Since its founding, NTA has worked with primary and secondary schools in target areas of Nusa Tenggara Timur to improve their facilities and teaching resources, and to make them places where young people are equipped to learn and grow. This not only addresses the immediate material needs of poorly funded local schools, but also helps prepare students for a future where they contribute to the economic and social development of their own communities.
The NTA helps schools through training teachers, establishing and improving libraries, facilitating the construction of new buildings, providing books and teaching materials, assisting with water supplies and toilets, and supplying new furniture and equipment. Until recently when government stepped in with more generous arrangements, it awarded scholarships enabling the region’s poorest children to continue their schooling. NTA has also for over a decade, and in response to popular requests, been aiding local communities in establishing kindergartens, assisting with buildings, and providing furniture, other facilities and teacher training.
Teacher salaries throughout Indonesia are low, and this is particularly the case in poor provinces like Nusa Tenggara Timur. The proportion of guru honor, non-government teachers supported by communities and privately hired by school principals, is over 40% compared to rates of 15-20% in most other provinces. Such teachers earn about one tenth the salaries of regular government staff. The teacher and library training support provided by the NTA is substantially helping guru honor to improve their professional competencies and ultimately secure government jobs.