THE SCHOOL THAT SAYS 'I CAN' : Bisa school is a free school for slum kids in Jakarta in Indonesia


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Bisa school is a free school for slum kids in Jakarta in Indonesia.

Bisa school was set up by the British International School in Jakarta.

"Conceived, designed and managed" by kids at The British International School, Sekolah Bisa is a school for 25 shanty-dwelling primary children who formerly did not get any school education.


Mayang was a beggar on the streets.

Now she attends the Bisa school.

She’s one of the three female members of the Bintang Bisa! soccer team entered into the Jakarta Schools Football League. 

She wants to become a doctor.

Sekolah BISA, in Jakarta Indonesia, is on  Facebook

"We took on something that Sisyphus might have shied away from in envisioning a school:

"The mindsets of parent and child long habituated to exclusion.

"The shanty's communal lack of self belief.

"Our deep unfamiliarities with the culture.


"The shanty itself hidden, seemingly impenetrable, overwhelming.

"The huge societal forces that had determined in advance a child should not go to school.

"Our own fears and ignorance.

"The lack of any precedent."

Sekolah BISA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Education | Facebook

Sekolah Bisa (The School That Can) is on YouTube


"Overall, Mudi is the most committed member of the school."

A well and washroom at his home is being funded by the British International School's 'Spreading Smiles' charity.

Asked if he was happy at Sekolah Bisa, he said, 'Lebih dari pada senang' - 'More than happy.'

He likes reading and football.

Bisa School


Akbar lives in a home that is 3 metres by 3 metres.

He used to pull a cart.


Andik never fails to thank his teachers at the end of the class. 

Andik was once a beggar and in was once hit by a bus. 


Ahmad is a remarkably able child. 


Indra asked if he could become a student at Sekolah Bisa, and he is now enrolled.


Jefri used to beg at the railway station. 


Ella now has a birth certificate.

Many shanty-dwelling children do not have birth certificates and are not officially recognised as citizens of their own country. 


Yoga is 'a precocious and wonderfully aspirational child'.

He is 'a great goalkeeper'.


Cici's mother works as a maid.


Agung wants to be a footballer.


Lalita want to become a policewoman.


Fini wants to become a doctor or teacher.


Lipah wants to become a doctor or nurse.


"Andri is a very frail student - but impeccably polite and attentive to his studies." 


Jihan used to pull a garbage cart.

Jihan is a delightfully mannered girl and likes writing.


Ikki is often unwell 'but is a lovely child'. He lives with his family in a wood hut.


Heni is 'highly creative and talented'.


Rendy is 'remarkably witty and supportive of other’s learning. 

Rohmat and Rahmat

Rohmat and rahmat are twins.

"They belong to a very cooperative and functioning family."


Adrian Thirkell, of the British International School, came across Anik filthy and crying at Bintaro railway station.

Now she is at Bisa, and is described as being quick thinking, alert and creative.


Arie and his family were forced out of their shanty.

The new 'land owner' bulldozed the area.

Arie struggles to get to Sekolah Bisa because he has to go on a public bus first in order to reach the pick-up point for the Sekolah Bisa funded bus. 

He is 'a delightfully good humoured child who has missed almost no school at all since starting in May 2011.'


Siska loves Maths and problem solving


Lina wants to become a dentist.


There is very high death rate among children in some of the Jakarta slums.

Children die regularly from typhoid, typhus, tetanus, TB and a host of other ailments.

Medical care is not free and some of the doctors have only passed their exams through bribery.

A child can appear healthy on a Monday and be dead by Friday.

Maman, 13 years of age, died suddenly.

Maman's father died some time ago and his mother is a maid.

Maman used to chew uncooked noodles.


These Bisa students (above) were discovered on a garbage dump in Jakarta. They were collecting waste materials and selling them. The Street Kids of Jakarta

Strangely, the Bisa school appears to have only two corporate sponsors:

The Body Shop Indonesia and

Giant Hypermarket Jakarta.

One would hope that BP, Jardine Matheson, Unilever, Shell, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC, Rio Tinto, Premier Oil, BAT, Prudential, Shell, Rolls Royce, GlaxoSmithKline and a number of others will lend their support in future.

Lessons given to children in a slum area of Jakarta

1.5 million children live in the slums of Jakarta.

Most of the slum dwellers try to make ends meet by working as 'rag pickers'.

The children often have to start helping their families earn money early on.

Nearly half the population lives on under $2 a day.

Education is not free in Indonesia.

Various projects are "helping the children climb out of poverty through education."

For example, the British International School in Jakarta has set up its little school for slum children.

And Josef Fuchs, an Austrian businessman, has set up a foundation to make it possible for 2,500 children to attend school in 29 slums in Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan.

Education gives hope to Indonesian slum kids 

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Jakarta street children kids Archives | The Jakarta Globe


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