When the Governor of Central Java at the time, Mr Mardianto, asked us to build a school in Bayat, and was prepared to provide 26,000 square meters of land for us; we jumped at the opportunity without hesitation.
Working together with the regency, and with funds provided generously by Qatar Foundation’s Reach Out To Asia (ROTA), we set out to build a modern vocational school focusing on traditional crafts of batik and ceramics. We opened the school formally in 2009 and are proud to announce that all of the first group of students of SMK NEGERI 1 ROTA BAYAT have passed their studies and are either pursuing higher education or beginning their careers.
Batik and ceramics were skills already found in the local community, so it made sense to build a vocational school as a means to preserve and develop the strengths the community already has. Support for the development of ceramics came later through the assistance of notable Professor Chitaru Kawasaki who joined the team as a professional volunteer, providing technical consultancy in the ceramics curriculum and workshop.
The school has four classrooms for the three grades it teaches. Covering an area of around 5,600 square meters, the schools buildings come complete with two workshops for each major, a management office, a language lab, a library, a computer lab, an auditorium, as well as commercial galleries where students sell their products to the public. Recreational facilities include a volleyball court, a canteen and a covered bicycle park.
We are grateful to our partners in this project. Aside from the land space, the Klaten Regency also provided teachers, equipment, assistance, and the necessary permits and licences. Qatar Foundation’s Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) provided the funds to build the school. Together we have made a significant difference to over 500 students as well as their families in the community. Without the school, none of the children in this undeveloped area of Bayat would have had access to proper educational facilities. It brings us great joy to know that many of the students that have passed the vocational school have been able to achieve university scholarship grants through their own efforts.
We continue to support and monitor the school very carefully, but more than this, we continue to keep very close contact with the students that have succeeded in their studies. We are keen to continue giving them support as they move forward with their lives so that one day they may come back and help develop the community they came from.
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