Aprile Denise, M.Ed is the founder and literacy advisor of Yayasan Literasi Anak Indonesia.(www.literasi.org). Originally from New Zealand she has worked in Indonesia for thirty years in basic education as a teacher, administrator and literacy specialist. She advises on the development of early literacy programmes and resources for local primary school districts across Indonesia, and presents at workshops and seminars on early grade literacy for Indonesian schools.
Stories from Sumba: Transforming Early Literacy for Primary School Children on a Remote Island in Indonesia
Yayasan Literasi Anak Indonesia (YLAI) aims to transform early grade literacy practices in local Indonesia primary schools. In 2018 YLAI began piloting an innovative reading programme for twenty schools in two districts of West and South West Sumba. The goal was to improve teacher/student engagement in the reading process, and student reading levels in the early primary grades.
Yayasan Literasi Anak Indonesia (YLAI) is an NGO that aims to transform early literacy practices in Indonesia and to develop a love of reading for Indonesian primary aged children. In July 2018 YLAI piloted an innovative reading programme for twenty schools in two districts of West and South West Sumba, with the goal to improve teacher/student engagement in the reading process, and student reading levels in the early primary grades. This program was piloted in partnership with the INOVASI Partnership and Grant Program (DFAT, Australia) to assess the effectiveness of current programmes offered by NGOs to help improve reading literacy development in Indonesia. The results have been exciting! YLAI observed that teachers benefitted directly from using the balanced reading programme in the early grades, as they were empowered to deliver engaging lessons to develop and increase student reading skills, and improve their classroom teaching methodology. Relevant data was collected through case studies, baseline/endline student reading assessments, and classroom observations. While recognising that the needed change in mindset and teaching approaches would take time, YLAI were encouraged by the initial results taken from this pilot reading program in an impoverished part of Eastern Indonesia.
As a result of this one year pilot, the local education departments in these two districts decided to extend the programme themselves for a second year with support from YLAI, which has set in motion the possibility to see this early literacy initiative become a sustainable model for the teaching of reading in these schools. This is an exciting move, as YLAI has been bringing its training programmes and books to currently 10 provinces of Indonesia, and over 14,000 schools throughout Indonesia. It is now being recognized as a leader in the field of early literacy in Indonesia.