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Monday, March 17, 2008

Communities & Education Programme in Aceh (CEPA - 2)

Communities and Education Program in Aceh (CEPA) Phase 2
For many years now, conflict has been almost a way of life in some areas of Aceh. Both teachers and students stayed away from their schools. School buildings fell into disrepair and school communities were divided. Rizal Usman from Aceh is Deputy Team Leader of AusAID's CEPA - Communities and Education Program in Aceh. Rizal and his staff have been working hard in the conflict affected Bireuen area of Aceh. They are implementing a pilot education program aimed at reducing tension within communities in that area. When the pilot stage is finished and evaluated, the program will move onto 4 - 5 other former conflict areas. The process is very democratic in nature with communities fully involved in all discussions and activities. CEPA is :
  • Encouraging and promoting better teaching methodology with teachers;
  • Encouraging and promoting better teaching methodology with teachers;
  • Improving the quality of education by working with principals and local education authorities including district MORA representatives;
  • and Inviting education stakeholders, such as local education authorities and staff to participate.

As Rizal explained, the students will soon be the real winners. Their schools will be in better condition through the involvement of School Committees, for example. The school atmosphere, including the support and interest of their parents in their education, will be much improved. And lastly, their teachers will be better equipped to teach and make their education a valuable and interesting experience for their children. And guess what? Attendance by students, and teachers, is already increasing.

The Communities and Education Program in Aceh (CEPA) is a new program within the Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development (AIPRD) Aceh Rehabilitation Program (ARP). CEPA will contribute to post conflict and education rehabilitation through the development of effective working relationships within and between community and government with a focus on the school community.

The Program is to be implemented in partnership with selected communities and the Government of Aceh. Education rehabilitation will focus on building effective relationships between within the school communities, and through the development and support of representative and functionaly, School Committees, between communities and the District government authorities responsible for education.

CEPA will support Government of Aceh policy for school improvements, with a focus on improving school-based management through the School Committee and the implementation of block grants for improvements to school infrastructure and education quality improvement initiatives. Integral to the school improvement program will be the involvement of District government. MEDIA RELEASE - 6 March 2007 Minister for Foreign AffairsAlexander Downer School Construction in Indonesia Gathers Momentum Today I attended a school inauguration ceremony in Bekasi, West Java for the construction of one of about 2000 junior secondary schools to be built in Indonesia over the next three years. The $355 million Australia Indonesia Partnership's Basic Education Program will fund the construction or expansion of schools in 19 Indonesian provinces. Up to 1225 schools are expected to be completed by the end of 2007.

The construction program will create more than 330,000 new junior secondary school places for 13 to 15 year olds, targeting children from poor and remote areas. Local people will build the schools using locally supplied materials. The school sites have been selected based on an assessment of unmet demand, enrolment rates and community involvement.

As a close friend of Indonesia, Australia is supporting education in Indonesia recognising it can have an enormously positive impact on the quality of people's lives. To enhance the people linkages, the Basic Education Program will be supported by a 'sister school' arrangement, to aid positive exchanges between Australian and Indonesian school communities.

Funding for the Basic Education Program comprises $200 million in loans and $155 million in grants. The implementing agencies will be the Indonesian Ministries of Education and Religious Affairs.

A further $300 million in loans will be made available for another major infrastructure development project, the Eastern Indonesia National Roads Improvement Program which will see the rehabilitation of over 1000 kilometres of roads and about 4.5 kilometres of bridges in Eastern Indonesia.

The loans components of the schools and roads projects are generously concessional with zero interest up to 40 years, no payment of the principal for 10 years, followed by a 30 year repayment period.

The Basic Education Program and Eastern Indonesia National Roads Improvement Program are both funded under the $1 billion Australia Indonesia Partnership for Reconstruction and Development announced by the Prime Minister in January 2005.

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