PAUD GNI Az Zahwa School Construction As A Provision to Primary School

“One way to support government programs in early childhood education is to provide schools specifically designed for early childhood. The existence of PAUD building supports children's learning process. In Mallasoro Village, there used to be insufficient PAUD buildings that comply with standards of safety and comfortable facility for children to optimize their character development,” said Muhammad Faris, S.Pd, Principal of PAUD GNI Az Zahwa.

In 2022, Gugah Nurani Indonesia – Jeneponto CDP facilitated the construction of the PAUD GNI Az Zahwa building in Mallasoro Village, Jeneponto Regency. GNI has supported four schools; two buildings have been built, while the other two have been renovated. The ECE learning activities are used to carry out in residents' yards. These conditions are certainly not ideal. "Children were uncomfortable in activities," according to Muhammad Faris. Furthermore, with the PAUD GNI Az Zahwa school building, the children were enthusiastic about going to school, but the participation of parents in registering their children also increased.

There are three levels of learning at PAUD GNI Az Zahwa consist of playgroup, class A, and class B. Currently, more than 50 children are enrolled as students. One of the reasons that encourage parents' enthusiasm to register their children is because of the accessible distance to the ECE school. “Children in Bungung Hamlet, Mallasoro Village usually go straight to elementary school. Because the distance to the nearest PAUD is quite far, the children here do not enroll in ECE,” said one parent.

[From left to right, Head of Mallasoro Village, Wife of Head of Village, Regent of Jeneponto Regency,  Head of Bangkala Sub-district, and Bangkala District Education Coordinator]

The completion of the PAUD GNI Az Zahwa building could not be happening without the participation of the local government and members of the local community. The village government prepares land where land acquisition costs are financed from village funds. Meanwhile, community members assist in transporting materials to the construction site and monitor the work process by vendors. For sustainability, the school building is handed over to the village government, and the maintenance budget is included in the village fund. Regarding teaching staff, the school recruits local workers. Meanwhile, ECE operations will be supported by the Education Office through PAUD Operational Assistance and utilizing parents' contributions.

“With the school building, the people of Mallasoro Village feel very helpful, where their children have the opportunity to access early childhood education. Many people want their children to be able to enter ECE like other children from other villages. However, the location of the existing ECE is very far from where they live, and generally, parents do not have much time to drop off and pick up their children at school. Many of the children's parents work as laborers or seaweed farmers. With a closer ECE school building, parents can more easily drop off and pick up their children at PAUD while continuing to work as farmers or seaweed cultivation workers,” said Edwardus Ada, Jeneponto CDP Manager.

The construction of the PAUD GNI Az Zahwa school building is one of GNI's contributions to increasing early childhood participation in the Jeneponto Regency. The purpose is for early childhood students to develop their abilities before entering primary education.

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