A WHIRLWIND two week teacher exchange is the start of direct links between a small village school in Indonesia and St Catherine’s Catholic College.
Indonesian teacher of two years, Yovitha Fitriyana and teacher of 20 years, Purhendi Bintang arrived at St Catherine’s on Monday and soon had students singing songs and learning Javanese traditional dance.
After just two days, the pair have made many observations and are excited by the opportunity to bring their experiences back into their own classrooms at Ta’allumul Huda, an Islamic junior high school that targets equity in education for girls.
St Catherine’s was selected as one of only 16 schools in Australia to become part of the BRIDGE Australia-Indonesia project, a joint initiative of the Australian government, AUSAID, the Asia Eduction Foundation, the Myer Foundation and the Australia-indonesia Institute.
“This is a wonderful opportunity, not only for our school but also for our wider community to open our hearts, minds and horizons to the richness and diversity of modern Indonesian culture and society,” said Saint Catherine’s language teacher Kim Hann at a civic welcome at the school on Tuesday night.
Ms Hann said the main focus was to set up a virtual linkage between the schools to allow students and teachers to interact, learn from and teach one another.
“This is not just for Indonesian language students, but for everyone, it is about bringing the language and culture alive for students,” she said.