Indonesian Schools Regroup After Volcano

Students of Cepogo at an activity camp during the weeks they were evacuated.

 April 29, 2011

 
The tiny room bore no resemblance to a classroom, except for the glow from a screen projector at the front, which lit up the faces of 40 children sitting on a green carpet.

Still, the students studied math, science, social studies, English, and their native language in the house owned by a relative of their teacher, Sri Nuryani—a house the Indonesian government had labeled a refugee camp.

Anyone within a 12-mile radius of Mount Merapi was evacuated following the volcano’s October 2010 eruption. The students in this class—which is part of EDC’s Decentralized Basic Education Program Objective 2 (DBE 2) in Cepogo, Indonesia—were among the 320,000 residents who found shelter and safety in the nearby city of Boyolali, on the Indonesian island of Java.

“The eruption paralyzed all community activities near Mount Merapi, including all activities in the schools,” said EDC’s Puji Wulandari T. Dewi.

The schools in Cepogo represent only a small portion of the hundreds of schools all over Indonesia that are part of EDC’s DBE 2 program. DBE 2 was created with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development to help improve the quality of teaching and learning in Indonesia.

In the weeks following the eruption, Nuryani did her best to keep her students calm, making do with what she had: a notebook and pencil for each student. In the afternoons, the students were taken to rest at a nearby church and, on certain mornings, to an activity camp to study and play before returning to the emergency classroom. DBE 2 teachers from other regions volunteered in the refugee camps, reading with the students and preparing meals.

On November 15, three weeks after entering the camps, those taking refuge in Boyolali went home. Once all signs of the ash plume had been cleared, the students from Cepogo returned to the classroom they remembered.

The article is taken from EDC website for DBE 2 Program funded by USAID: http://edc.org/newsroom/articles/indonesian_schools_regroup_after_volcano

a student's hand writing telling about volcano evacuation

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