The Indonesian for Teachers Initiative (InTI) aimed to address the scarcity of Indonesian language programs and teachers in schools in the Sunshine Coast region. The initiative developed from a pilot program managed by USC International Development in 2012-2013 under the Australian Government NALSSP initiative – Headstart to Indonesian (HI), which aimed to stimulate demand and create incentives for secondary students and teachers to learn Indonesian language through university on-campus and online delivery.
The HI initiative resulted in Indonesian language being newly introduced at two schools in the region, being taught by six of the teachers who graduated from the HI program. Against a national trend of disengagement from Asian studies in schools and universities, the Headstart to Indonesian initiative successfully increased the Indonesia literacy skills of more than 50 people. It doubled the number of high schools in the region offering Indonesian language and substantially increased the percentage of schools equipped to offer Indonesian studies.
InTI was jointly funded by USC and the Commonwealth Department of Education and provided scholarships for 15 registered teachers in the region to study four courses of Indonesian language on-campus at USC and in-country at University of Mataram, Lombok. The broad goal was to support the Melbourne Declaration and the Australian Curriculum in meeting the need for Australians to become Asia literate, and for all students to have continuous access to a priority Asian language. The InTI program aimed to build the core human resource of Indonesian language teachers, by way of up-skilling existing teachers.
The InTI program concluded at the end of Semester 1, in mid-2015. The initiative was a success in achieving the goal of increasing the core human resource of Indonesian language teachers by up-skilling 15 existing teachers from the Sunshine Coast region. Fourteen of these teachers completed Graduate Certificates in Arts (Indonesian), and all 15 are well-placed to teach Indonesian in Sunshine Coast schools. One teacher completed three courses of intermediate level Indonesian and now teaches Indonesian to over 700 primary school students at her school.