The Anambas Foundation is anticipating the Anambas becoming one of Indonesia’s major tourist destinations.
For the past few years, many tourists, both local and foreign, have been visiting the Anambas Islands, resulting in more job opportunities with new resorts and homestays springing up. However, one of the main requirements to work in the travel and hospitality industry is the ability to speak English.
Before the Foundation was established, we visited several villages across the Anambas, and each time when we asked the community how we could help, they always asked us to teach their children to speak English, so they could have better work options in the future.
Geographically, the Anambas makes it challenging to have an English teacher live on-site, but fortunately, some of the villages have Internet connections provided by the Ministry of Communications and Informatics. With this, we saw an opportunity for an innovative solution to address the geographical challenge. By collaborating with CAKAP, an online language-learning platform, we could provide English lessons for elementary students under our Digital English Club programme.
Together with CAKAP, we developed a new curriculum, in which the materials are made specifically for children in remote islands. We integrate lessons on sustainability, environmental conservation, and waste management into the curriculum, exposing them to learning they have not received before.
The availability of Internet connections enables students to interact in real-time with their tutors in Jakarta. The class is held in classrooms and libraries that have Internet connections provided by the government. We provide students with electronic devices and set up the class schedule for one academic year. Before starting the course, we have a placement test to measure the English skills of the students.
Due to the limited seats for the online class, not all interested children are able to join. To resolve this issue, we provide an offline class to accommodate the learning of the rest of the children. Different from the online programme, offline class focuses more on fun educational activities such as games and singing. Class is held once a week and taught by the programme’s facilitator and volunteers.
We also have an English competition every three months. Winners are rewarded with presents to get students excited to learn English. One interesting part of the off-line class is we get to invite Bawah Reserve guests and staff to come to teach English.