ReachOut Foundation (ROF) commits to opening 20 early childhood education centers over the next four years, with a goal of opening five new schools each year. This new commitment will expand the existing preschool project outside of Jakarta to Papua, Maluku, North Sumatra, and other rural areas of Indonesia. The schools will provide education for 1,800 students and will employ 100 teaching staff.
Each school project built by ROF includes construction of the school and outfitting with all materials necessary for classes. The schools use the 2013 preschool curriculum recommended by the Indonesian Department of Education. ROF also hires, trains, and monitors the quality of all teaching staff. Each school is designed to provide classes for approximately 60-75 students. The schools are staffed with one headmaster and four teaching staff (Two full time and two assistants). Assistant teachers, often mothers of current students, are recruited from the local community. Training provided by ReachOuts academic coordinator offers a new skill set to mothers who might not otherwise have access to this type of training.
Currently ROF is working together with the Jakarta government to provide access to early childhood education for families living in the government subsidized housing projects. ROF works directly with the government to identify which housing projects need schools. Since 2013, ROF has built and operated seven preschools and currently offers free classes for approximately 450 children. Because the current projects are all located in government housing projects, ROF has partnered with other businesses and organizations that have provided additional services to families living in these communities such as libraries, computer labs, vocational training, and after school programs. This provides a more holistic approach to helping the families in communities where the organization works.
By the end of September 2016, locations for the first three schools of this commitment will be secured through partnerships and ROFs work with the local authorities to identify need for schools. Construction, outfitting schools 1-3 and hiring/training of staff will take place in the last quarter of 2016 and will be finished by the end of December 2016. Schools 1-3 open, and classes start in January of the following year with training and evaluation continuing twice a year throughout the commitment. The locations of the schools 4-5 will be confirmed by the end of the first quarter of 2017 with construction, outfitting, hiring/training taking place in Q2 of 2017. Schools 4-5 open and classes start in August 2017 with training and evaluation continuing twice a year throughout the commitment. The rest of the commitment continues with a similar plan. Secure locations for schools 6-8 by the end of Q3 of 2017, constructing the schools in Q4 of 2017 and classes start in January 2018. Secure locations for schools 9-10 by the end of Q1 of 2018, construction in Q2 of 2018 with classes starting August 2018. Secure locations for schools 11-13 by the end of Q3 of 2018, constructing the schools in Q4 of 2018 and classes start in January 2019. Secure locations for schools 14-15 by the end of Q1 of 2019, construction in Q2 of 2019 with classes starting August 2019. Secure locations for schools 16-18 by the end of Q3 of 2019, constructing the schools in Q4 of 2019 and classes start in January 2020. Secure locations for schools 19-20 by the end of Q1 of 2020, construction in Q2 of 2020 with classes starting August 2020.
According to the World Bank, there are approximately 24 million students, aged 0-6, who are not currently enrolled in early education programs in Indonesia.
In the Greater Jakarta area, the government has been working to relocate families from many of the riverbank slum areas throughout the city to low cost government housing (Rusunawa). Because of the large numbers of urban poor transitioning from life along the rivers to the government housing projects, these rusunawa have become a center point for helping families transition out of poverty.
While the percentage of Indonesians living in poverty has decreased over the last few years, poverty in general remains a major problem in Indonesia. The most recent report from the Central Statistics Agency states that 28 million Indonesians are still living in poverty. Outside Jakarta, areas such as Papua and Maluku have approximately 22% of the population still living in poverty.
A joint report from the Department of Education and the World Bank noted that families living in poverty are most often those with limited or no access to early childhood education programs and thus recommends priority targeting of regions experiencing the worst levels of poverty for early childhood education programs.