Despite a national literacy rate of 99% among young people, a significant number of children living in poor and rural areas do not move from primary to secondary school. In fact 4.5 million children who should be in school are not (UNICEF).
In general, there is limited appreciation of the value of pre-primary education, resulting in just 70% of Indonesian children attending early learning. In addition, the provision of early childhood development services in remote and rural areas is either absent, inaccessible or unaffordable for many families and teacher training is limited and inadequate as far as health, nutrition, safety and psycho-social stimulation. Lastly, good nutrition plays an important role in educational development and, with such high numbers of under 5s suffering malnutrition, this will have a great impact on their ability to learn.
Affordable Early Learning Centres are very scarce in marginalised areas, meaning many families are unable to meet the costs to provide quality pre-primary education for their children. Our Education programme provides affordable early childhood education, as well as medical support, for children from low income families. Our approach is to work with the whole family, so we provide health education and skills training for mothers to better meet their challenges.
YBS aims to support families living in poor, urban communities in South Jakarta through its mother-and-child activities. Currently, 325 under 6s attend pre-school at the Early Learning Centre and can benefit from primary school scholarships.
Education for Mothers
Health and nutrition education for mothers
Undernutrition in Indonesia results from a web of complex causes only one of which is lack of access to food due to economic constraints. In other words, poverty is only one of many reasons for undernutrition. Often, undernourished children in urban Jakarta live right next door to healthy children of the same income level.
A significant factor in under-nourishment, experts agree, is a lack of knowledge on the part of the caregiver about what constitutes good nutrition. Some mothers just don’t know what to feed their children. Another important factor is mothers’ behavior during feeding practices.
Basic nutritional education for mothers is therefore one of the most important activities at FMCH and, whilst children attend the Early Learning sessions, their mothers attend general health and nutrition lessons. Through games and other interactive teaching methods, mothers learn about the importance of certain types of food, breastfeeding, feeding practices, how to treat various illnesses such as children’s diarrhoea, and amongst other things, the importance of immunizations in preventing common diseases.
Small enterprise scheme training
Mothers of children attending the Early Learning Centre can also take part in the small enterprise scheme making bags and home accessories which are for sale at our mother-and-child centre in Cipete.