Written by Mrs. G.L. Elgersma, Family Care Indonesia
I’ve taught elementary through high school grades for 18 years in Southeast Asia, Australia and Europe. I also taught English as a foreign language at the Royal Thai Military Academy in Thailand for 16 years.
As a retired school teacher, I am doing volunteer English teaching in Indonesia for the past 3 ½ years in Jakarta and more recently, Bandung.
As someone who’s concerned about the quality of education available for underprivileged children and teens, I believe the Brillkids Learning program has the potential to make a dramatic impact on primary school education.
In order to be successful in life, it’s a pretty big priority for students in Indonesia to learn English. The Indonesian government has said there is a great need for modern resources and visual aids for learning English at the primary school level. This is especially true for students who come from underprivileged backgrounds.
I believe the BrillKids Early Learning programs can be successfully integrate into an English learning curriculum to meet this need for the poor and needy in Indonesia.
[space2]English classes in YKAKI
In June 2011, I introduced the Brillkids Little Reader kit to the teaching staff at the Indonesian Care for Cancer Kids Foundation (ykaki.org). The Foundation offers hospice facilities free of charge to underprivileged children suffering from cancer and their parents. Because these children receive early diagnosis and treatment, their recovery rate is encouragingly high. The Foundation provides in-house tutoring for the children so that their education can be continued while they receive treatment.
Approximately 60 families benefit from this service each year. Family Care Indonesia brings a regular “cheer up” program for the young cancer patients as well as English classes and personal counseling for the parents and motivational support for the dedicated staff members.
Three months later, I heard from Miss Linah Pokselon (S.Pd.), the main English teacher at the Foundation, who has integrated the Brillkids program into her English learning curriculum. Miss Linah said the children are making good progress in learning English and that the children enjoy the Brillkids reading program and look forward to it each day.
Miss Linah said she was especially happy with the clear pronunciation that the Brillkids program provides which makes it possible for the children to learn correct spoken English.
Indonesian mothers who have seen the Brillkids program in action have also made similar comments on the clear pronunciation which they feel is a very big plus for their children in learning English correctly. They also really like the simple, clean format of the program – each picture has only one word – making it possible for children to easily grasp the concept introduced and thus make rapid progress in their learning.
[space2]A learning tool for the community
After surveying the possibilities of using the Brillkids learning system, I will be using BrillKids as a remedial English learning tool for disadvantaged Indonesian teenagers at an orphanage in Bandung. This way, the teens can get the pronunciation practice and vocabulary practice they need in a fun, visual way.
I am very appreciative of the grant made available by the BrillKids Foundation for these particular social institutions.
I believe the BrillKids program can help make long term changes for the better in the lives of individuals and communities here in Indonesia, especially the underprivileged who do not have access to good quality schools that will make it possible for them to enter college or university.
I would highly recommend the BrillKids Early learning system to educational institutions and community centers. The year-long curriculum that comes with the reading program makes it possible for even an inexperienced person to sequentially and progressively use this program with good results.
In addition, the learning system makes it possible to change the photos and images used in the program which makes it more relatable and appealing to Asian children and parents. I am looking forward to using other BrillKid learning tools when these become available through BrillKids Foundation grant program.
Thank you BrillKids Foundation, for your kind and generous help and for your concern for those in need.
[space2]General Overview and Progress Report From YKAKI For 2011 – 2012
On behalf of the administrative board of Indonesian Care for Cancer Kids’ Foundation (YKAKI) and the “My School” English Learning Tutorial Program, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the Brillkids Early Learning Reading Company for donating their Reading Kits for our use.
The “My School” tutorial program is part of the Indonesian Care for Cancer Kids’ Foundation. It was developed in response to the belief that child cancer patients have the right to receive an education even though sick. It also came about out of concern for the children who frequently get bored and depressed when they have no educational or mental activity during their long periods of treatment.
Statistics prove that childhood cancer can be cured if detected early enough. –As much as 80% of child cancer patients do recover and go on to live normal, healthy lives. Generally the treatment takes between three months up to two years of continuous treatment. This is a very long time for school-age children to go without any educational activity or mental challenges. The result is that child cancer patients often experience stress and boredom while undergoing treatment.
The “My School” program seeks to solve this problem by providing opportunities for children to follow school lessons so that when they have completed medical treatment, they can once again continue on their educational course. Generally this is applicable for elementary and junior high school-aged children, but children at the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten levels also need educational activities to keep them happy and alert.
The “My School” program provides a complete curriculum based on the Indonesian national educational requirements. Education is provided free of charge and teachers are hired on a full-time basis by the Cancer Kids’ Foundation. The well-known Indonesian national home schooling advisor, Kak Seto, acts as consultant for the “My School” program.
The Brillkids Reading program has been very helpful in helping our children at the kindergarten and elementary school levels in Indonesia learn English as a second language. They learned such basic vocabulary as parts of the body, names of animals, action words, colours, etc. The program is very effective in enhancing the children’s cognitive and psychomotor skills.
We also use the Brillkids program for our junior high school students who are studying English and it is very helpful to them in learning and reviewing new vocabulary words. The audio quality is very good and helps the students develop better English pronunciation, similar to native speakers, which is often a problem when they are taught by non-native teachers.
The Brillkids program makes teaching English as a second language much easier for the teachers. The children can practice and act out English vocabulary in a lively way with very nice video and sound format that keeps their attention. The children enjoy the program very much and always look forward to “Brillkids time.”
With the junior high students, we have them repeat the words out loud as they follow the program. Secondly, they write all the new words in their notebooks and translate these into Bahasa Indonesia. Thirdly, they practice and review the words by watching the Brillkids lesson again. Finally, the teacher gives a written test according to the Brillkids program.
All of the children made progress in learning English as a second language using this program. Because they were learning and making progress, they also feel happier with themselves. They are not sad or lonely. Often young cancer patients feel this way because they are away from their friends and school for a long time.
I would like to apologize in advance because we had some problems in running the Brillkids program on some of our computers. (Note: When the program was put on some computers, it would not run because the computers were not sufficient. The Foundation recently bought some upgraded computers, and we are helping them put the program on these computers.) At present, the children can only learn through a single device. However, currently we are working on completing the existing computer equipment at the Hospital so that the program can be used for students there also.
In closing, I would like to express once again our thankfulness to the Brillkids Little Reader Company for making this reading program available to us. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to use this educational material for our children. It helps them learn English easily and in a fun and lively way, which encourages them in their fight against cancer. Thank you for joining with us in this endeavour.
[pink]Yayasan Kasih Anak Kanker Indonesia (YKAKI)[/pink]
Indonesian Care for Cancer Kids Foundation
Jl. Percetakan Negara IX No.10A, Kel. Rawasari,
Jakarta Pusat 10570, Indonesia.
Tel: 62 21 4287 2556
Fax: 62 21 421 6089
Contact Name: Mrs. G.L. Elgersma