RadioEd reaches classrooms across Indonesia
Indonesia has one source for independent radio news: the programming from Jakarta-based Kantor Berita Radio. Radio for Education (RadioEd) provides free resources and training that help teachers and students utilize these broadcasts to create fun and informative classroom activities.
The program evolved from the hard work of students and teachers at Suara Smanda, Indonesia’s first student-run radio station in Sekayu, Indonesia. With technical support and funding from the Puetra Sampoerna Foundation, the program now reaches thousands of students in over two dozen schools throughout Java, Bali, Sumatra, and Kalimantan.
Why it matters
Say hello to Indonesia’s Information Generation
With radio networks now reaching the most rural communities and Internet service swelling beyond urban centers, it is safe to say that Indonesia’s information generation has arrived. Generation I will establish new norms, patterns, and boundaries that will inevitably redefine and re-divide Indonesian society. This process has already begun on the airwaves and in chatrooms across the country. It is still too early to tell whether the influx of new information will unite and inform or ignite and inflame existing tensions. Programs like Asia Calling, and now Radio for Education, have a unique and unprecedented opportunity to set a course in the former direction.
Hello Radio. Goodbye Mel Gibson.
A note from RadioEd Founder
I guess the tipping point was when one of my students asked me who Mel Gibson is and if he actually is, as her textbook stated, “the most beautiful man in the world.”
As a Fulbright Fellow in the rural Sumatran town of Sekayu, my fellow teachers taught me how to make the most out of the resources we were given. However, when I was asked to help explain a “current affairs” textbook activity calling for 100 words on ”the beauty of Mel Gibson,” I simply couldn’t explain the point the exercise to a room full of middle school students beaming with intellect and creativity—at least not while keeping a straight face. So, we closed the text books and turned on the radio. The rest is history!
We never would have guessed that our little radio experiment that day would grow into a national education initiative that would charge classrooms throughout the archipelago with ideas and information.
After building the country’s first student-run radio station at SMA2-Sekayu, we realized that we could do a lot more with radio than listen to our favorite pop music and classic dangdut hits (although we still like to do that too).
By relaying programming from Indonesia’s only independent radio news network, KBR68H, our student station provides news and information to the greater Sekayu community—as well as our classrooms.
Our team of students, teachers and community leaders created the first listening comprehension activities to go along with our favorite news programs. The activities were hit from the start, and before long we were asked to take our show on the road.
RadioEd is currently reaching over a dozen classrooms throughout Java, Kalimantan, Bali and Sumatra. We aim to increase exposure to independent news programming while developing critical thinking skills, boosting knowledge of local current affairs and improving English proficiency.
We are always looking for ways to improve and continue this work. Please send your ideas, opinions and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your support—and stay tuned for more!
Director | Radio for Education | Jakarta, Indonesia