SRAGEN, CENTRAL JAVA – SMPN 2 Mondokan is a USAID PRIORITAS partner school that has been implementing an intensive reading culture program since July 2015. The program includes reading for 15 minutes before the lessons begin, providing a reading corner in every classroom, and writing summaries of books read in a reading journal. The school has just launched a new program which involves reading newspapers every day. The school works closely with the largest daily paper in the city of Solo, the Solo Pos.
"This reading activity is implemented to stress the importance of reading material from the media including the newspapers. Students can enrich their general knowledge and know about recent developments from reading the newspapers," explained the principal of SMPN 2 Mondokan, Tri Wahyu.
She explained that the information one gets from newspapers can be a source of learning as part of contextual learning associated with students' everyday life.
A number of educational stakeholders attended the launch of this program including the head of the local library, school supervisors, officials from the local education office, the sub-district head, staff from the newspaper Solo Pos, and USAID PRIORITAS staff.
To support this program, copies of Solo Pos are made available every day in the classroom reading corners and the school library. The goal is that every student can get easy access to the newspapers in the classroom and read them together or take it in in turns.
This program, in which students read Solo Pos together, is considered important by the principal of SMPN 2 Mondokan, because before the program started the majority of students were not familiar with newspapers. The program is expected to enrich the students' sources of reading material. "I believe a lot of reading can improve the quality of education and improve living standards," she said. (Ds/Py)