When you’re in Bali, you will see children in school uniforms everywhere, and you will surely notice when you pass a school. There’s a lot of children running, screaming and having fun. Education is a big part of the development of a child, so luckily kids on Bali get the opportunity to go to school and learn the basics of what they should know to get a job when they are older and to build a successful life for themselves.
Education in Bali is free. Essentially, every child can go to school, but their parents still need to spend money on other things. For example; transport, sport clothes and the uniform that they must wear. A lot of parents can’t afford to buy these things and that’s one of the biggest reasons that a lot of kids still can’t go to school. Another big reason is that kids don’t have the paperwork for it. They aren’t recognized as a civilian so they can’t go to school. Also, a lot of parents don’t see why it’s necessary. They didn’t have education themselves so they simply cannot understand the benefits of extra lessons.
Solemen also helps the children to go to school. An example of that is Desak. She’s a 16-year-old girl and has Cerebral Palsy. She was going to school but contractive she was struggling. Cerebral Palsy affects her mobility and she had bad contractors and spasticity. She moved to YPAC, a special school for children with disabilities, and now she is doing very well. YPAC is a sponsorship that pays fees and pays for the accommodation of the kids. Solemen wants to help as many children as possible to go to school.
Schooling project Bali is a Dutch organization that tries to take care of as many children as they can. They help them go to school by sponsoring them and give them the money that they need for everything involved in going to school. They started the organization when they were in Bali and saw a lot of children that didn’t go to school. Tjeerd, one of the founders started sponsoring a child in Bali when the charity didn’t exist yet. That’s when he thought of starting it, with his girlfriend.
The Indonesian education system contains preschool education, primary education, secondary education and higher education. There are both private and government schools. They are both following the education program as established by the ministry of education, but private schools have the chance to deviate from that. In the cities, there are a lot of schools that call themselves ‘national-plus’, because they follow the national education program, but they often add something to it, like English lessons. International schools use a whole different teaching program.
Tjeerd thinks that especially girls need help to get education. It is an ongoing cultural belief that boys need to have an education more so than girls, because they will work and stay with their family when they get married. When girls get married they will move away to their husband’s place and take care of the family. When a girl gets married, she won’t be able to go to school anymore, and when they go to school they won’t get married that easily. That’s why most of the people that Schooling Project Bali helps are girls.
The education for the children will be paid by Schooling Project Bali until they are going to university. When they reach university, it is mostly up to the students’ family to pay for the fees. Sometimes Tjeerd’s organisation chooses to also pay university for someone if they see a lot of potential in that person. They will pay half, so the young people will stay motivated to go to school, and the girls in particular, because when they have to pay themselves, they are less likely to marry and leave school before they graduate.