School innovation track in 22 primary schools
The Kanisius school foundation in the Semarang diocese has a large network of both primary and secondary schools. There are 22 primary Kanisius schools in the area surrounding Semarang, educating approximately 5,000 children. They teach children from the surrounding villages, making no distinction between the different religious backgrounds of the children or their parents.
Materially speaking, the quality of the schools in the early 2000s was a disaster. A safe ‘playground’, hygienic accommodations, a door that closed properly, a decent couch, etc.? None of that existed. The only didactic material was a map, and notebooks had to last a long time.
The training and pedagogical supervision of the teachers was also a difficult issue at this time. The Kanisius foundation had been putting teachers from the region into work groups several years before to try and get started with a different approach, albeit with extremely limited means.
Because of this, Collibri Foundation decided in 2004 to support a five-year school innovation track. Spearheads of this track were school renovations, the introduction of student-oriented teaching, and new school books.
School renovations and new furniture
Thanks to the support of Collibri Foundation, a lot of schools were nicely done up: paint, doors, a playground, plumbing, a teacher’s lounge, etc. All the schools were also given new furniture, so the classrooms were more suited to the new student-oriented way of teaching. New didactic materials such as video players and computers were introduced step by step.
Introduction of student-oriented education
The education in the region had a passive quality to it. With the help of Collibri Foundation, the switch to a more student-oriented way of teaching was made (albeit not always easily). This method of ‘active learning’ ensures that the students are much more active in class. Not only do they have to take notes, but they also have to work in groups, do assignments themselves, and use different materials. This allows the students to gain more knowledge which they can then remember and use more effectively. They are ‘learning to learn’, so to speak.
An important part of the agreement concerning the collaboration with the Kanisius schools was the format and realisation of new textbooks. In a five to six-year period, three new series of textbooks were made, for the subjects language, maths, natural sciences, and history. Teachers were encouraged help with these and were credited as co-authors.