Vice President Boediono has praised 71 young volunteers who are embarking on a journey to some of the most underdeveloped regions in the country to teach at local schools for the next year.
Boediono said the drive and commitment of the fresh university graduates taking part in the “Indonesia Teaches” program proved there were still many young people who cared about improving the state of education in the country.
“Many people say the spirit of today’s youth has waned, but I’m optimistic, especially after seeing these young teachers and other similar movements,” he said in a statement released by program organizers on Thursday.
The vice president met with the volunteers at his office on Wednesday. The 71 participants, 38 of them women, are part of the fourth batch of volunteers sent out under the “Indonesia Teaches” program to some of the most remote and isolated parts of the country.
They were selected from a batch of 8,501 candidates and underwent intensive training starting in April to prepare them for the rigors of their new posts.
The program was initiated in 2010 by Anies Baswedan, the rector of Jakarta’s Paramadina University. In that time, it has sent out 241 young teachers who have taught some 20,0000 children in 136 villages in 16 districts nationwide.
The third batch of volunteers is expected to finish its teaching tenure at the end of this month.
The 71 new volunteers will teach at schools in 10 districts spread across nine provinces: Musi Banyuasin and Muara Enim in South Sumatra; Lebak in Banten; Bawean in East Java; Kapuas Hulu in West Kalimantan; Sangihe Islands in North Sulawesi; Bima in West Nusa Tenggara; Rote Ndao in East Nusa Tenggara; Western Southeast Maluku in Maluku; and Fakfak in West Papua.
“The more people are involved, the more people we can help,” Boediono said.
“This will strengthen the push for change. The measure of nobleness here is not in the size of the role played, but in how we carry out those roles.”
Anis, who also met with Boediono, praised the volunteers’ “selflessness and spirit of service.”
“They have encouraged similar initiatives in other regions,” he said.
“This republic has no shortage of people with optimism and the spirit to contribute to the nation.”