|"Real Voices 2023" No.7 Indonesia
|Connecting the World! Teachers' Network News
|Real Voices of iEARN Teachers Around the World
|The year 2023 marks the 20th anniversary of JEARN established as an official NPO in Japan.
To celebrate this memorial year, JEARN launched a monthly interview series "Real Voices" to deliver
the real voices of iEARN teachers from around the world. Each article introduces
school systems of each country and region, daily efforts of teachers and
staff, and the development of students for global competence and citizenship.
Enthusiastic students share ideas in a lively group discussion
Azhar Schools, Indonesia
|Ms. Saara Suaib from Indonesia
|How many years of experience do you have in iEARN？ What iEARN projects have you done
with your students? Which project is
your favorite and why?
|I have joined and participated in iEARN project since 2005. The first project
that I have done with my students was the class with Barry Kramer. It was
an online project about festival in your country. The next project was
|This project gave me ideas and opportunity to develop more project with other schools and organization. Through Machinto, I developed my own project namely peace post card. And this project took me to an international awardee in Microsoft Global Forum in 2014.
I also joined the NDYS project and did many activities with my students.
We visited some elementary school which got flood during the rainy season.
Our students did some activities with the school kids as planting their
school yard, cleaning and give them education on how to survive during
disaster. My students also did an observation around the school area to
create a safety map project. Last project that I participated in was the
Gomi Project. This was an amazing project that I did with my high school
students. Unfortunately, I was transferred to a new school that I cannot
continue doing the project.
|Students showcasing their ideas at the NDYS meeting
What school or organization are you working at? What are some
characteristics of your school or organization (i.e. history, location, owner,
culture, curriculum, subjects, facilities, or students)?
My school is under an Islamic Foundation named The Al Azhar Foundation.
This foundation manages some schools from kindergarten to University level.
Since this foundation has many schools, it becomes normal that teachers
were transferred to other Al Azhar schools in different or similar area.
In my case, I was transferred 3 times after my first school where I joined
iEARN for the first time. Al Azhar Foundation is a well-known foundation
which runs a quality education in all schools they are managing. They provide
us with quality education in every sectors. Educators, school facilities
and also school programs. The foundation will make sure all things are
provided for the quality of education to happen in Al Azhar schools. That’s
why, the Al Azhar school is known as modern Islamic School in Indonesia.
Parents trust the school curriculum and also their method in running the
Impressive Al Azhar school building
Warm student hospitality at Friendship Tea Time
|If you are a teacher, how many years of experience do you have as a
teacher? If you are a teacher, what subject do you teach? Which grade(s) are
you currently teaching?
I have been a teacher for more than 20 year. It’s around 23 years. I am
teaching English for 12 -17 years old students. But most experience I had
was with the students in 12 - 15 years old. I am now teaching for this
Please describe the formal education of your country.
Formal education in my country starts with primary school for 6 years.
The age level for this group is 7 - 12 years old. The next level we call
it SMP or middle level or junior high school level. This is the level I
The age group is 12 - 15 years old. And the next level we call it SMA or
considered as high school level. This group of students are 15 -18 years
old. This is the group where students also prepare for their university
|When does the school year start and end in your country?
The school year starts in July and end in December for the first term.
The second term will start again in January to June. We spend about 6 months
in every term.
|We don’t have seasonal big breaks as winter break or summer break. But
we do have Ramadhan and Eid Mubarak break. Since this two festival is following
the Islamic Calendar, the exact time is changing every year. We will have
it earlier around 11 days every years according to the Islamic calendar.
After the big pray, we celebrate the festival with our family by having
a meal (special menu) together and giving forgiveness to each other. We
also visited the neighborhood and relatives to do the same. People who
normally live and work in a city will take time to get home to their hometown
to celebrate the festival with their family, especially the one who still
has parents in their hometown.
|Eid Mubarak Festival is the festival where we celebrate the glory and victory
after we perform Ramadhan. All Muslim pray that they will get another opportunity
to enjoy Ramadhan next year. During Eid Mubarak Festival, we celebrate
it by having a big prayer together (Sholat Eid Berjamaah), either in a
Masjid or in the field which can attract more people.
Festive family meals during Eid Mubarak break
What changes have you seen in class or in the ways students learn after
We need to explore them more to the nature since this pandemic made them
isolated for the last two years. And some of the students enjoyed this
situation and directly get accustomed with. So, they need to move more
and give them time to explore the world of nature. I love taking then to
have a fun trekking over the hills and the water fountain and let them
feel the breeze. That’s the way they learn from nature.
What technology is being used in class? What devices do your
students use in class or at home for learning?
used many platform during pandemic. Such as Google Classroom, Google form, zoom
meeting, meet and other platforms which provide us with the learning situation
What do you think are the most significant advantages of making use
of technology for teaching and learning? Also, what are some challenges in
introducing technology to formal education?
|The most significant advantages of making use of technology for teaching
and learning is that the effectiveness. We know that our students are the
gen z or even alpha gen. They are fast learner especially related to technology.
So, it help us a lot in delivering the learning and teaching process. They
will cope everything faster as long as we apply appropriate technology
in our teaching and learning process. Thus, for some (both teacher and
students), the challenge of using technology in class is the missing process
of learning itself. We love seeing kids knowing and inventing their learning
with the face to face situation or in formal education.
Besides, during 2 years of lock down my students experienced, they only
interact with others through virtual things, they don't show much emphatic
to others and also "manner" in communication especially towards
older people becomes an issue. So, they miss something during the lockdown
era that caused them to "misbehave". They think they are Ok with
that situation while others feel shocked with their response.
Young students coding at a fun Microsoft event
Eager students studying English in class
|Could you give any messages to teachers in Japan?
work again together to give opportunity for our students to be more human. By
having the real feeling, experiencing things, expressing ideas and thought
while having your existence around them. Let them
explore things they want to know by having interaction.
The iEARN Teacher interviews are part of a series of articles by JEARN
entitled "Connecting The World! Teachers Network News" starting
with the January 2023 issue in a Japanese monthly magazine for educators, Cresco
(Otsuki Shoten Publishers here).
Nonprofit Organization JEARN