Not only is education a fundamental human right, it is vital to the alleviation of poverty. The process of education helps a student to develop his/her own potential to gain the consciousness, personality, intelligence, behaviour and creativity beneficial to him/her, other citizens and for the nation. Boys and girls acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to live fuller and healthier lives, find jobs and become active participants in the development process.
In Indonesia, many children miss educational opportunities. This happens due to a variety of reasons:
Children that drop out of the school system are a loss in human capital. The Government of Indonesia is working to ensure that by 2015 every Indonesian child receives at least nine years of basic education - regardless of gender, place of residence or family income.
There are many non-profit organisations working in Indonesia that provide education scholarships to students who wish to learn but do not have the means to do so. Besides paying the tuition fees of the children from poor families, scholarships also finance students’ education needs, including books, uniforms and other supplies.
Indonesia also faces the challenge of keeping poor children motivated to stay in school. Overcrowded classes, limited books and poorly trained teachers make it hard for children to stay interested in learning. Schools often lack facilities, like separate toilets for girls and boys, and amenities for children with disabilities.
Mustard Seed Canada is a non-profit organization that supports children’s education, particularly in countries like Indonesia. The organization provides educational scholarships to students from underprivileged backgrounds to keep them in schools. Mustard Seed also builds and runs schools in Indonesia increasing accessibility of education. Teacher training programs help improve the standards of teaching. With a solid basic infrastructure in place, it becomes easier to ensure that children stay motivated to remain in school.