Who we Are
We are a community of educators working together with children to create a positive future through global, dynamic and innovative programs.
Our services are delivered by professional Indonesian teaching and support staff as part of our commitment to capability and capacity growing.
Operating in a semirural Indonesian community, we focus on integrating, supporting and enabling the local communities that we interact with as well as our wider school community.
Yayasan Tunas Cerdas Gemilang offers individualised, supporting, challenging and caring environments and services for each child’s
educational development. Our programs are an exciting, joyful and
rewarding educational experience that helps children learn how to create a better world for all. Through our programs each child develops positive human aspects and attributes.
To actively participate in the Indonesian Government effort to provide and develop the highest quality education for every child without discrimination.
To continue to be a leading model of Playgroup to Year 6 education through a continuous learning curriculum for all children up to 12 years old that adapts to each child’s needs as they evolve.
A community of non-biased, creative children curious to discover new horizons, be self disciplined, responsible and flexible.
The creation of learners who have creativity and high curiosity, are
independent, responsible, flexible and are unbiased.
We provide Playgroup to Year 6 education services through different organisational units that focus on specific aspects of our continuous learning curriculum:
- Education through Sekolahku-MySchool
- Library services through Natsuko Shioya library which has served the local community since 2000. The Board has committed to maintaining and growing its services
- Training and Research based on our programs and themes.
These different units interlink and support one another. The need for the separate units reflects the diversity of our work and the different focus that each one brings to
achieving our vision and mission.
Our foundation, Yayasan Tunas Cerdas Gemilang (YTCG)
Our legal status as a Yayasan organisation was granted by Law Department 2011. We are governed by a Board. Changes to the Yayasan are carried out in accordance with the government requirements.
- YTCG is registered and has permission to work in the field of education. This was granted by Dinas Pendidikan, Pemuda dan Olahraga, Kabupaten Sleman, DIY for playgroup (2017) and kindergarten (2016). YTCG operates within the concept of home school compound in accordance with Article 27 of Law No. 20/2003 of the Indonesian National Education System.
- YTCG balances the needs of its three different units to support the achievement of its vision, mission and goals.
- Consultants and advisers in specialised fields assist in the development and delivery of our programs
- Every year a budget is prepared based on estimated work of each unit. Each of these units has its own budget which is managed within the overall YTCG budget by the Board. The Board is responsible for ensuring the budgets cover operations—now and future.
Our Yayasan Board
Board members qualifications and expertise include the following:
- PhD, Masters, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate and Bachelor degrees in disciplines as varied as: Education, Engineering, International Relations, Finance, Business Administration, Psychology, Information Technology
- Education-focussed experience and expertise as well as wide-ranging experience operating at senior Government levels and C-level positions (Chief Executive, Operating Officer, and Board) internationally.
- International experience including with NGOs and Governments
The history of the school
In 2004, four Indonesians and one Australian together created the concept for the school now known as Sekolahku MySchool. The name reflects the concern about the development of early childhood education services in Yogyakarta at that time.The founders saw that the ‘traditional style’ of learning experienced by children at an early age indirectly curbed the creativity of children, forcing children to master skills that are not appropriate to the age and their needs as children. There were reports of teachers scaring children to obey adults, calling children “naughty“ if they did not behave according to the willingness of adults, and many others actions that did not support positive children’s development.
They also were concerned about the trend for early childhood education becoming a business proposition generating money without regard to providing quality early childhood education. The rapid demand from parents, and the concurrent growth of these services, meant that many commercial centres were employing untrained staff who had not developed a sound philosophy or understanding of good early childhood education practices.
Dr. Margaret Shore
Dr. Margaret Shore has being working as an early childhood consultant in different areas of Indonesia since 1999. Margaret has a lifelong passion for education and believes that all children deserve the best education of which their country is capable of providing. SMS developed from this individual belief to the collective philosophy that all staff now contribute too.
Her educational knowledge, skills and attitudes have been demonstrated by training and supervising the original staff in all the concepts of education for young children in group settings. Ensuring that staff understood that the professional skills, strategies and activities used in group settings are quite different from those used within the home setting was the biggest challenge in the early years. Prior to concentrating her energies in Indonesia Margaret worked extensively in Early Childhood Education in South Australia and Queensland in Australia, as one of the early pioneers of quality early childhood services in Australia. Dr Shore continues to research and
disseminate her findings at international conferences.
Danu Wibowo was the fourth founder. As a specialist (S2) in teaching Bahasa Indonesian as a Second Language, he was invaluable in bringing a very focused Indonesian perspective to parts of the curriculum that adopted Australia and international perspectives. His role in interpreting and understanding the requirements for the new curriculum gave SMS its solid foundation that it has today. He brings extensive experience in business and educational management to his current role as member of the Yayasan and Chief Executive Officer. A teacher for many years at Wisma Bahasa to many expatriates, including Ambassadors and their families, he taught in the classroom until 2013 when he became Head of their Yayasan. He left their Yayasan in July 2016 to become became Chief Executive Officer for YTCG.
