Kang GURU Travels
to Malang, Surabaya and Jakarta
by Kevin Dalton
Kevin traveled to Malang, Surabaya and Jakarta in
late June. Kevin presented a KGRE teacher workshop in Batu, ‘up the
hill’ from near Malang. He also met with members of Tunas
Hijau in Malang and with other Tunas Hijau members in Surabaya before
heading off to Jakarta to attend various AusAID activities including the Muslim
Exchange Program from AII and to conduct interviews with the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Bill
Farmer and his wife, Elaine.
Kevin left Bali at 10.10 and flew to Surabaya, Indonesia's second largest city. Then direct onto East Java's
second largest city — Malang. To get to Malang these days from Surabaya means traveling on the road straight
through Sidorajo as the Jalan Tol is closed. In fact parts of the freeway from Surabaya to Gempol have been
dismantled due to the mudflow. As Kevin drove through Sidorajo and onto Porong, he was amazed at the extent
of the mudflow and how it is just getting worse. The scenery in those affected villages is really like something
out of a science fiction movie. How long will this mud continue to flow out of the ground? Volcanic experts
say it could continue for years and years. There is already a high wall around the mud keeping it contained
but what happens if that breaks or the mud goes over the top?
Deadly mud – trees and grass gone
and maybe forever
The mud has destroyed everything on the mudflow side of the railway line in Porong
The trip to Malang took just over three hours and by 1.30pm Kevin was in his
hotel and preparing to meet Malang members of Tunas Hijau, the very active and dedicated East Java environmental
group. Mumtaza Noor Ashila, an SD student, was very happy and confident to be interviewed by Kevin when she visited
the hotel. Nadya Noor Azalia, and SMP student, was also keen to chat and to tell Kevin all about their recent
trip to Perth in Australia with Tunas Hijau. Amanda, was the older of the three young female students who met
with Kevin, spoke quietly about her trip to Perth.
All three girls obviously enjoyed their trip to Western Australia and news of their trip will be used in the
September 2007 KGRE magazine plus on KGRE radio during the final 3 – 4 months of this year. The girls
were accompanied by a young 16 year old man called Nizam. He also went to Perth and is quite involved in
the work of Tunas Hijau in Malang – tree planting, rubbish control and education in schools. Kevin
really enjoyed interviewing these four young people and to hear about their enthusiasm for the environment.
On Tuesday Kevin traveled up the hills from Malang to the peaceful hilltop town called Batu. It was a time for
a KGRE Teacher Workshop organized by MGMP SMP
& SMA in Batu. Around 65 teachers attended and as usual, they were keen and interested in the services that
KGRE has to offer them AND their students. Many of them already knew about KGRE so that was good to hear.
In the latter part of the day Kevin had a meeting with around 70 SMP students from nearby schools. They were
a terrific lot of students and Kevin enjoyed the get together. The students had questions but he highlight of
the day was the Music Quiz that Kevin gave them. In groups they had to listen to a short section of well-known
Indonesia songs and then fill in the missing information
– name of the group or singer, the number of performer in the group, the title of the song PLUS the title
of the Indonesian song in English. The students loved the activity and it made Kevin think that perhaps KGRE
should add a further compilation CD/cassette to the KGRE collection. It could be a collection of ‘The
Best of KGRE's Quizzes, Music Tasks…’ Teachers could then use these quizzes and activities
in their classes to increase student enthusiasm and to motivate them.
On Wednesday Kevin traveled to Surabaya for a meeting with Russell Keogh, Team Leader for AusAID's new teacher
training project which is working with the Islamic sector of the Indonesian education system. He is based at
IAIN in Surabaya and although it is early days, the project is well underway. Caroline Bentley, an old friend
of KGRE's from IALF Bali, is also a part of that project as she heads the English teacher training part of the
project — ELTIS, English Language Training for Islamic Schools.
After that meeting Kevin moved onto Tunas
Hijau, Indonesia's premier student environmental group which is based in Surabaya. Tunas Hijau is led by
Roni, an old KGRE friend. Kevin met with Diofon Kurniayati, Adetya Firmansyah, TH. Bram Azzaino and Nastiti Puspitosari
in their office in Semolowaru Indah. They exchanged many, many ideas and readers of the September 2007 magazine
will see a full page report about the many and varied activities that the gang from Tunas Hijau is involved in,
and not just in Indonesia but in places such as Australia and Japan.
Tunas Hijau members in Surabaya
Tunas Hijau members and their fantastic environmental board game.
Check it out in the September KGRE magazine.
On Thursday Kevin flew to Jakarta at 5am thanks to Yayun, Personnel and Administration Manager at IALF Jakarta,
who worked her usual magic and helped Kevin to get an early (very early) flight from Surabaya. It was a rough
trip through lots of heavy cloud and rain. Jakarta was wet too with heavy rain but in spite of that and the
usual traffic, Kevin was in the door at IALF Jakarta by 7am.
Kevin went to the Australian Embassy at 9am to meet with Australian alumni from the LAPIS ANU Sandwich program.
They were meeting there for two days to present brief reports on their various research projects. The Director
of Islamic Higher Education from the Ministry of Religious, Professor Abdurrahman Mas'ud, Ph. D opened the two
day program. He was very happy to get some KGRE magazines from Kevin plus a KGRE Package including a t-shirt.
Hopefully KGRE will be able to interview at him at some stage in the near future. Kevin did manage to interview
several of the presenters on the day and you can hear them soon on KGRE. They have some very interesting stories
to tell about their individual research projects and their time in Australia.
Kevin also met with five very enthusiastic
youg Australian muslims who were in Jakarta as a part of the Muslim Exchange Program between Australia and
Indonesia. Kevin interviewed three of them and they will be on KGRE (radio) soon. Earlier in the week they
attended an opening of a new SMP school with members of the Cultural Section at the Australian Embassy. The
new school is a part of the Basic
Education Pprogram (BEP) from AusAID and the Indonesian government.
Check out some of the schools being built all over Indonesia — 2000
of them in fact!