Officials from ministries associated with education in Indonesia came to Michigan State University to learn about the progress of the 20 scholars from Indonesian teacher training institutes visiting campus as part of the PRESTASI-3, University Connect Program. The PRESTASI-3 program is sponsored by the Institute of International Education on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The 20 visiting scholars, at MSU for eight weeks, were engaged in creating plans to reform teacher preparation, especially the practicum experience, in their own higher education institutions.
The officials were:
- Imam Safe’i, head of the Directorate of Islamic Higher Education, a sub-committee of the Ministry of Religious Affairs,
- Farhatin “Farla” Ladia, a staff member of the Directorate of Pendidikan Madrasah (part of the Ministry of Religious Affairs), focusing on the curriculum and evaluation of religious affairs
- and Neneng Heryati, a staff member of the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Indonesian Republic.
“The ministry officials will help support the implementation of projects that the visiting scholars create during their time at the college,”said Margaret Crocco, chair of the Department of Teacher Education and co-director, with Lynn Paine, of the exchange program. “They are the individuals who can ‘help make it happen,’ so to speak, with finances and other resources.”
The officials also met with many more individuals across the college, university and state as part of their week in the U.S., which was, for all of them, their first trip to the country. Among others, they met with MSU College of Education policy experts Robert Floden and Joshua Cowen; Robyne Thompson, superintendent of East Lansing Public Schools; Brian Whiston, the state superintendent; as well as MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon and Provost June Pierce Youatt. This last meeting gave the ministry officials an opportunity to express their interest in sending more Indonesian students to MSU for undergraduate and graduate programs.
“The ministry officials were very impressed with Michigan State University and how nice everyone at the college and university has been, which is music to my ears,” Crocco said.
Also as part of their week, the ministry officials were treated to a welcome party on Nov. 19 from Dean Donald E. Heller, State Representative Sam Singh and the East Lansing superintendent. On Nov. 20, they met with Andriana Supandy, the consul general of Indonesia, and Bernadeta Julia Pratiwi, the counsul for information and social cultural affairs. Supandy and Pratiwi, based in Chicago, were also on campus for the Indonesian Cultural Night, featuring dance performances from several of the Indonesian scholars.