Posted on March 14, 2011

3-Year Scholarship program provides quality education for 200 students
4-year Teacher Training Program boosts skills of 1,440 teaching staff

    Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) and Vodafone Qatar representatives have returned from Indonesia after witnessing first-hand the success of an educational project that is delivering long-term benefits to the people and communities of the Yogyakarta region.

    A one-hour flight from the Indonesian capital Jakarta, the Bayat community’s kindergarten, primary and secondary schools were destroyed in the devastating earthquakes which struck the region in 2005.

    ROTA and its local partner Titian Foundation – have rebuilt the school buildings using earthquake resistant specifications. Additionally, a state-of-the-art vocational school, SMKN 1 ROTA Bayat School, has been constructed to teach teaching ceramics and Batik, the traditional technique where melted wax is used to draw on cloth and dyed in a variety of colors.  It is envisioned that the school will be a Centre of Excellence and a place where all the community of Bayat can benefit from.

    “Our hugely successful partnership with Vodafone Qatar is giving thousands of young people the chance to receive a quality education for the long-term benefit of the children and communities of Yogyakarta,” says ROTA Director Essa Al Mannai.

    The Vodafone team was welcomed to Bayat School in a ceremony featuring traditional performances, before taking part in a Question & Answer session with students. The visit was so successful that Vodafone’s commitment has extended to working closely with the local community through sending volunteers to transfer their knowledge,  help further develop these projects and build the local capacities.

    “The barriers facing children in Yogyakarta are varied and daunting. Thanks to ROTA, Vodafone Qatar and the Titian Foundation, many Indonesian children will benefit from a high quality, effective education and the opportunity to shape their own future,” adds Essa Al Mannai.

    The long-term commitment of ROTA, Vodafone and Titian Foundation to increasing educational opportunities in Bayat extends to the Qatar-Titian Scholarship Fund, a 3-year scholarship program providing financial assistance for over 200 students in the SMKN 1 ROTA Bayat Vocational and other high schools students in the region.

    “The ROTA/Vodafone scholarships have provided more than just opportunities for these students.  It was heart-warming when a teacher thanked us for giving hope to these students, and making them believe that they are not destined to a life of poverty.  These scholarships gave them the medium to pursue a better future,” says Luisa Gentile, Head of CSR at Vodafone Qatar.

    During their visit the Vodafone team had the chance to attend another joint ROTA-Vodafone initiative, the Teacher Quality Improvement training, an innovative teacher training program that is introducing a new approach to teaching in Indonesia.

    According to a national teacher competence assessment, less than half of Indonesian teachers fulfill the basic requirements for teacher quality. With the support of Vodafone Qatar, ROTA has developed a 4-year Teacher Quality Improvement (TQI) program to enhance the classroom skills of teachers across the region.

    So far 90 teachers from Yogyakarta and Klaten district have completed the TQI Program, the first beneficiaries of an initiative that will provide instruction to 500 Head Masters, 1,440 teachers and 60 Ministry trainers by 2014.

    “Our goal is that the TQI trained teachers will return to the classroom and implement a new set of skills and methods. As a result students will have a better quality of education and the improvement in teaching standards will influence teaching staff throughout Indonesia,” says Essa Al Mannai.

    For more details of ROTA’s educational projects in Indonesia and other Asian countries, visit the website.