What’s new at SGM: Sunshine and laughter in the rain

Rainy season has arrived! This has given us much needed relief from the arid and dusty heat of dry season. The rain is also crucial to the community who depend on the rains to nourish crops and the grass they will collect for their cattle. For those of who you have never witnessed a tropical storm, this is an entirely different, relentless type of rain which can last for hours and feels at times as if you’re standing under a waterfall. A tropical down pour can cause risks including flash floods and traffic accidents as roads rapidly turn into rivers. The shift in temperature can also bring illness. As a consequence, SGM has been low in attendance this week but dedicated students and volunteers have still battled through the heavy rains to come to us. In spite of the cold and gloomy weather outside, inside, our classrooms are full of laughter and sunshine.

Escaping the rain: one of our passionate volunteers teaching our students a traditional adaptation of the game checkers.

 

 

This week we’ve had time to reflect on the lack of awareness of special educational needs (SEN), such as dyslexia and ADHD, both in the state education system and broadly in Indonesian society. This lack of awareness and resourcing issues in the poorly funded state schools means that there is a complete absence in appropriate systems for identifying and supporting SEN students. This puts children at risk as the lack of a support infrastructure means that they invariably struggle, fail to profit from education and are left behind in their studies; their futures indelibly compromised. We’re are particularly excited therefore to announce that we will be receiving ongoing support from the educational psychology department of UII who will be doing informal placements at SGM to help our students with suspected learning difficulties or other undiagnosed psychological issues. SEN students have the potential to contribute enormously; we hope our UII volunteers will help teach understanding and boost student confidence. We hope by promoting awareness of the issue that the school community will profit from encouraging diversity and inclusion. SGM believes that opportunity should be equal. All of our students deserve to reach their full potential.

Junior library volunteers: Anggun, grade 4, looks after the front desk of the library and helps other students to borrow and return books. Getting students actively involved like this helps them develop new skills and build confidence and responsibility. It also makes other young students more interested in reading.

The generous donation of a projector from the Jakarta ATS biker community has meant that we are able to start our monthly film screening. This event is aimed at young adults in the community so that they can start to engage with the school and be comfortable using the space and our facilities. The films will also provide a weekend leisure option as the village has few forms of entertainment for young people. Viewers will vote for which film will be screened from a range of inspirational films from different countries. This month’s screening showed a film from India which covered issues of religious diversity and tolerance.

Our performing arts classes are going from success to success with students performing in their first original pieces this week. Responsible for everything from costume to choreography, this is a fun and creative way for students to take ownership of a project and understand how to build an idea to a finished product.

If you’d ever like to watch our brilliant students perform, email sekolah.gunung@gmail.com and we can send you information on what’s on and when.

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