Citizens’ Approach to a Thriving Community
PAPUA, Indonesia – Papuan youth are all too often trapped in a cycle of poverty and illiteracy. Poor access to quality education, poorly trained teachers, minimal involvement by parents in their children’s education, and lack of basic health services combine to prevent youth from realizing their potential.
PKBMs, or “community learning centers” are a bright spot Papua. PKBMs provide educational equivalency programs, vocational training, and functional literacy programs. They also provide opportunities to learn new skills relevant to livelihood security and individual advancement.
“Paket B” students study biology in the modeling session for active learning. Lessons are conducted at a location selected by students.
Pancaran Kasih, a Jayapura community learning center (PKBM), is supported by SERASI to deliver quality alternative education through for-profit livelihoods support to existing business units, combined with health messaging and education to improve overall quality of people’s lives.
The goal of the program is to expand access of low income youth to quality alternative education. Educational equivalency programs in conjunction with vocational training opportunities, including a learning business group (Kelompok Belajar Usaha), are provided for students to learn tangible skills they can apply in their daily life.
Pancaran Kasih trained 39 PKBM tutors and staff in teaching methods and administrative skills. The training incorporated knowledge on health and hygiene for nutrition, water and sanitation, and preventing communicable disease. The success of this program has inspired the department of education to expand this kind of program to other PKBMs.
Pancaran Kasih further initiated a network of 19 Jayapura-based PKBMs, supported by the municipal Jayapura education department, thus improving the chances for program sustainability. These PKBMs will share knowledge and leverage resources and develop further capacity building for PKBMs through co-learning approaches by involving the Balai Latihan Kerja and small business owners.
“By providing quality alternative education and life-skills trainings, our graduates are able to function equitably, find good jobs, or even start their own business. We recruited some of our Paket C graduates to teach in the PAUD service while others have continued their studies at the college level,” explains Lyneke Janis, PKBM Pancaran Kasih founder and director.
“With the help of SERASI, we are giving the community the opportunity to grow and have a better quality life.”
SERASI is a five-year USAID funded project that promotes community solutions to governance and social challenges. It is implemented by In-ternational Relief and Development (IRD).