iEARN teaching partners meet in Jakarta
Sue Foley
Al-Azhar is a leading Islamic Educational Foundation in Indonesia. It manages schools from kindergarten to University. It now has 33 Kindergartens , 33 Elementary Schools : 22 Junior High Schools : 6 Senior High Schools and 1 University located in several provinces. The main campus is in Kebayoran Baru area which is considered the heart of the capital city, Jakarta.

SMA Islam Al Azhar 3 is one of the schools . It's located in the main campus with about 500 students. It's a National Private School which is trying to pursue International standard . All students are Muslims.

On Sunday 2nd July 2011, I met my Indonesian iEARN partner, Saara Suaib at the Kebayoran Baru Campus in Jakarta.

I have been working with Saara Suaib from SMP Islam Al Azhar Bekasi for the past 2 years via snail mail and the internet. We met for the first time when we walked through the gates of the main campus in South Jakarta on the first day of our Asia Literacy Teachers Association of Australia 2011 Tour to Indonesia. With me were 2 Primary School teachers from Brisbane, 5 Secondary teachers from New South Wales and 2 High School teachers from Adelaide.

I could not believe my eyes when Saara was walking towards the bus to greet us. I was so excited to meet her. Saara put her arms out to me and we had a big hug like you would with a sister.

Saara had organised the program and Indonesian colleagues came in on their day off to meet with us. After formal introductions, we moved into groups to discuss topics ranging from teaching Arabic and Islamic Studies down to Kindergarten.

Our hosts provided four large platters with traditional Indonesian sweets for refreshments. Each platter was different and we did not need to be prompted to try these delicacies. Lezat!

We concluded with a Summing up Session that included an Open Forum. An email list was compiled so educators could continue to collaborate into the future.

Ibu Hasnah, head of iEARN Indonesia receiving a gift from Sue Foley on behalf of iEARN Australia.

For more information or to join iEARN Australia, contact iEARN Australia