SMP School Construction in Indonesia Gathers Momentum - 6 March 2007
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, attended a school inauguration ceremony in Bekasi,
West Java for the construction of one of about 2000 junior secondary schools to be built in Indonesia over the
next three years. The $355 million Australia
Indonesia Partnership's Basic Education Program will fund the construction or expansion of schools in 19
Indonesian provinces. Up to 1225 schools are expected to be completed by the end of 2007. The construction program
will create more than 330,000 new junior secondary school places for 13 to 15 year olds, targeting children
from poor and remote areas.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Alexander Downer, attended an inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, 6 March
2007, in Bekasi, West Java. He visited the construction of Nurul Huda boarding school, one of about 2000 junior
secondary schools to be built in Indonesia over the next three years. He was accompanied by the Australian Ambassador
to Indonesia. Mr. Bill Farmer.
Local people will build the schools using locally supplied materials. They will also build the furniture for
the schools. It is all a part of the program. The school sites have been selected based on an assessment of
unmet demand, enrolment rates and community involvement. As a close friend of Indonesia, Australia is very happy
to be supporting education in Indonesia. Australia (as does Indonesia) recognises that education has an enormously
positive impact on the quality of people's lives. To enhance the people linkages, the Basic Education Program
will be supported by a 'sister school' arrangement, to aid positive exchanges between Australian and Indonesian
Funding for the Basic Education Program comprises $200 million in loans and $155 million in grants. The implementing
agencies will be the Indonesian Ministries of Education and Religious Affairs. The Basic Education Program is
funded under the $1 billion Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development announced by
the Prime Minister in January 2005.
Cheryl Reid, from KGRE, recently visited a new SMP school being built in Lombok.
Here is Cheryl's report about SMPN 4 Narmada.
Our first stop was a new school at Narmada, not far out of Mataram. SMPN 4 Narmada is at Dasan Terang, surrounded
by rice fields. Its construction is being funded by AusAID's Basic Education
Program, in conjunction with the Indonesian Education Department, with the work done by local contractors
and community members. Although the school is not fully completed, the students and teachers have moved in as
they think it's important for the year 9 students to settle in before the national exams. I met some teachers
in the staff room and then went on a tour of the school with English teacher Pak Andri. We visited a year 8
class taught by physics teacher Ibu Yanti and talked to some of the other students. They are all obviously happy
to be in their own school at last. Until now they've been
‘borrowing’ rooms in other schools. This is the third time they've moved schools and fortunately
it'll be the last time.
For more information about this program, see KGRE's Travel
Page for Kalimantan and page 8 of the March 2007 magazine.
Parangloe Village, Kecamatan Manuju, Kabupaten Gowa
On Friday April 13th, the Australian Ambassador
to Indonesia, Mr. Bill Farmer, led the way to Parangloe Village, Kecamatan Manuju, Kabupaten Gowa to the Dedication
Ceremony of just one of the new 2000 SMP schools in Indonesia. This field visit by the Ambassador, AusAID
and Indonesian government officials was a highlight for that excited community of parents and students. The
community really joined in with the excitement of the new junior secondary school in Parangloe Village There
were hundreds of school children there to greet the Ambassador and his team from Jakarta. The school is not
finished but it is well on the way to being a terrific school for the students of Munuju.
Isn't this exciting?
Our new school — fantastic!
One of the early highlights of the opening ceremony was the speech given, in English, by one of the SMP students
from the area. He spoke extremely well and was a real inspiration to everyone who listened to his speech.
He thanked the Australian and Indonesian governments for working together to build a new school for him and
his freinds. The Ambassador made a special point of thanking the students personally immediately after the
student finished his speech.
Two students who participated in the Dedication Ceremony. One young student, Andi Manuntungi, (left) presented
the Opening Prayer while the other student, Firmansyah, (right) spoke about his new school, and in excellent
Other important speeches, in a mixture of English and Indonesian, were delivered by both Indonesian education
offcials from both Jakarta and South Sulawesi, plus Mr Farmer, representing the Australian government. Although
the visit was quite a short one, the visiting officials were taken on a tour of the school buildings.
It will be a great day when they are fully completed and students are enjoying their lessons in their new
buildings. The school has been built to a very high standard as local people have been responsible for the
construction. It is their school for their children and grand-children SO it has to be built strong.
It was mentioned several times during the morning's proceedings that the use of local Parangloe workmen in
building construction, and later in furniture construction, is ensuring that quality is the very best.
The Ambassador spoke with officials as he toured the new buildings at SMPN 2 Manuju including Bupati Gowa,
Mr. H. Ichsan Yasin Limpo (second from left) and Pak Suyanto, Dirjen Manajemen Pendidikan Dasar dan Menengah
Depdiknas (fourth from the left).
Australian Assistance to
Indonesia of Rp2,5 trillion
The Ambassador presents special awards to local SD and SMP students. Congratulations to all of those very
Many, many thanks to all of the people who worked so hard to make this SMPN 2 Manuju Dedication Ceremony so