Newspapers inspire teachers to create fun learning time
Four groups of teachers were busy composing songs in the English language as part of a series of stiff competitions held during the two-day Newspapers in Education (NIE) teachers’ workshops in Sanur starting Monday morning.
“To compose a song, every group has to find inspiration and adjectives from cartoon strips in the newspapers,” directed Trisha Sertori, workshop facilitator.
After minutes of struggling, each of the groups presented and performed their songs happily and joyfully.
During the two-day workshops, teachers are being introduced to alternative English teaching methods by using materials from every page of a newspaper.
“We want you to share the methods in your classrooms to generate a creative, innovative learning atmosphere. You can ask your students to compose hip-hop songs from words in cartoons, they will come up with stunning songs,” Sertori suggested.
By encouraging students to work on topics they were interested in, they would learn English more enthusiastically, she said, adding that this was just one example from thousands of ideas using newspaper pages as a learning resource.
The workshops are part of Denpasar’s NIE Program, made available under the Partnership for Education Scheme of the Education and Culture Ministry, PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia and The Jakarta Post Foundation.
The Partnership for Education for the 2011/2012 academic year, which bears the theme “Bridge to the Future”, has been running since September 2011 and will complete by the end of June 2012.
The partnership covers 100 senior high schools and vocational schools in nine provinces — Riau, North Sumatra, Jakarta, West Java, Yogyakarta, Central Java, East Java, East Kalimantan and Bali.
Denpasar participants are teachers and students of SMKN 3 and SMKN 2 state vocational schools, SMAN 7 state high school, SMAN 3 state high school and SMAN 4 state high school, all in Sanur and Denpasar.
Teguh Soelastyo, capacity building manager of PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia, said that the company was strongly committed to supporting the education sector in Indonesia.
“Mastering the English language is very important for students to be able to participate in the globalization era,” Soelastyo said.
Indonesia’s youth population could become human resources with great potential if they were equipped with the right skills and knowledge, mastering English and other foreign languages included.
Rita Widiadana, program director of The Jakarta Post Foundation, explained that the collaboration between the media industry, the government and the business community had been the core of the global NIE Program, currently adopted by more than 150 countries, including Indonesia.
The Post’s NIE program started in 2007 and has reached out to 4,000 teachers and 40,000 students all over Indonesia.
In this cooperative venture, teachers used newspapers to teach a variety of subjects — English, social science, history, geography, mathematics, business and finance, journalism — to name a few — at all grade levels, she said.
“A modern education has got to find ways to mix the current drive for basic skills with the critical need to stimulate students’ creativity and their desire to keep learning, as well as to arouse their love of learning for school and for life,” added Widiadana.
Ni Luh Yulie Astini, principal of SMKN 3 state vocational school in Sanur, expressed her eagerness to adopt the program in her classrooms.
“It blows fresh air through our classes. Teachers need to communicate their lessons in a happy learning environment. Innovation and creativity in teaching and learning are the most important things we need now in our world of education,” Astini said