 preschool teachers in Kulonprogo, Central Java. The seminar was originally intended to be a one day event but due to the facilities available we were unable to accommodate all in one session so we conducted the seminar for three consecutive days with 100 teachers in attendance each day.

We worked in cooperation with the local government of this sub district of theYogyakarta province. On the first day of the seminar we had the princess (daughter of the Sultan of Yogyakarta) conduct the opening ceremony. This was avery special opportunity for us as she is also very involved in education. Onthe second day the head of the Department of Education was present and on the third day the assistant government head of Kulonprogo was in attendance to support and help with the closing of the program.

The seminar consisted of a wide range of information on how children learn, different teaching methods and a “how to” manual for theTreasure Attic Episodes in the curriculum. This was presented in via a short workshop on this topic.

Thanks to the support of Activated Ministries, we were able to present each teacher with 3 VCD’s containing 6 Treasure Attic Episodes, 3 Activity Books that coincide with the 6 episodes and a teacher’s manual on how to use the program. Each teacher was presented with a certificate after completing the training seminar. We also provided packages of the materials to special guests attending the seminar and guest teachers from nearby areas.

All of the materials provided have been translated and produced in the local language. The attendees were very grateful for the input and attention given them. Most of these teachers have little or no formal training in education so these seminars are a tremendous asset to the community. Any form of material is much appreciated as these pre-school groups are usually very simple and conducted in the teacher’s house or small community center buildings in the villages.

Most teachers work without a salary and only some receive a token gift from the village if available, or a small amount from some of the families in the village. This is a fairly new program throughout Indonesia and is worthy of support and encouragement. We could not have been able to do this without the support of Activated Ministries and we consider it a privilege to work in cooperation with them on this project.