Developing education, improving OUR nation: Putera Sampoerna Foundation’s response on free school Rumor

Indonesia needs to improve in many areas. For example, central bureau of statistics (BPS) released a data in March 2010 showing that 30 million Indonesians still live below poverty line. Unemployment is also high, at 7% out of 116 million people of working age. 13 million children are also likely to drop out of school, according to 2010 data from state family planning agency BKKN.

A solution has to be found, and soon, to prevent these children from dropping out of schools. If not, 13 million children will be left without a future. 13 million children who should have grown to be future leaders of the nation. However, this is not only a problem for the government. Everyone who cares about education should do something to help keep these children in school.

Putera Sampoerna Foundation (PSF) intends to shoulder some of that responsibility. PSF believes quality education is one of the keys to develop future leaders with excellent leadership qualities. Since its inception in 2001, PSF has been trying to improve the quality of education in Indonesia and to help develop leaders for the future. PSF has been offering scholarships, education assistance for high-achieving students from underprivileged families, and training for teachers and school principals.

PSF has also offered workshops for developing entrepreneurs as a way of creating new jobs. PSF established the Sampoerna School of Business with the aim to develop international-class entrepreneurs. PSF also realized that families play an important role in educating the future generation. PSF’s partner Sahabat Wanita has been offering workshops for housewives, helping them to educate their children and encouraging them to be more independent. Sahabat Wanita also encourages these women to earn an extra income for their family.

PSF’s range of programs is but a small step to grow the seeds of bigger changes in our society. The Sampoerna Academy, which takes in high-achieving students on scholarship, relies on the commitment and support from donors to provide the scholarships, education assistance and other supporting programs.

PSF also has to overcome challenges. For example, rumors have spread in online media that PSF has established a free Junior High School (SMP) in South Jakarta. This information is totally false. PSF has not established a free SMP in South Jakarta. The rumors started from misleading information from someone claiming to be a representative of PSF.

It is entirely possible that someone else had a good intention to establish a free SMP. PSF sees this as a positive sign that more people now care about underprivileged children whose education has been neglected. PSF hopes that these well-intentioned parties have the decency to appear in public carrying their own banners and identities, and not spreading irresponsible rumors which might mislead other institutions. It is only right and natural that we take pride in what we do and tell people all about it.

PSF is an institution with a strong commitment to improve the quality of education in Indonesia. PSF has a range of programs available to help develop the younger generation for the future benefits of this nation. One of our youth-oriented programs is “Save a Teen”—not the establishment of a free SMP. We also have other official programs specially designed to help Indonesian youths. Details of PSF’s official programs can be accessed from the PSF website at www.sampoernafoundation.com or by calling (62 21) 577 2340.

Together, we stand for the betterment of our nation!