Indonesia: ILO develops remedial programme for Aceh students

Banda Aceh, Indonesia-Relief -- Thousands of junior and senior high school students in Aceh failed the national exams phase I conducted last June. It is reported that around 24,381 junior high school children had failed. Devastated school buildings, lack of educational facilities and of teaching personnel have been pointed as a cause of the bad results in the national exams in the Province.
To address this problem, the International Labour Organization (ILO), through its Project on the Prevention of Child Labour, in collaboration with the NAD Provincial Education Office, has developed a remedial programme designed for students from 50 schools in Banda Aceh, Aceh Besar and Aceh Jaya.

This programme prioritizes schools with high failure rate. In Banda Aceh, the failure rate has reached 39 percent, Aceh Besar 24 percent and Aceh Jaya 22 percent.

In conjunction with this remedial programme, the ILO and the Education Office in collaboration with Primagama, a teaching institution, have provided refreshment training for 150 Maths, English and Indonesian teachers for a week from 21 -- 27 July. After the completion of the training, these teachers will develop a remedial programme for their own schools. The ILO has contributed its support in providing learning modules for teachers and students. This programme is expected to assist around 1,000 students retaking and passing the national examinations phase II.

''This programme will greatly help students who are still unable to learn effectively after the tsunami,'' said Drs. Sukarni from NAD Education Office. Similarly, Director of ILO in Indonesia, Alan Boulton, said, ''This initiative is very crucial to help Acehnese children pass the national exams and continue their education to higher levels.''

This programme is a short-term programme designed to prevent children from dropping-out of junior high school. Moreover, the ILO together with NAD Education Office is in the process of developing a long-term programme to tackle the increasing the drop-out rate should the failure rate of the second phase of national exams still be high. Other efforts include efforts to get dropped-out children back to school. It is in line with the main objective of the ILO's Child Labour Programme: to provide better access to proper education and to eliminate any forms of child labour, particularly its worst forms.

''Our aim with these programmes is to develop experience and models of best practice which can be mainstreamed into ongoing programmes of our partners in Indonesia. In this way we can help to tackle the child labour problem and to ensure all children receive nine years basic education. Join us in working towards a world where no children will be deprived of a normal, healthy childhood, where parents can find decent jobs and children can go to school,'' Alan concluded.

The programme complements a programme, being conducted by UNESCO and ILO, for tutorial assistance for senior high school students in Aceh who have failed the national exams.© nas