|Title||East–West Collaboration Conference 2013: Converging Culture and Nature Issues in the Classroom|
Ms Nina Feyruzi/Institute Director, Khatulistiwa Indonesia, and member of the ASEF ClassNet
“I became a member of ASEF ClassNet in 2008, when I first participated in its conference in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, and ever since, I love being its member, I feel like I find a family of educators who loves to share passion of teaching and learning for a better education in the future.”
The idea of organising this conference was actually coming from the international school conference organised by Millennia Institute of Singapore, one of school members of ASEF Classroom Network (ASEF ClassNet). When I was invited to the conference held that year by Millennia Institute in 2010, I was still a teacher in SMA 3 High school of Jakarta.
It was a very great idea from Mr Tan Chor Pang, to organise the conference in order to gather some school partners of Millennia Institute, which many of them are from ASEF ClassNet as well. Then, the name of “East – West Collaboration Conference” came to my mind and I began to realise the idea. This name was very ideal for me and it was suitable to the spirit of AEC, to gather teachers and educators from Asia and Europe to exchange and share knowledge from different side for a better understanding and developing of education in the future.
MAN 1 Medan, although it is a new ASEF ClassNet member, was a madrasah school which has better understanding towards education and modernity. It was a small school in size, but has a big vision. Khatulistiwa Indonesia, the organisation where I am now, and MAN 1 Medan collaborate and work together to realise this dream, to be the host of the first school conference in Indonesia. The participants of the conference, most of them are the members of AEC who were very enthusiastic with the idea of sharing knowledge about how culture and nature, the theme of the conference, can be taught and implemented in the classroom. The school delegation consists of 5 to 10 students and 2 to 3 teachers. There are 10 AEC schools from Malaysia, Philippines, Greece, and Italy and 1 German International School of Jakarta and hundred schools from all over Indonesia participated in this conference. The conference itself is opened by the Mayor of Medan who was very proud to become the host of the conference and was happy to facilitate all the needs for the conference.
Some teachers and educators from ASEF ClassNet members, Dr Zafeiroula Kagkalidou and Mrs Foteini Veneti from Greece, Dr Maria Linda Ventenilla from Philippines shared their ideas about history, museum visit and waste management projects that enrich us, the participants. Also, Mrs Ines Puspita, a new member of AEC from Indonesia, whose project about digital storytelling and presented during the 10th AEC Conference in Dundalk, Ireland two years ago, made participants of the conference become very enthusiastic to learn about new technology in teaching and learning.
Regarding to the students, they exchanged the traditional dances they have in their country and learned Batak Dances such as Rere Mana Rere Dance and Tor Tor Dance. They were all very happy because they have plenty of time to mingle and know each other, learn to understand the differences among them and at the same time show respect towards it. About the schools, they found partners to do their collaborative and exchange programs that surely enrich their teaching and learning process in the future.
As Indonesia is a very big country that has many different arts and culture, and as this first conference has made big success, Khatulistiwa Indonesia will organise its 2nd conference next year with different school from different region of Indonesia.