Improving quality of education in Indonesia

In the province of Nusa Teggara Timur, the two districts of Malaka and Belu are among the poorest. Many children are refugees with poor literacy skills. The project CERIA aims to ensure that children have access to child-friendly and non-violent learning environments, focusing on improving reading skills and learning outcomes among young children.

Many children in Malaka and Belu are refugees from East Timor or belong to ethnic groups that do not speak Indonesian as a first language. As a result, many children start school without understanding the language and without being socially, mentally and cognitively prepared.

Lack of engaging reading materials and activities further contributes to poor reading habits, along with little awareness among teachers and parents on the importance of creating a reading culture. Moreover, violence against children remains a problem in schools and at home. Corporal punishment is the most common form of violence in schools, and is often seen as an accepted practice.

The aim is to give around 3,000 children, aged 4 to 12, improved quality of education in the districts of Malaka and Belu.

Project CERIA

Save the Children has been running the project CERIA (an Indonesian word for “cheerful”) in Nusa Teggara Timur since 2014. In phase I the aim was to reach 2,850 children. In the end 4,694 children were reached. In 2017, phase II of this project was launched with the intention to ensure wider geographical reach. The aim is to give around 3,000 children, aged 4 to 12, improved quality of education in the districts of Malaka and Belu. 40 primary schools and centers for Early Child Care and Development (ECCD) will be reached with more child-friendly standards; with good classroom practices, non-violent learning environments and effective participation with parents and communities.

Furthermore, the project will focus on developing so-called “one stop service centres” where girls and boys aged 4 to 6 will receive health and protection services in addition to education, all at one place. This also includes early screening and intervention for young children with development delays or disabilities.

Expected Results


children demonstrate improved school readiness and reading skills.


“one stop service centres” are established and actively supported by local government to ensure young children’s rights to education, protection and health.


ECCD centers and primary schools will be supported to become more child-friendly and inclusive.

  • Total donation: 6 million Swedish krona
  • Pupils reached by 2017: 3,000
  • Partners: Save the Children

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