September 2014: BASICS Photo Journal Series, Part 1 – Basekolah: Sending Dropouts Back to School

BASICS (Better Approaches for Service Provision through Increased Capacities in Sulawesi), is a project supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and the Government of Indonesia through the Ministry of Home Affairs. Cowater International Inc. is the Canadian consultancy firm responsible for the projects financial administration and technical management.

This photo journal series provides a photographic account of the BASICS project with the aim to highlight the importance of the people the project works to support. Since 2009, the BASICS Project has been active in 14 districts/cities throughout North Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi Provinces contributing to the acceleration of achievement of the minimum service standards (MSS) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for basic services in health and education. These photos express some of the innovations that have been recognized by the BASICS project as “Smart Practices”. Throughout the course of the project, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Provincial Governments of North Sulawesi and Southeast Sulawesi, as well as various regional partners, have supported BASICS enthusiastically and have contributed to the development of these “Smart Practices” which have had a direct, positive impact, on communities, government service units, individuals and project institutional partners.

The children in these photos are in school, happy, and learning.  Some of them would not be there without the support of the Basekolah Smart Practice program developed by the city of Bitung, with help of BASICS. In 2012, the number of dropouts in Bitung City reached 1,830. As a result, the city issued a Mayor’s Regulation focusing on general guidelines for programs to handle school-age dropouts and the development of “district educational development teams” (TPPK) to support implementation. To address the dropout rate the TPPK, in collaboration with an organization called Development of Teenage Families, provided consultation and coaching to dropouts and their parents, primarily focusing on possible psychological-social problems, which were assessed to be the main reason the children dropping out.

With the support of BASICS, the collaboration between “district educational development teams” (TPPK)  and the Development of Teenage Families was strengthened. . During the first three months, the team worked with students and families to return 80 dropouts to school. The success of the program has influenced the city’s planning and budgeting, and in 2013, the local government allocated Rp 980 million (USD 83,500) to include a dropout program, which previously had never existed.