The Tanoto Foundation works to support a wide range of educational efforts throughout Indonesia and beyond. In addition to its academic scholarships for college-bound young people of limited means, the foundation offers funding to assist teachers in furthering their own education. The Tanoto Teacher Scholarships not only increase teachers’ skills and knowledge, but also allow them to provide better education to their students. In keeping with the Tanoto Foundation’s overall goals, these benefits to teachers and students are a major contributor to economic growth in local communities and the nation as a whole.
Recently, two teachers who have benefited from Teacher Scholarships spoke publicly about the way the program has improved their lives and boosted their careers.
Dedi Santosa, a young teacher in a public school in Tanjung Jabung Barat in Jambi Province, Sumatra, began by describing the rigorous admission process he completed to earn the scholarship. The three-part procedure consisted of administrative paperwork, a psychological evaluation, and a series of interviews. Mr. Santosa had never taken a psychological test before, and he was challenged to complete some components of the admissions process in only a few hours. However, the financially struggling teacher, whose livelihood is based on honorariums, noted that his efforts paid off in offering him expanded opportunities for earning a good living.
A second educator, Myrta Andini, teaches elementary students in a public school in Sumatra’s Riau Province. She also found the admissions criteria challenging, but credits careful preparation with helping her to pass. Ms. Andini said that she first learned of the Tanoto Teacher Scholarship opportunity from her parents, and expressed her appreciation for the chance to increase her ability to provide a better education for her students.
Indonesian entrepreneur and billionaire Sukanto Tanoto created the Tanoto Foundation to help Indonesia’s people lift themselves out of poverty. Economic hardship forced Mr. Tanoto to leave his own formal schooling while he was still in his teens, but he went on to found the RGE Group, a now-$15 billion corporate family of natural resource manufacturing companies. Through his foundation, he supports education as a means of empowering the ordinary people who will increase Indonesia’s ability to compete in the global economy.