The Jakarta Post
Applicants of scholarships to study overseas are commonly required to have a good command of English. When a disabled student wishes to enroll in an English learning class, he or she could join the English Language Training Assistance (ELTA) program.
Tempo.co reported that Australia Awards pilots the project, and the ELTA program will be conducted at the Indonesia Australia Language Foundation (IALF) Bali. IALF Bali’s ELTA project coordinator Agung Sudiani told Tempo.co that ELTA is a program to help students looking to apply for an Australia Awards master degree scholarship but lacking the required English language skills.
ELTA is offered to students in Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara and disabled applicants. The ELTA program is conducted at Jl. Sesetan No. 190, Denpasar, Bali.
“Eligible applicants are those with a bachelor’s degree who are not currently studying for a master’s degree,” said Agung.
The first ELTA course was conducted in East Nusa Tenggara in 2011. Gradually, the program expanded to other provinces of eastern Indonesia. Each province accepts 30 selected applicants, out of 1500 who applied.
In 2016, ELTA opened an inclusive class for Australia Awards scholarship applicants with disabilities. The program is only conducted at IALF Bali, but it is open to 12 applicants from across Indonesia.
This year, ELTA will admit disabled students from North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Jakarta, Central Java, North Kalimantan and Southeast Sulawesi.
“There are seven of them with various disabilities, and there is a balanced ratio between male and female students,” Agung was quoted as saying.
Although admitting disabled students, lessons are still given according to the international standard English curriculum. The difference lies in the learning and teaching process in terms of the use of materials. The materials have been translated into digital forms, so that they could be read on a computer screen by the disabled students.
The duration of the ELTA program is three months, with final exams taking place on Dec. 14 and 15 to assess students’ listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. Successful students will receive an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) certificate.
“This is an important program for me to join in order to apply for a master’s degree scholarship. My IELTS score has to be 6.5 so that I can depart soon,” said Andi Fadillah (23), a social worker with an NGO in Tarakan, North Kalimantan.
Another ELTA student, Hendri Hernowo, said studying English through ELTA gave him knowledge and a network.
“Now I am better at using English grammar,” said Hendri, a disabled student from Magelang, Central Java. (mut)