Jakarta – The Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) presented literacy awards to 19 districts for improving student literacy. The 19 districts are partners of USAID Prioritizing Reform, Innovation, and Opportunities for Reaching Indonesia’s Teacher, Administrators, and Students (USAID PRIORITAS) project.
One of the project’s programs aims to improve students’ reading skills and develop a reading culture in schools, which directly supports the ministry’s School Literacy Movement program. USAID PRIORITAS supports schools to improve the reading skills of early-grade students. This was jump-started by the donation of 8 million leveled reading books to 13,000 primary schools in USAID PRIORITAS partner provinces and the trainings of teachers to enhance their ability to use these books. USAID Director of Education Office, Peter Cronin said, “The ability to read is the foundation of learning. With a strong foundation of solid reading skills, students are better prepared for success as adults and as citizens."
Hamid Muhammad, Director General for Basic Education (MOEC), said in his remarks: “We thank USAID for the USAID PRIORITAS work in literacy programs for elementary and junior high schools that has reached seven provinces since 2013. Through this work, schools are now able to take a more comprehensive approach to literacy programs. USAID works with the local governments and encourages them to allocate local funding (APBD), apply regulations, and create innovations to produce successful and sustainable literacy programs.”
This PRIORITAS Literacy Award was given as a token of appreciation from the ministry to these districts and cities in hopes that it will motivate the local governments to continue developing enhanced literacy programs across the country.
The reading programs in USAID PRIORITAS partner schools have been highly successful in improving reading and developing school reading culture. Schools have shown great creativity and innovation in developing facilities and activities to support the program. A key factor in the success of the program is the local governments, which have launched their own literacy programs in schools and local communities with great enthusiasm.
“I am humbled by the strong commitment of our partner District Governments to making this program work. Our dedicated government partners have committed $15 million of their own funds in their local budgets to support the literacy program,” said Peter Cronin in his speech. “Today, I congratulate the Bupatis, Mayors and Heads of Education Offices on their commitment and successes, which we hope other districts can learn from,” he added.