Words on Wheels (WoW) Launches in Yogyakarta to Promote Literacy and Foster Singapore-Indonesia Collaboration

The Singapore International Foundation (SIF), together with the Provincial Government Board of Library and Archives of the Special Region of Yogyakarta (BPAD DIY), will bring the signature reading programme to Yogyakarta doubling the number of beneficiaries to 30,000 in Indonesia.

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister of Communications and Information (centre, in batik), gesturing an ‘L’ handsign symbolising “Salam Literasi”, or Literacy Greetings, promoting the spirit of learning and reading, together with Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director, SIF (in blue), Associate Professor Peter Pang, Governor, SIF (to the right of Minister), Mr Budi Wibowo, Head, BPAD DIY (back row, extreme left in batik), and students and staff of Timuran State Primary School.

“Education is an area of importance for both Singapore and Indonesia. It is therefore, heartening to see our people working closely with one another to promote learning and reading, especially among our young. SIF’s Words on Wheels is not just a portable source of knowledge for our young; it is also a vehicle of friendship – bringing Indonesians and Singaporeans together to share ideas and cultures through their mutual love for books,” said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, Singapore, during his speech at the launch ceremony of WoW (Yogyakarta).

The mobile library programme successfully made its debut in Yogyakarta on 13 November 2017 – the second edition in Indonesia following its launch in Bandung in 2015. WoW (Yogyakarta) is expected to benefit over 5,000 students in the city annually till 2020. They will enjoy free access to educational materials in English and Bahasa Indonesia, IT resources and learning facilities. The mobile library will operate four times a week, visiting children from low to middle income families from 10 schools in Yogyakarta including Timuran State Primary School (TSPM) on a rotational basis.

“The mobile library will be a platform to encourage students’ development in literacy activities. We [the staff] will also benefit from the sharing of knowledge by Singaporean volunteers. Hence the programme will not only inspire the students and staff to learn more about the reading culture of Indonesia but also of Singapore,” said TSPM Principal Ms Esti Kartini during the Minister’s visit to her school.

The SIF partnered with BPAD DIY, to bring the SIF’s WoW mobile library to over 5,000 students annually in Yogyakarta over the next three years. (From left) Ms Jean Tan; Associate Professor Peter Pang; Minister Dr Yaacob Ibrahim; Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X; Mr Budi Wibowo.

Over the next three years, the SIF aims to engage more than 150 Singapore International Volunteers (SIV) to introduce interactive learning tools for the students as well as training for the BPAD DIY staff and librarians. Additionally, specialist volunteers from the National Library Board, Singapore will conduct training workshops for 30 BPAD DIY staff and local librarians to build their capacities in library management. These trainees will then cascade their new knowledge and skills with their Indonesian peers, to effect sustainable development in enhancing library services with the wider community.

Dr Yaacob and Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, Governor of the Special Region of Yogyakarta officiated the launch of WoW Yogyakarta in the presence of over 100 guests at the auditorium of Grhatama Pustaka‏ Library. Other Singaporean and Indonesian partners and dignitaries in attendance included Associate Professor Peter Pang, Governor, SIF and Mr Budi Wibowo, Head of the Board of Library and Archives of Yogyakarta.

During his speech, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X said that the WoW programme aims to encourage cross-cultural exchanges to strengthen the friendship between the two countries. It functions as a platform for collaboration between education specialists from Singapore and Yogyakarta. He thanked the SIF and Minister Dr Yaacob for enabling this collaborative effort. 

Mr Anang Fitrianto Sapto Nugroho (extreme right), BPAD DIY librarian, sharing about the library facilities during the Minister’s visit at Grhatama Pustaka Library after the launch of the SIF’s WoW (Yogyakarta) programme. (From left) Dr Yaacob Ibrahim; Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X; and Associate Professor Peter Pang.

 

If you would like to volunteer for WoW Yogyakarta or find out more about volunteering opportunities with the SIF, email us to sign up today! 

 

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (centre) interacting with students of Timuran State Primary School who are learning through educational digital applications via tablets provided from the WoW (Yogyakarta) programme. For the next three years, WoW Yogyakarta will bring free access to English and Bahasa Indonesia educational materials, IT resources and learning facilities to 10 schools four times a week.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (centre) reading one of the 2,000 books available in the mobile library under the WoW (Yogyakarta) programme.
More than 150 SIVs will undertake monthly trips over three years to conduct English language and IT activities aimed at cultivating the students’ interest in reading and learning, while facilitating cross-cultural exchanges for the participating students. (From left in orange) Ms Zubaidah Mohsen and Ms Raihana Hussain, SIVs and Senior Librarians of National Library Board, Singapore, reading a book to students at the mobile library.
(From left) SIVs Ms Raihana Hussain and Ms Zubaidah Mohsen, together with Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, engage students in a classroom activity of origami storytelling.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (left) participating in a classroom activity of origami storytelling at Timuran State Primary School, one of the 10 schools in Yogyakarta participating in the WoW (Yogyakarta) programme over the next three years.
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