Indonesia Mengajar: turn on the light to enlighten those dreams!

December 3, 2012 • Country, Education, People, Scholar


It is a fact that the teachers in Indonesia’s schools are not evenly distributed, especially those in remote areas. It is also a mere fact that only around half of teachers in Indonesia hold Bachelor’s degree. But, have you ever thought that this shortage of Indonesia’s education system can be filled? Or have you ever thought that we – yes, we, as Indonesia’s young generations can take part, turn on the light and let the wave of enlightenment and inspiration spread vividly across the archipelago of Indonesia?

Yes, we too can contribute to make a better future for Indonesia. It is time to stop the imprecations against the education system in Indonesia and actively take part for changes. Through Indonesia Mengajar (Indonesia Teaches), Indonesia’s young and best graduates can dedicate themselves and serve the country by teaching children in remote places across Indonesia.

The founder of this program is Anies Baswedan, who is also the dean of Paramadina University. He was inspired by the program in the 1950-ish, Pengerahan Tenaga Mahasiswa, that sent university students to far-flung places outside Java to fill the shortage of High School teachers. Moreover, his experiences in Indonesia and abroad have stirred him into a thought that Indonesia’s young generations should have world-class competence while in the same time also have a local values rooted in their views and understanding. When sponsors like Intel, Indika Energy and the consulting firm McKinsey agreed to support this project, Indonesia Mengajar finally came to a realisation.



The idea of Indonesia Mengajar is to recruit and train the best graduates, crème de la crème, from Indonesia’s universities and place them as an elementary school teachers for a year in isolated and impoverished places across the archipelago. Mr. Baswedan explained that this project would give a valuable and lifetime inspirations for pupils in remote places, and for the teacher participants as well. The young learners will learn and interact with the role model teachers, who are the best graduates across Indonesia, high-achievers in academic and also active in organizations. Hence, the young teachers may inspire and enlighten the path of those dreams of children in impoverished and isolated areas while in the same time, they also cherish valuable experiences for their character building.

Since 2010, there have been 5 batches of young teachers, consist of 293 young teachers, who have embarked their tour of duty to serve the country. Now, there are 17 regencies in 16 provinces who have a partnership with Indonesia Mengajar.

Besides the young teachers program, Indonesia Mengajar also has another mission that is to set up libraries and provide good quality books in those remote places, called Indonesia Menyala. So, if the changes for a better Indonesia through educating the children is your cause, you can also start by being volunteers who dedicate their energies, ideas or any other contributions, and also give some donations and books.

For more information about Indonesia Mengajar, please kindly visit:

(AY, from various sources, photos:


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