SURABAYA, 2012, November 5 – Creating ample opportunities to gain access to education is crucial to empower the community. Early education is important to develop the full potential of people. Statistics shows that Indonesia has 28 million children under the age of 10 years old, however, only 7% have access to formal education. To increase access to education in Indonesia, the Indonesian First Lady, Ani Yudhoyono, initiated the development of the educational house (rumah pintar). This program then became one of working programs of The United Indonesia Cabinet Wives’ Solidarity Association (SIKIB), under the Indonesia Smart (Indonesia Pintar) work pillar which includes Indonesian education.
The importance of community empowerment through education is also recognized by Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP). Aligned with the commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), PT. Pabrik Kertas Tjiwi Kimia Tbk (Tjiwi Kimia), one of APP’s mills, participated in the development of educational houses. Two educational houses have been built by Tjiwi Kimia and inaugurated on 5 November 2012 by Chairman of SIKIB, Oktinawati Ulfa D Hatta Rajasa. “We are delighted and appreciate the development of educational houses by Tjiwi Kimia,” said Oktinawati. During the event, SIKIB also donated two pianos and educational toys.
The two educational houses are Tjiwi Kimia-Sidoarjo educational house and Kolonel Sampoerno-Mojokerto educational house. Prior to this, Tjiwi Kimia has inaugurated Tjiwi Kimia-Mojokerto educational house. Since the inauguration back in 2008, 2,000 people per month have visited this educational house.
Tjiwi Kimia-Sidoarjo educational house consists of a Library, Games Center, Computer Center, Multimedia Center and Handcrafted Products Center. The Kolonel Sampoerno-Mojokerto educational house is built under cooperation between Kolonel Sampoerno family and Tjiwi Kimia. Kolonel Sampoerno was the former commander of Korem 082, Kodam VIII Brawijaya in 1996 who was widely respected by the local community. This educational house is equipped with the organic agriculture and fisheries training center.
“We hope that this educational house will be useful to increase community knowledge,” said Edwin Suryalaksana, Director of Tjiwi Kimia. Edwin stated that with the existence of an educational house, it will be easier to introduce technology and information to children, improving local economic capability through skill development and also encouraging the preservation of local culture.
“APP is part of the community, and therefore has a role to play in efforts to empower the community,” added Suhendra Wiriadinata, Director of Corporate Affairs and Communication APP. Suhendra also stated that building educational houses is one of APP’s corporate social responsibilities to help the government in developing an empowered community. Other APP mills which have built and operate educational houses are Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper (Abdul Wahid-Perawang educational house in Siak, Riau) and Ekamas Fortuna (Eka Mas-Pagak educational house in Malang, East Java).
To date, Sinar Mas has built and operates 29 educational houses across Indonesia, 23 of which were inaugurated by the First Lady, Ani Yudhoyono in the beginning of 2012.