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Australia-Indonesia Educational Cooperation through BRIDGE School Partnerships Programme

SEAMEO Regional Open Learning Centre (SEAMOLEC) Director, Dr Alpha Amirrachman, on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) of Indonesia was invited to the Australia-Indonesia BRIDGE (Building Relationship through Intercultural Dialogue and Growing Engagement) School Partnerships Stakeholder Engagement Meeting 2019 to deliver a keynote speech on August 23, 2019 at AOne Hotel Jakarta.

The Australia-Indonesia BRIDGE School Partnerships Programme is a school partnership programme funded by the Australian Government. BRIDGE students collaborate on projects, practice language skills and develop life-long friendships with students at their partner school. Through the use of a blended model of teacher professional learning, face-to-face, online learning and an international homestay programme with partner schools BRIDGE supports teachers to use technologies to open their classrooms to the world. BRIDGE develops students to be global citizens who have deeper intercultural understanding, real-life digital capability, new knowledge of Asia and Australia, and strengthened language skill.

In his speech, Dr Alpha highly appreciated the well-established cooperation between Indonesia and Australia in various sectors over the years, particularly in educational sector. Student exchange programme, dual degree programme and other undertakings regarding educational institution have been continuously conducted between the two nations. Education improvement both in quality and quantity has always been the concern of the cooperation for both countries.

“Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia has contributed to this program through one of its units: SEAMEO SEAMOLEC. It was started with the 11th Australia-Indonesia Joint Working Group (JWG) which was held in Canberra on 14 November 2014,” explained Dr Alpha. He elaborated further that after the JWG event, SEAMOLEC was requested by the Australian Embassy to co-organize a blended training workshop for Indonesian BRIDGE schools. The program was virtual class course using one of Social Learning Network (SLN) as the platform. It was targeted only for selected Indonesian school partners because the Australian schools were already familiar with the platform.

In August-September 2015 SEAMOLEC conducted a blended training workshop for Indonesian BRIDGE schools in several cities in Indonesia; Bandung, Jakarta, Gowa, Mataram, Denpasar, Kupang, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Palangkaraya, Pontianak, Palembang, Surabaya, and Medan, with total 178 participants from 14 schools followed this training. He also mentioned that in the years to come for future BRIDGE, the MoEC of Indonesia through its related Directorates and SEAMOLEC is ready to continue assisting and supporting BRIDGE program in the future.

Participants of this event were Heads of Provincial Education Offices, Officials of Provincial Offices of Ministry of Religious Affairs and representatives of several participating schools.

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