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 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.
Throughout the year, Begawan manages the education programs into three major categories, including thematic, proficiency, and practical entrepreneurial programs. In addition, extracurricular and student support & services programs are also organised.

Four thematic programs: the bees and butterflies, teeth, soil and farming, and natural symmetry, are enacted. At the end of each theme, the students organize various final projects: the Bee and Butterfly Festival, Tooth Hero Workshop, and Soil and Farming Science Expo.
Proficiency programs that include Maths, English, Basic Computer, and Balinese Literature classes are also provided during the year. These proficiency lessons are designed to support the students’ academic performance at their formal schools and to develop their core academic skills and intellectual competencies.

Practical entrepreneurial programs, covering Oyster Mushroom Farming, Scratch Coding, Robotics, and Advanced Computer classes, are also available around the year to equip students with entrepreneurial mindsets and skills that connect them with alternative employment opportunities.

Extracurricular programs, including Cooking, Karate, Gardening, Balinese Dance, and Special classes, are also available to facilitate the students’ interests and aptitudes in some specific areas.

Ultimately, Student Support & Services programs which consist of counseling and tutoring classes, are also arranged to individually support the students’ academic success and foster positive relationships among the facilitators and the students.
A new filmmaking class was introduced in 2023 for teenage students. Meanwhile, our Eco Warriors organised and hosted the Begawan Art Expo as their final project in the Natural Symmetry theme. During the event, they conducted workshops, presented symmetrical products, and performed various symmetrical dances, including Balinese creative dance, Saman dance, and Buchaecum dance. The event generated a profit of 800,000 rupiah, which was shared among the students.

We held a parent-teacher meeting on 14 February to showcase our education programmes, share students’ progress, and hold a Q&A session. Later in February, our interdisciplinary Biomimicry thematic class began, with the aim of inspiring students to become positive change agents by emulating nature’s designs and processes to solve human problems in science, architecture, technology, engineering, mathematics, art, fashion, energy, and environmental literacy.

In May, students created nature-inspired videos for their final Biomimicry project, covering experiments with natural resources, eco-friendly food wraps, net-zero building models, recycled cloth doormats, Kokoru paper greeting cards, dream catchers, and an Enggang dance.

In late May, the Animal Tales thematic lesson began, offering a comprehensive exploration of the animal kingdom through discussions, hands-on activities, and creative projects promoting empathy and conservation values.

In September, students performed two dances at a parents’ meeting, one showcasing animal movements and the other promoting Bali Starling conservation, also successfully raising around 700,000 rupiah through the sale of tumblers, notebooks, and mugs.
I’m a proponent of Begawan Learning Village’s pedagogical approach because it is designed for children to have useful childhoods. Students are learning in real-life situations, contributing to their communities, connecting with children from different parts of the world, developing life skills and self-awareness, taking initiative, gaining agency, and becoming global citizens.

What I like about Begawan’s approach to learning is providing learners with context that is experiential and relevant to their lives, and empowering them to get hands-on so knowledge is immediately applied.

The classes are highly experiential, with much of the learning happening beyond the four walls of a traditional classroom. Instead of reading a science textbook about bees and butterflies, they are in the garden catching and releasing butterflies, or at the bird conservatory tending to beehives. Similarly, with mushroom cultivation or regenerative farming, students are growing mushrooms and out in the padi fields working the land.

John Tan, Founder and CEO of Doyobi
Very-very fun, (special class with a chef) it’s really great to ignite the passion of young children. From now on, we can be sure that we must take care of healthy and organic food from a young age. Hopefully, with this, we can shape high-quality children. We also hope to use more organic, local, and healthy ingredients for consumption. Almost 50% of the children are very enthusiastic about this activity, especially with the handmade noodles we made. The children are very excited to do everything from flour until they know how to make noodles. Hopefully, they can practise it at home, especially with the help of parents.

Chef Eka, Culinary Chef Banyan Tree Escape Resort
(Translated version)
Visiting Begawan Learning Centre, Farm, and Bali Starling Breeding Centre gives hope for the future. Begawan has an inclusive comprehensive approach that is building upon itself as it learns and grows. As an example, their teaching about conservation in local schools grew into an after school program that is using a leading edge learning-by-doing curriculum and is free to local youth. I could see its positive influence in the bright engaged eyes of the eco-warriors I met!

My visit was well worth while as I was able to experience the campus and learners at the Centre, see the naturally filtered water going into the organic rice fields at the farm, and observe the beautiful Bali Starlings who will soon be released into the wild. Thank you Begawan for your good work in the world.

Christine Brautigam, Outdoor Educator
I’ve had the honour to experience Begawan Learning Centre and their offspring programs flourish into an vital opportunity for local village children to be submerged in a progressive method of experiential learning. Truly a special gift for the student and the visitor. 

This approach to education intertwines global standard curriculum with hands-on, experiential learning which encourages critical ‘out of the box’  thinking (which is not common in Indonesian schooling) while empowering individuality, core values of humanity, conservation and courageous initiative to stream into their communities. A beautiful example of this is their Biomimicry module. Begawan’s inquisitive Eco Warriors are educated about birds and the diversity of their wings coupled with a trip to the airport where they learn essential skills for flights of their own. 

I highly suggest a visit to Begawan to experience for yourself a solid blueprint for changing lives, ingenuity in sustainability and smiles that will forever leave an imprint on your heart. 

Amy Buck, Educator in Early Childhood Development


Follow us on Instagram

× Welcome to Begawan. How may we assist you?