Beatrix is an 8-year-old who is currently enrolled in grade three.
She is the youngest of four and lives with her solo father Hironimus, a local carpenter. Beatrix lives in Wekmidar village in Indonesia, a small village with a dry climate that is nestled on the border of Malaka and Timor Tengah Utara.
There are roughly 300 households in Wekmidar including Beatrix’s family. Most of Wekmidar’s residents live off agriculture and the houses in the area are built out of ‘Bebak’, a type of local palm tree. Save the Children is currently implementing an education programme in SDK Wekaen elementary where Beatrix attends along with 115 other children from the surrounding area. The programme is aimed at lifting the literacy rates of the children by training teachers in new literacy topics. Teachers are also provided with materials to teach with, and provides books for children so that they can continue to read outside of school hours.
Beatrix now loves school “I am very happy to attend school here in SDK Wekaen. I can play and learn with my friends, thanks to our teacher Ibu Rosa. She is very kind. After greeting our teacher, we begin the learning, playing with alphabetical cards, reading stories, and singing.”
The programme introduces teachers to new ways of helping their children learn by moving them away from traditional teaching methods. This includes teachers using creative ways to engage with children, helping them become more creative and engaged themselves. Beatrix’s father Hironimus has noticed a change in the way Beatrix communicates.
“SDK Wekaen school is not far from the house and I have noticed that the teacher has become more kind to the students.” He has also noticed the new enthusiasm she is showing for school. Before the programme, Beatrix would always get up late and waking her wasn’t an easy task, but recently “she gets up at 5:30am, even though her mother is not around.”
Literacy is considered one of the most critical challenges encountered by teachers in the region. Many teachers are facing the reality that students struggle to read, even those at secondary school. Providing access to quality education by introducing new ways of creative teaching and providing reading material for the community, has helped the children express their thoughts and has provided a solid foothold for them to reach their dreams.