Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

How to Create a Safe, Child-Friendly School in Indonesia

Children need to feel safe at school. One of the ways we’re improving the facilities and quality of teaching in Indonesian schools is a focus on safety and child-friendliness on school premises.

After undergoing renovations and program changes with the help of ChildFund and its local partner, LPMAS, Karangsari 2 Elementary School earned the child-friendly school designation. Below you’ll learn more about how we work with our partners to create safe and child-friendly schools.

 

Safe schools and children

 

The project, which started last September, benefits 216 students and 16 teachers.

Dina, a sixth-grader in Lampung, Indonesia, loves her school now. “It looks clean and nice,” she explains. “It used to be dirty and was full of trash. The walls were cracking everywhere, and we didn’t have many trees either. I feel the teachers care more about the school and us too now. When they see us littering, they remind us not to do so. I even helped clean the school by picking up trash.”

The child-friendly school model aims to help schools become safe, healthy and protective environments for children; eliminates gender stereotypes; and encourages child participation in all aspects of school life.

 

Safe schools and teachers

 

Teachers attended a workshop to learn more about the model and how to integrate it into their instructional approach.

“I love children and want to dedicate my life to them,” says Lukiati, the school`s principal. “When children feel happy and secure in school, I feel really happy. I know now that a school must further the interest and strengths of the child, not just teach.

“When we used to call children to come to us, they used to run away. That is because we were just delivering lessons,” she adds. Now, children come to us, even when we don`t call them and happily greet us with Assalamualaikum (Peace be upon you). I learned that when we teach children, we need to do it from our heart.”

As a result of the workshops, Lukiati and the teachers are now more aware of the importance of a creating a conducive learning environment for children. They now understand that children are influenced by what happens inside as well as outside the classroom.

“A child-friendly school benefits both children and teachers alike. This is the first time I have felt that I am really a teacher,” says Kartiyah, a sixth-grade teacher. “I used to just teach the children in class and then go home. Now, I feel the school is really ours the children and the teachers.”

 

Renovating the school for maximum impact and long-term change

 

With the support of ChildFund, Lukiati submitted a proposal to Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and received a grant to renovate the school. The walls had cracks, and the space near the school had been used as a garbage dump for years. Dramatic changes were needed.

With the help of the community, a transformation began. Twelve truckloads of garbage were removed from the backyard, and 6,000 baby catfish from the Indonesian Food Security Agency were released into the pond. The community agreed to feed the fish and use the funds from their sale to fund further improvements in the school. The school received 1,500 bamboo seeds from the Pringsewu Environmental Agency and also created a vegetable garden. Proceeds from selling vegetables enable the school to purchase educational materials and organize excursions for the children.

“The school looks so clean, and I like how we display our writings or drawings on the wall now,” says Zainal, a fifth-grader.

Through the child-friendly school model, ChildFund and its partners have built strong partnerships with the government and community. More improvements to Karangsari 2 are still needed to ensure a quality education for students. However, the local government has stated its commitment to continue supporting the school.

“We will continue to support this initiative, since education is essential to child development,” says Sujadi Saddat, the district’s head. “With a solid partnership among ChildFund, the community and local government, we can promote a safe, healthy and protective environment that enables children to achieve their full potential.”

 

Support the development of child-friendly schools

 

Creating child-friendly schools is continuing to improve the quality of the education delivered to children in Indonesia, but there are many more schools that need our support. And we can’t do it without you.

There’s a few ways you can support our child-friendly school initiatives. You can donate educational Gifts for Good, a range of charity gifts which provide schools and children with the supplies they need for a quality education.

For an ongoing and meaningful contribution, consider signing up to our child sponsorship program. Your monthly donation will help send a child in need to school by providing them with:

  • School supplies that their family can’t afford to pay for
  • Transport to ensure a safe journey to and from school
  • Healthcare so your sponsored child can learn and grow up strong
  • Food to keep your sponsored child nourished so they can enjoy their school experience.

Not sure how to make an impact? Donate to where it’s most needed and your donation will be used to fund projects in our current priority areas.

Every child has the right to a safe learning environment, and your donation will help us help children in need. Because every child needs a childhood.

 

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