Fields of dreams: School campus offers big-city opportunities to remote village

Students, parents, teachers and administrators at the Mayang Mangurai Foundation (YPMM) schools in Tebing Tinggi are proud of their facilities, and it’s easy to see why.

Within a sprawling campus of carefully manicured athletic fields and freshly painted brick classroom buildings, the YPMM school facilities rival those of private institutions in exclusive urban communities. Yet, this is a public school in one of the remote areas in Sumatra.

“The foundation was established to make sure that the children in the village receive a proper education even though they live in a remote area,” said Abdul Kadir, who heads the foundation.

About 2,500 students attend foundation schools.  Most of the kindergarten, elementary and junior high school students are children of employees from the nearby PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp & Paper Industries (Lontar Papyrus) and about half of the high school students come from surrounding villages.

Since opening in 1997, the school has seen steady increases in faculty size, student enrollment and athletic accomplishment, according to their principals.

“We started with only two teachers, and now we have 15,” said Siti Khodijah, Kindergarten Principal. The Foundation, with support from the Lontar Papyrus, has increased its annual commitment to the school with scholarships, books, school supplies and grants for teachers. The investment has paid off.

“In our last academic year, our passing rate on the national exam was 100 percent in our high school and 98 percent in our junior high,” said Principal Sariyani.

 

 

 

16.11.2016 | Laura B.
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