Indonesia, over the past few years, has made significant progress in its education system, including large improvements in enrolment numbers and gender parity. Begawan has, since its incorporation in 2001, made education for the children of Indonesia a major focus in its daily activities, and has worked within the community to combine living and learning, stimulate the joy of discovery, and release human creative powers, thus optimally encouraging and promoting the best in young people.

Begawan Learning Centre

Begawan Learning Centre provides free, meaningful after-school learning opportunities for the local community, incorporating international and national curricula with an Indonesian and Bali-centric focus. We offer experiential learning and exemplary tutors to develop life skills, environmental responsiveness, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a love of learning for the students to benefit themselves and their communities by breaking the cycle of poverty in rural villages. The national and international curricula are applied, but whenever appropriate, with reference to real-life issues through environmental, social, and culturally meaningful activities. Learning experiences at Begawan support the students to take creative and responsible roles in the world to meet the complex demands of today and tomorrow. Begawan Learning Centre currently divides students into three groups called Flower Buds, Eco Warriors, and Teenagers. The Flower Buds are first grade primary school students aged between 6-7 years old. The Eco Warriors are second grade until fifth grade primary students aged around 7-13 years old. The Teenagers are students who are in sixth grade of primary school up to ninth grade in junior high school.

The Experience

Visit Begawan Learning Centre

Immerse yourself in ‘Learning by Doing’ experiential education at Begawan!

We aim to create innovative and creative changes to inspire local children by giving them opportunities to improve their lives through our Education Program. It is our goal at Begawan to prepare them for creative and responsible roles today and in the future. Depending on their learning schedule and learning, you can actively engage, teach, and participate in a number of different activities with the students during their time at the centre. They may be harvesting mushrooms, preparing planting beds in the garden, feeding the crickets, checking the beehives, or simply learning English and Maths through exciting activities.

The students will be happy to welcome you to our Learning Centre, while our education facilitators will assist you in actively engaging with the students. By visiting our Learning Centre, you contribute to Begawan’s continued free quality education for the local community. You may visit us from Monday to Saturday by appointment.

The then-Minister of Education in Indonesia, Prof. Dr. Ing. Wardiman Djojonegoro, at a meeting strongly supported and encouraged the development of the educational ideas put forward by Prof. Dr. Jurgen Zimmer and Bradley T. Gardner, in order that a project pertaining to education be realised within Indonesia.
A small kindergarten was established in Begawan Giri Estate for the young children from the local kindergarten to attend every morning where they could learn English, crafts, conservation, health, gardening and housekeeping with staff from the Estate.
Begawan Foundation (BF) was officially established with the vision to create an environment to be beneficial to the needs of local communities, especially their children through meaningful education, healthcare and awareness of environmental protection.
The first 10-week school program was tested. Foundation staff met with students for an hour each week, in one class, in one school, in one village to teach them about conservation and the critically endangered Bali Starling. With the goal of ‘Learning by Doing,’ this program provided students with a better understanding of the reasons for the extinction of the Bali Starling and encouraged compassion for birds. The program was tested and then introduced to a number of other primary schools in the area.

The first after-school activity, the Bali Starling Ambassadors Fun Club, was introduced for those students in Sibang that the foundation staff met in schools. A program of fun activities was developed and held every Friday afternoon, and the number became such that Saturday afternoon activities were also introduced for students to assist the bird keepers washing dishes, chopping bird food and preparing bowls of food for the different enclosures.

Presentations had been given at 19 different schools, ranging from kindergarten to junior high. The program had spread from Sibangkaja village to Sibanggede, Mambal, Melinggih Kelod, Melinggih, Payangan, and Sayan villages after receiving positive feedback from students and teachers.

The Bali Starling Eco Warriors, children from schools in Melinggih Kelod, enjoyed after-school activities at the newly opened Klub Lingkungan (Community Club) adjacent to the office, and were introduced to games involving science, maths, geography, history and English. We introduced a program where English lessons were offered to students in exchange for plastic waste, bringing their attention to the waste problem in Bali. Waste was sorted, recycled and sold.
Begawan saw an increase in schools interested in their conservation program, and the 10-week course has since been taught to over 2,500 students in 50 different classes at 25 different schools.
The foundation staff increased their reach to students in SMPN 1 Payangan, where they completed 2 separate 10-week programs, one on waste management and one on endangered wildlife. Students involved in the waste management course went to the Temesi Waste Management facility in Gianyar for an educational talk and tour of the facility. Wildlife students visited three local bird shops selling various birds and the newly opened Begawan Foundation Breeding and Release Centre in Begawan, and became aware of how different these were.
In November 2018, the spacious new Learning Centre was opened on a plot of land behind the foundation’s office – Klub LIngkungan was too small for the number of interested students.  The larger space allowed the students to participate in a new activities such as cooking in the centre’s kitchen, karate and Balinese dance. A library was set up, giving students the opportunity to read and research.
Begawan set up classes for the students of SMK Payangan, the tourism vocational high school. Aside from environmental protection, the program delved into eco-tourism and sustainability.
We reached over 2,500 students, work closely with principals and teachers, have a regular troupe of devoted Eco-Warriors, and ensure that our programs are regarded as an essential part of education.