Dewi (or Dinul) Tri Lestari Dewi Saraswati
Dewi (or Dinul) Tri Lestari Dewi Saraswati, a long time friend of Margaret, managed the finances, staff recruitment and allied services that start and keep a school functioning smoothly. Dewi now works with SOS as a
Children’s House Advisor travelling to different parts of the world from her home in Bandung. She continues her involvement as a Yayasan Board Member.
Aris Praseoto, her husband and an archaeologist, took charge of all the building renovations and associated structures essential to quality early childhood settings— he now continues this in his role managing the Yayasan’s facilities and is Secretary of the Yayasan.
Riana Cahyani, (Riri)
The remaining founder was Riana Cahyani, (Riri) the first Head of School. Riri was probably one of the first Early Childhood teachers involved in
providing formal Long Day Care Services in Yogyakarta. As SMS grew and developed, Riri’s skills and knowledge expanded. She can now assess a
situation or student’s development very quickly and accurately and can plan appropriate activities to help almost any problem. She recently
accompanied her husband to Japan for 4 years as he completed his PhD. Riri has a growing reputation as an expert in anti-bullying which she is sharing with other educators. In 2014-15, Riri wrote SMS’ current Primary School curriculum and her involvement continues today in an advisory
The founders were supported by many other people from Indonesia,
Australian and elsewhere with the same philosophy —some of whom now form the Board of the Yayasan.
The first school campus was at Jl. Prayan Wetan, No.31, Jogjakarta, Indonesia. Over the years, many Rupiah were invested to bring the facilities up to a good standard for early childhood education. However by 2008, in response to parent demand the managers of the school sought bigger premises in which to open a primary school campus as well as the Playgroup. Another site would also support the children being closer to nature, integrating the
environment into the programs and build understanding of resource management. A suitable building (Tamaan Bacaan) was found that housed Natsuko Shioya library in Jl.Sumberan, Jl. Damai (Dayu), Sleman. This building had been purpose built in 2000 by an Australian in memory of his betrothed
Japanese girlfriend who was unfortunately accidently killed in Japan. The library contained thousands of books in Indonesian, Japanese and English on wide-ranging topics. The local community were welcomed into the library and were the main users of its services.
Utlising this existing facility provided SMS with many benefits as the foundations of the library were used to develop other programs. This included the
formation of homeschooling, training for kindergarten teachers, training programs for parents as well as for caregivers of children, and programs for
children after school. The demand for these services and income generated allows the book collection to continue to be enriched and expanded to
include toys, games and videos. Consequently the storytelling program was expanded, and book discussions held.
In January 2009, a small Playgroup class moved into Natsuko campus, this wonderful library building set in tranquil gardens. As enrolments grew and a demand for more classes emerged, additional premises were found close-by in the community. After renovation of one of the dilapidated school
buildings, in July 2009 the Kindergarten and Class 1 moved into the Aula at Seruma campus. Again, growing enrolments drove the need for additional classrooms, so in 2014 a major refurbishment (including asbestos removal) was undertaken of the adjacent uninhabitable buildings.
The recent purchase of a traditional Javanese Joglo will support learning in different environments—and be complemented by the significant
refurbishment work of the outdoor grounds that is now underway.
Relocation and erection of two Limasan, traditional Javanese houses, is underway.
These timber buildings will serve as classrooms for more senior primary students and special purpose activities, such as science and creative arts.
Every year a budget is prepared based on estimated enrolments of students— both
current students moving into the next Grade, as well as students new to the school.
This allows us to anticipate the number of classes, teachers, resources, meals, facilities, and operating expenses. The Board oversees the projections of expected income, anticipated expenditure, contingency allowance in case something unanticipated
happens. Historical records show that nearly 50% of income will come from tuition fees, with staff salaries and allowances over 50% of expenditure. Staff development and yearly retreat are also funded from surplus funds. We also operate some services at a loss or on a cost recovery basis (such as Shuttle bus, meals, excursions). More information on SPP tuition and Annual fees is available by contacting us.
Support through donations and volunteers
We thank the outstanding parents and carers of our students who have supported the growth and development of our unique school with so much equipment, teaching aids, ground maintenance, books and labour. Other supporters continue to assist us in many ways as well as make major donations that have, and continue to, contribute to our growth. We have also sought and received much support from other people. Our list of supporters includes Governments and friends as well as independent organisations and people spanning many countries. We are very grateful for their contributions and what they did to help achieve our goals. Our heartfelt thanks go to Dr Shore and Bapak Danu Wibowo who wrote the proposals for over 17 volunteer assignments since 2004 which were sponsored by the Australian Government.