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The Ties that Bind Us Together

February 2nd, 2018

“Home, however far away it is, will always be the place we long to go back to.”

Titian Foundation (Titian) is like second home to the scholarship recipients, also known as Titianers. For three years, Titianers are being groomed by Titian. Frantic, that’s for sure. Being a Titianer means becoming someone who is different from regular high school students. A Titianer should be able to manage his/her time for school and additional activities at Titian as well possibly choosing to get involved in their school or community organization. During this jam-packed period, a Titianer obviously will become closer with other Titianers and Titian itself.

After three years had passed, the moment comes when Titianers take off their student and active scholarship recipient titles and become an alumni. There is no agreement in place, but deep inside each alumni feels they are still tied with other fellow alumni and with Titian. Therefore, some alumni came up with an idea to create a group for alumni. IKATIFO, is the acronym chosen for this group, which is short for the Titian Foundation Alumni Association.

IKATIFO is now entering its seventh year. Seven Generations of alumni are spread across the archipelago or abroad – to continue their study, work or set up their own ventures. The IKATIFO Committee usually consists of two most recent high school graduate Generations. Its work scope is to help organize several activities, such as periodical bi-monthly meetings based on regions, workshops/seminars, social projects, and its prominent agenda, organizing the Hari Raya gathering (Halal Bi Halal).

Under the coordination of IKATIFO Public Relations, alumni are divided into eight regions: Klaten, Yogyakarta, Solo, Semarang, Greater Jakarta, East Java, outside Java and overseas. Periodical meetings are usually carried out by regions and each region has regional coordinator. Periodical meetings can be in the form of a get-together and sharing session, watching movies, eating together, etc.

To develop the alumni’s soft skills, the IKATIFO Committee also helps organizing training sessions such as entrepreneurship workshops and seminars on how to cope with job interviews. The alumni can also make good use of social project activities to share their experiences with active Titianers.

The highlight of IKATIFO annual event is the Halal Bi Halal. Like the initial pull-quote above, Titian has become one place to call home, regardless where the alumni go on their adventures, they will return to Titian again to stay in touch. Held during the Hari Raya holiday, IKATIFO Halal Bi Halal is a gathering time for alumni across Generations to see each other again and get to know others from different Generations. The alumni hope that IKATIFO would not only benefit the alumni per se, but be able to spread goodness to others too. (SSD)

Improving Children Reading Interest Through Literacy Activity

January 15th, 2018

The Literacy Programme is one of the most awaited activities by Elementary School children in Bayat. This activity has been carried out since September 2017. The objective is to introduce and improve reading culture in children, either by visiting schools and bringing along books to read or the students visiting our CLC. Right now, CLC Titan collaborates with three Elementary Schools, two schools receive a monthly visitation by CLC Titian, MI Muhammadiyah 1 Paseban and SD Nengahan and CLC Titian makes a bi-weekly visit to SDN 3 Paseban.

Living at a time where we can find mostly about anything, anytime and anywhere through gadgets and internet, it is so highly rewarding to see the enthusiasm that children have shown to read books every time we hold this literacy activity.

Our library in CLC Bayat provides an ample reading selection, there are about 2,500 titles to choose from. But the book series that are typically capture the children’s attention are the professions, animals, princesses etc. Of those books, the ones have most interest are the dinosaurs and princesses’ series.

After they have finished reading a book, they will discuss it with their friends and then compare it with others. In addition, they will also play games and reiterate the story from the book in front of their friends. This means they are fully engaged, “Literacy is fun, because there are many friends and we play some games, so it makes reading so much fun” said Isnaini, a Grade 6 student of SDN 3 Paseban. (NL)

Much Ado about Improving Teacher Quality

December 1st, 2017

A recent article published in Kompas on November 28th 2017, strikes a chord with one of Titian’s causes, which is embodied in our Teacher Quality Improvement (TQI) Programme.

The article stresses the challenges involved in improving teacher quality and capacity. Whilst government imposes certification as a means to set quality standards, but it is argued that this only touches on teachers’ cognitive side, while teachers’ capacity should encompass much more than that. It needs to include their skills, creativity, innovation, personality and disposition to become a role model, as explained by Dr. Alwen Bentri, M.Pd, Dean of the Faculty of Education from Padang State University.

Alwen further explained that the teacher training that is currently provided by government is not sustainable. Teachers are left on their own after training is completed, with no attempt to even evaluate or measure the impact of their cognitive abilities and behavior.

In Titian, TQI training is conducted of a similar duration to the government’s, which is two-weeks in seclusion. TQI aims to improve teachers’ pedagogy, social and personality skills. Here, teachers are being introduced to fun ways of teaching, using creativity and games and also encourages them to take fresh look at their noble profession.

However, what essentially differs to other teacher training is the three-months mentoring after their training is completed that Titian’s TQI provides. Periodical meetings with teacher participants serves to ensure TQI’s successful application and as medium to share their triumph and discuss solutions to their obstacles. This mentoring activity is Titian’s way to address concerns on sustainability.

The feedback we receive from our TQI alumni on the impact of TQI are mostly encouraging. Most noticeable improvements are on students’ rapport with their teachers and a lowering of students’ absenteeism, and hence students’ academic scores and the schools’ rating are also improved as the result. These can be achieved because teachers’ approach to teaching and connecting with their students are “revolutionized”.

To date, TQI has brought benefit to more than 1,800 teachers in 562 schools in the Yogyakarta and Klaten areas since the programme rolled out in 2010. While TQI’s contribution is modest, Titian hopes to be able to spread this great and effective programme to many more teachers in Indonesia.