By Komang Kurniawan (Chairman & Team Leader) & Putu Wijaya, Senior teacher
Education is a very important thing that is needed by everyone; from birth we are taught a range of activities by our parents, and when we grow older our parents start expecting us to be a smart kids by sending us to go to school.
Studying with friends at school is something that is very enjoyable, we can learn a lot at school something useful for our future, but in this case not all children have the time and opportunity: for example, children who live in Manikaji hamlet, Ban village, in the slopes of Mount Abang – they all live very far from the formal/government school.
To get to the nearest formal school, some must walk along six kilometres (could be much further depending on the location of their simple family home, usually built in the middle of their ancestral land on the steep mountain slopes), through the trail and the high hills and deep valleys. Luckily that EBPP since January 2001, with approval and certification from the Department of Education, have made education programmes in the village. Starting from elementary school and then proceeding to junior high school – all in the same school building.
Since there is no senior high school around, where the nearest senior high school is approximately 20 kilometres away, there is no public transportation to the village then EBPP also helped them with senior high school education programme. It’s tough for EBPP since senior high school education programmes cost much more. Through the donors, finally in 2008, EBPP could organize the first senior high school education programme in Manikaji hamlet.
Because all students in school have very high learning motivation, EBPP partnering with Inspirasia foundation (formerly called Annika Linden Foundation) continues the programme. All the kids felt great since the start of 2005 when Inspirasia Foundation agreed to fund their education programme until now.
Seven Manikaji students have graduated senior high school since 2010: 2 in 2010, 4 in 2011 and one in 2013. In line with EBPP’s philosophy of empowering local communities, 2 of these graduates have been employed by EBPP since 2011, one, Nyoman Kartya, is part of our elementary teaching team and the other, Nengah Gata, who gained his Black Belt First Dan in INKAI Karate in 2010, is our full time karate instructor for all 6 EBPP schools.
At present, we have 3 students in senior high school: one in third grade and 2 in second grade. They attend school three times a week from 8am till 1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
In addition to studying the curriculum subjects above, all children also learn Music every Monday, through the guidance of the EBPP music team of Made Kari and Nengah Edy Catra: all very smart kids playing music and singing, playing musical instruments especially Guitar, Piano, Cajon box and Jembe drum percussion, they practice very diligently. A proud experience for them was that on 21st April 2013, they were invited to sing at the Annika Linden Centre opening gala event.
They sang a song with the title “From the depth of my heart”, a song that was created by the EBPP staff specially sung for Inspirasia foundation in gratitude for all their help.
Until now the kids are still actively learning, and hopefully, by the time they graduate, they will all be empowered with useful knowledge to develop successful futures.