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Transparency and Accountability

The Keys to Mobilizing Community Funds for Learning and Development at MI Sumurrejo

Transparency and Accountability
Left to right: company billboards erected by the school committee; teachers assist students who cannot read fluently; the work of grade 5 students on the natural changes that occur due to human activities.

SEMARANG, CENTRAL JAVA – The scourge of bribery in schools has risen to prominence after 58 types of extortion were identified by a team investigating the issue. This has become a concern for the school administrators in collecting community funds to support the development of their schools and the teaching in the school. But this is not the case at MIN Sumurrejo in Gunung Pati, Semarang. This madrasah has even added a program to strengthen fund raising in the community. The keys are transparency and accountability.

Some of the things done by the school committee to promote and support the madrasah program include:

1. The Committee, together with the Madrasah Head went door to door offering the opportunity to advertise to businesses in the school's local area. These businesses became interested and wanted to advertise. Exclusive advertisements were displayed along the road to the madrasah. The advertisements contained the vision, mission and five elements of the work culture of the Ministry of Religious with the name of the business that paid for the advertisement. The cost was Rp 50,000 for one year. In the second year, the opportunity to advertise exclusively was auctioned.

2. The school formed class committees to support the development of each class. Each week, these committees arrange picket duty, kept attendance lists, and held monthly meetings together. The task of class committees is to support and facilitate the learning needs in the classroom.

3. Money is collected for general purpose funds without coercion and on a voluntary basis. These general purpose funds are managed by the class committees. Every Friday they distribute the money. Every month, the income of each class is calculated together in a school committee meeting. The average monthly income for the madrasah is between Rp 4 and 8 million.

4. To increase the income of the madrasah, the committee lease space so the traders can sell their goods along the road from 7.00 to 10.00 a.m. They are charged Rp 2,000 per hour. Meanwhile, traders inside the madrasah pay Rp 20,000, and next to the madrasah Rp 12,000. This rent money is managed by the committee. The traders work with parents to provide snacks for the students.

All the income and expenditure managed by the school committee is reported regularly. The planning of activities with funding collected by the school committee is carried out together with all parties in the school community. Thus everyone knows how much income there is, what these funds are used for, and what the benefits are for the madrasah. The committee’s work creates a very strong sense of solidarity that embraces the parents, the community and the madrasah. They work together to facilitate the needs of madrasah. The establishment of a praying area, reading corners, and a new classroom for grade 3 are evidence of this solidarity. "All has been done to fulfill our responsibilities as parents. We must work together to achieve our best," said the madrasah committee chairperson, KH Rohani Amin.

Active Learning in All Classes

The extra support from school committee, to support learning needs, assists the teachers in implementing active learning. Fitriyah Widihastuti SPd, a grade VI teacher, says the committee helps with stationery and writing implements, equipment and learning materials according to the needs. "Each month, the class committee meets with teachers to discuss this," she said.

For example, in grade 5, the committee has provided cardboard and colored pencils to help students with reporting on learning activities outside the classroom. In grade 1, there have been support activities for students who are not able to read fluently. These activities are supported by class committees. All the classes have displays of students' work, showing that students are used to producing creative work during their lessons.

The Student Who Has Read 152 Books

MIN Sumurrejo has been successful in encouraging students to love reading books. According to Subiyono MPdI, the Madrasah Head, it has implemented a 'Morning Reading' program every morning from 6:30 to 6:45 am. Reading Ambassadors are on duty to give an example and campaigns on the love of reading, as well as coordinating the wall magazines in the reading areas, offering services for slow readers and reading services for parents, and developing picture stories which is an annual program to discover the talent and potential of student interest in telling stories through text and images.

The number of books read during this program are counted. After reading a book, students record the title and write synopsis in a Reading Record Book. A count is also kept of the number of library visits and books borrowed, both for reading at school and at home. The results showed that some children had read more than 50 books in one semester.

"We're giving appreciation to the students who read the most books last year and they were Rizki from grade 5 who read 152 books, Anggi Latifah from grade 6 who read 121, and Andin Aini Nur Latifah from grade 4 who read 82," Subiyono said. (Arz)?

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