To first emphasize that the content of this article only represents my own experience as Community Liaison, supervisor and a part of IAN Management team and does not necessarily reflect the whole views of the U.S. Government, Peace Corps or the Government of Indonesia. IAIN Kediri as one of State Islamic Institutes in Indonesia has been developing its quality in many aspects and one of them is building International Partnership with US Program called Peace Corps, a volunteering program established by the former US President, John F. Kennedy. Peace Corps focuses its program in promoting the world peace among countries in the world by assisting them to develop the quality of education, social and economy.
The existence of Peace Corps in Indonesia represents the International Partnership between United States and Indonesia in the area of education in which it has been being an important program in Indonesia where the students and teachers can learn English directly with Native Speakers from USA. Specifically, this program has three goals, they are: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Through some selections, IAIN Kediri had been finally chosen by the US Peace Corps to be a work partner in facilitating Pre-Service Training of Peace Corps. The main program of Pre-Service Training is to facilitate the trainees (Americans who are in training program) to prepare themselves to be English Teachers in both State/Private Middle and High Schools in West Java, East Java and NTT. The training is designed by Training Team of Peace Corps Staffs which consist of Training Manager, Technical Training Coordinator and Training Evaluation Assistance in coordination with IAIN Kediri. It has been 4 times in 4 years by now that both of the two have commitment to cooperate and work together to meet the standard of training g achievement that is determined by the US headquarter. The role of IAIN Kediri is to facilitate Pre-Service Training dealing with the trainees’ homestay, host-families and community liaisons as well as communicating and coordinating sort of the things with stake holders of community and principal and English teachers of some schools in Kediri.
Herewith, IAIN Kediri has been given an authority to open vacancy of Community Liaison Position. The chosen Community Liaisons represent the diversity of Indonesia coming from East, Central, West Java even Kupang. Their roles are to be available 24 hours/ 7 days assisting the trainees to learn and adjust to the new culture, situation and environment. They are responsible in cross cultural support in giving appropriate feedback related to transition term between American and Indonesian culture. Also, they are expected to open the discussion and share the ideas regarding religion, social or community aspect and different curriculum between Indonesia and America. Beside Community Liaisons, Pre-Service Training is also supported by Language Teacher (Bahasa Indonesia) from Wisma and Alam Bahasa, Jogjakarta. Their role is to teach the American trainees to study Bahasa Indonesia as the basic means of communication. As they are going to be the English teacher in Indonesia, it is agreed that they need to be able to speak English to communicate with people around the society and school.
Another major responsibility of IAIN Kediri is to have a coordination with stake holders such as Mayor of Kediri, Policemen, Safety and Security around Kediri, village leaders, sub district leaders and community resources in Kediri to arrange and facilitate Pre-Service Training by providing places or rooms to study as well as maintain the safety atmosphere around the learning classes . The rooms are provided as learning classes where the trainees together with Regional Managers and Resource Volunteers learn and discuss about Curriculum in Indonesia. They mostly learn on the different curriculum system between American and Indonesian school.
In addition to its responsibility, IAIN Kediri also assists to communicate with Principals and English Teachers in some schools in Kediri as the places where the trainees have school practicum. The activity of school practicum focuses on practicing teaching English to local students, in which trainees observe and apply the theory to adjust to classroom situation in Indonesia. Trainees have school practicum for 2 weeks working together with English teachers as Counterparts to not only analyze students’ need and teach English in the classroom but also prepare lesson plans and design the subject evaluation for their students.
International partnership between IAIN Kediri and US Peace Corps Indonesia is expected to give a new experience and improvement to the institution which is now starting to grow and develop its productivity and existence. It is also as an evidence that IAIN KEDIRI has a high commitment to help community service to learn new thing and develop life quality through some positive lesson learned. For any schools which are interested in building partnership and working together with Native Speakers of USA as English Counterparts, we highly recommend to visit Peace Corps website to get to know the information more detail. Salam… (@D)
*Nurul Aini, English Lecturer at IAIN KEDIRI (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)