Later on, with the rapid transmission of Covid-19, schools and our Learning Centre were closed. Many students participated in at-home lessons – numeracy, literacy, video production, poem, and story writing, puzzles, gardening, diary-keeping, art – were just a few of the activities selected by the foundation staff to provide interesting, active, thought-provoking education to the students unable to attend school or the Learning Centre.

In December, Begawan re-commenced sessions for Eco-Warriors who were still in elementary school, keeping all health protocols in place.
In January, the Curriculum devised by Zaprendo and Begawan was introduced to the students. Animal Tales was the first theme. At the end of the program, students created their own storylines, sets, and costumes and performed their dramas entitled “The Friendship between The Cendrawasih Bird and The Bali Starling” and “The Princess and The Sea”. Animal Tales followed by the theme of Growing in Bali. It began with students observing plants, both those planted and growing wild, that they could find around them. It was followed by a visit to the local Botanic Gardens and rice fields to learn about the rice cycle.

The third theme was Cooking Science, which introduced ingredients, maths – measuring, weighing, calculating ingredients, science – physical changes when cooking, and recipes for both national and international menus. The Eco Warriors organised a Food Festival as their final project on this theme and manned four stands serving a variety of foods: traditional Balinese food, Indonesian food, Asian food, and International food for invited guests.

Dwellings was the next theme, one which allowed students to discover their own traditional buildings, the family compound, the palaces – puri, and the temples – pura. Once again, guests were invited to observe the results of their knowledge and were treated to a display of a number of small-scale models of dwellings. Commercial Maths was the fifth theme, ending in 2021 and continuing into 2022. This was a practical, sociological, and mathematical exploration of money and its history.

In July, coding lessons, computers, and tablets are introduced to enable a deeper understanding of the technology of the modern world to our students.
We welcomed the year with an important focus on health as part of the new students’ orientation program. Therefore we organised various workshops for the students with the support of Puskesmas Payangan, Red Cross Gianyar, and Kisara, an organisation that works on sexual and reproductive health.

Learning from the previous year, four education programs; thematic lessons, proficiency lessons, practical lessons, and extracurricular lessons commenced with a better arrangement. The Eco Warriors commenced their sixth theme entitled “Bees and Butterflies”, focused on exploring the life cycle of bees, their roles as pollinators, and their habitats. The highlights of this theme were making candles from beeswax, building beehives, visiting the Bali Butterfly Park to learn about the life cycle of butterflies, and visiting a bee farm to talk with an apiarist, see the bees’ habitat, and harvest honey. As the Bees and Butterflies theme ended, the Eco Warriors organised a festival to raise awareness of the conservation of bees and butterflies.

To organise more learning experiences, we collaborated with Relawan TIK to develop modules and provide facilitators for the coding and basic computer classes (proficiency lessons). A Balinese literature class was introduced to the students.

The next thematic lesson is built around the study of teeth in humans and animals. It is cross-curricular in Health & Hygiene, Maths, Science (Biology), Culture and Social Studies. Science demonstrations, visiting dental practices & dentists, learning about socio-culture practices revolves around teeth such as a blackened tooth, gold tooth, ‘nginang’ – a tradition of eating betel, and the tooth-filing ceremony or ‘Mepandes / Metatah’ will be interesting highlights for our students.

Through Practical Entrepreneurship (EP) lessons, Begawan is committed to instilling entrepreneurial mindsets and skills in students at an early age. One of the projects is cricket raising. It was started with a group of students visiting a cricket farm in Blega, Gianyar. After the visit, the students were equipped with a breeding box to breed and raise crickets directly at the Learning Centre.

Similar to the cricket raising project as part of EP, Six Eco Warriors have established “Pondok Jamur Begawan” which focuses on farming and selling white Oyster mushrooms. Currently, the students take care of 150 bag logs in a Kumbung (mushroom farming house) at our Learning Centre. Regularly, they check the temperature and humidity, observe the growth of mycelium in the bag logs, keep pests away from the bag logs and work collaboratively to market the produce.


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