Volunteer in Bali and teach English to Balinese children. That sounds quite interesting right?! But it is nice to learn more about the reason why we teach English and how our program is set up. To understand more about this, it is important to talk about the Indonesian school system first.
In Indonesia, the public schools schedule anywhere between 2-4 hours of class per day, 6 days a week. The groups take shifts in the morning or afternoon. Elementary schools are usually in the mornings and junior and senior high school in the afternoon. As compared to that of schools in Western countries, Indonesia’s curriculum is very basic and focuses on benchmarks and passing exams to help students get to the next level.
The curriculum does not focus as much on life skills and personal development, such as learning how to solve problems and multi-task, creativity and development of skills and talents.
Children of middle and/or high social classes will either go to private schools or use supplementary after-school programs in addition to public school. Sadly, this leaves hundreds of thousands of Balinese children in lower classes without the opportunity to rise above the bare minimum, as they are usually withdrawn from school when they are old enough to work and contribute to their family.
With Bali’s ever increasing tourism industry, the knowledge of the English language is of extreme value for everyone on the island. Even the most basic English skills can make the difference between living in extreme poverty and living in the minimum wage sector. VP Bali understands that learning English gives Bali’s underprivileged youth to opportunity to develop successfully in their changing society.
Although officially English is taught at every public school, the level of these classes are not that extended and the children are not being empowered or motivated by their teacher to learn more English. Even though they might learn the basic vocabulary and grammar, for most kids that is not sufficient to actually use their English skills, to be able to have a conversation or to have the self-confidence to talk with foreigners.
VP Bali’s aim is to provide the Balinese youth and their communities with opportunities that empower them to become successful in their changing society. This means to support the kids in our program to reach their fullest potential and to empower them to do things they love and they are good at. For Bali’s youth, the opportunity to learn English is their first step to become successful as most of them have a dream to work in the tourism or hospitality sector. Bali being one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world, this sector of work is most common for Balinese to work in and the best and most possible way to earn an income.
Our vision of education as a journey, not an end goal, is seen through the fun creative learning techniques we use in our classes. Educational games, dancing, and small competitions are some of the playful ways our students stay attentive, focused, and most of all have fun! Learning through play means that children get to practice their problem solving skills and explore talents that maybe would not be revealed at public school classes. The way we teach gives a lot of space and opportunity for our students to explore, to grow their self-confidence and to use their English skills in a creative way.
Since our program is voluntary, our fun-natured classes keep our students coming back every day eager to learn. Often, our older students children who want to keep learning with us either cannot afford their higher education, or need to spend time earning money for the family instead. For these extra-motivated individuals, we provide scholarships and paid internships.
A lot of our senior high school students are obtaining an internship in the tourism sector and are able to continue their studies at university after finishing high school.
Click here if you want to learn more about the curriculum we use.