next week, i will be attending the first Regional Meeting of the Asia Research Grant Program, through which my team and i will have the opportunity work with the Vice-Dean for Academics and Student Affairs, at the Faculty of Mathematics and Science Education, at the Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (Education University of Indonesia).
over the course of 2016 and 2017, my team and i will be working with schools from across the Indonesian archipelago - God willing - as we collaborate with teachers from urban and peri-urban contexts on designing STEM curriculum using our Maker Motes approach.
for me, this collaboration means a great deal, because ninety years ago, my grandfather moved from Penang to Java to become an English teacher.
his first posting was at a school in Semarang. according to my aunt, granddad used to hike around the area with an English colleague.
after he married my grandmother in 1927, they moved to Sukaraja, where he took up another teaching position. it was around this time that the first talking movie arrived in Java, and granddad apparently rode a horse-drawn cart from Sukaraja to Pekalongan to watch the movie :-)
in the early 1930s, granddad decided to start his own school, and he moved his young family to Bandung. the Bandung English School moved from site to site as it expanded. the second site was in Lengkong. the third and final site was along what was known as the Grote Postweg (Jalan Raya Pos / Jalan Asia-Afrika, today) and had two wings, a compound in front, a large reception hall, and classes were held at the back. one of the wings was the residence of my family, while the other wing housed the boarders. the school employed a diverse variety of the local Javanese, including a cook. grandmother pitched in too, both as a primary school teacher and as the keeper of the accounts. she picked up quite a few recipes from the cook :-) my great-grandmother was also part of the family there, and when she died she was buried in Cikadut.
it was in Bandung that my father was born in 1939. granddad would take his children every week to a government building to read the Dutch newspapers, and would doubtless have been keeping a close eye on the events of the Second World War.
when the war came to Java, granddad closed the school, sent the boarders home, and found a smaller house not too far from the site of the school, where the family lived until after the war.