PNPM Healthy And Smart Generation: Equal Education for the Underprivileged in Indonesia

October 5, 2011

  • Key goals of PNPM Generasi include basic education access and results and maternal well-being
  • PNPM Generasi had the greatest iimpact in areas with low baseline health and education indicators
  • In 2010, 212 sub-districts participating in PNPM Generasi received US$32.6 million block grants

Gorontalo, October 5, 2011 - Rosna and Romin of their good fortune. “I want to be a teacher so that the children in my village will be smart,” Rosna Alaika said shyly when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. Rosna Alaika (10) and her brother Romin Alaika (9) are recipients of the PNPM Generasi Program assistance in Mananggu District, Bolaemo Regency, Gorontalo.

Although a happy family is what all children like Rosna and Romin wish for, that is not what these two children, who still need nurturing and guidance, got. Their parents neglected them. “I just couldn’t stand to see them in a situation like that. I couldn’t help but wonder what was going to happen to them later on? So, I invited them to come live with me.” Yusna Alaika, a relative, said.

Even though Yusna’s husband barely earns enough as a farm worker to make ends meet for Yusna and their four children, the couple decided to do their best to take care of Rosna and Romin too. Even though the family doesn’t have much, Yusna is determined that all of the children in her care will completely finish their formal schooling. According to her, education offers the assurance that her children will have a better life in the future.

“I am just so happy that there is a program like PNPM to provide scholarships for Rosna and Romin to finish elemen-tary school,” Yusna said in expression of how grateful she was to get educational assistance from PNPM Generasi. Besides scholarships to pay their school fees, Rosna and Romin each also receive 4 school uniforms, a pair of shoes, a bag, textbooks, and everything they need for writing.

Yusna didn’t understand much about PNPM Generasi until the PNPM Generasi facilitator explained what the program does. That convinced her immediately, and she agreed to accept the educational assistance, immediately informing

“I really like to study and have lots of friends,” Rosna said when asked about her school. Yusna hopes that this kind of educational assistance will become a gateway to a better life for the younger generation.

The district facilitator, assisted by the Village Discussion Forum Consideration Team (Tim Pertimbangan Musyawarah Desa, TPMD), is an important component in the implementation of the PNPM Generasi at the district and village levels. TPMD has the task of identifying the needs of villagers through group meetings and one-on-one encounters. The assistance forthcoming from PNPM is not provided in the form of funds, but in kind, such as school supplies, bags and shoes. This is done to ensure that the assistance is appropriate to the needs of the person receiving it.

According to Esra Bawolye, of the Mananggu District TPMD, PNPM Generasi assistance in the education sector is provided on the basis of individual need. Priority for this assistance is given to people whose situations give rise to concern and for whom education for the children is an afterthought in the midst of their struggle to survive. “I am frequently touched by what I see in the homes of the village people that I visit, especially the underprivileged,” Esra Bawoye, of TPMD Managgu District said.

This 74-year-old man has been involved in the PNPM Generasi since 2008. Now (2011) he says that he has seen a lot of change in Mananggu District, especially relating to education. This can be seen in the decreasing number of dropouts and a strengthening awareness among parents of the need for education. Further, Esra is quick to express his expectation that everything accomplished by PNPM Generasi will have a lasting affect and ensure the continuing support of equitable access to education in Indonesia.