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Cablegate: Ambassador Visits Key Presidential Initiative And

VZCZCXRO2603
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2503/01 2531016
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 101016Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6166
INFO RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0769
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4292
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1142
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4184
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 002503

SIPDIS

STATE FOR U/S JEFFERY
STATE FOR EAP/MTS, EB/IFD, INL BOULDIN
DOJ FOR AAG BRUCE SWARTZ, OPDAT FOR
LEHMANN/ALEXANDRE
MCC FOR AMBASSADOR DANILOVICH AND MORFORD
DEPT PASS USTR FOR AMBASSADOR PORTMAN
TREASURY FOR IA - BAUKOL
USAID FOR ANE/AA WARD

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

AIDAC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV ECON ID
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR VISITS KEY PRESIDENTIAL INITIATIVE AND
MEETS SULTAN IN YOGYAKARTA


JAKARTA 00002503 001.2 OF 002


1. Summary: On August 28-29, Ambassador Hume visited
Yogyakarta, touring schools and meeting local leaders. The
Ambassador visited public and private schools that receive
USAID assistance under President BushQs $157 million
Education Initiative for Indonesia. The Ambassador met
with Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, Governor of Yogyakarta
Province, who reiterated his intention to relinquish the
governorship, although the GOI has yet to determine the
transition process. The Ambassador also met with local
government officials in Klaten, home of the four USAID-
supported schools, who expressed their appreciation for USG
educational assistance. End summary.

Ambassador visits USAID-supported schools
-----------------------------------------

2. Pesantren Sunan Pandanaran in Sleman, which has taken
part in the USG-financed Islamic leadersQ exchange program,
extended a warm reception to the Ambassador. Sunan
Pandanaran is renowned for its strong program in memorizing
the Koran. The Ambassador addressed the pesantrenQs 1,000
students, ranging in age from kindergarten through senior
high school.

3. The Ambassador toured both public and private schools in
Yogyakarta, learning about the differences in school
curriculum and financing. He visited teachers, students,
and the parentsQ committee of Public Elementary School
Barenglor 2, a school that has benefited from the USAID
Decentralized Basic Education (DBE) program. DBE is
projected to reach at least 2,000 schools in 100 districts
in 8 provinces by 2010. The Ambassador also toured private
schools receiving DBE assistance, including a religiously-
affiliated elementary school and a state-run junior high
madrasah, which also rely on financial and in-kind support
from the community, parents, and a private foundation. The
Ambassador discussed DBE curriculum selection with a
student, who expressed pleasure with her ability to
determine her course selection and educational material.
The Ambassador noted that changes in curriculum selection
over the past ten years have made the process more open and
student-driven.

Schools recovering from earthquake damage
-----------------------------------------

4. The Ambassador met with parentsQ committee members from
DBE-supported, state-run Gondangan elementary school that
was severely damaged during the 2006 earthquake. Thirteen
of the USAIDQs 14 DBE-supported schools required almost
total reconstruction after the earthquake. A consortium of
oil companies including Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon
Mobil, and BP funded the reconstruction of Gondangan
elementary school. The DBE program funded a temporary
bamboo shelter and relocated students during the
reconstruction. The parentsQ committee noted the schoolQs
infrastructure problems, stating that the school would not
have been rebuilt so quickly without private resources.

Local officials describe DBE as a model
---------------------------------------

5. On August 29, the Ambassador met with Klaten district-
level officials, the Head of the District Education Office,
a Regional Religious Affairs Official, and members of the
provincial legislature. The officials thanked the
Ambassador for U.S. Government support for local education,
yet acknowledged that this assistance could not reach every
school. The education official described the DBE education
system as a model for all schools and stated that his

JAKARTA 00002503 002.2 OF 002


challenge was to recreate the Qactive learningQ approach in
DBE schools throughout the province.

Sultan to leave politics, transition undetermined
--------------------------------------------- ----

6. The Ambassador met with Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, who
also serves as Governor of Yogyakarta Province. The Sultan
announced in April that he would retire in 2008 as Governor
of Yogyakarta province. He told the Ambassador that he
intended to step down from the governorship at the end of
his term, which he stated would occur in two years. The
SultanQs announced departure from political office has
accelerated efforts to identify a new gubernatorial
transition process. The GOI is considering three different
bills outlining ways to handle elections and the SultanQs
future management role in the province are currently being
discussed by the GOI. It is unclear whether the Yudhoyono
administration will endorse any of these bills before the
Sultan departs. The Sultan stated that the governorship and
the role of the Sultan should be separated, which would be
a historic change. The Sultan noted the most important
criteria in determining a gubernatorial candidateQs
suitably was his commitment to anti-corruption reform.

Reform in process in Yogya
--------------------------

7. Comment: The DBE program creates classrooms that foster
creativity and inspire independent thinking and curiosity
in students. The DBE program is addressing GOI reform
priorities and is already achieving program objectives.
Politically, the SultanQs upcoming departure from the
governorship potentially opens a political vacuum, but also
demonstrates further Indonesian progress in democratic
reform.

AmbassadorQs Comment
--------------------
8. President BushQs Education Initiative is having a
profound impact on schooling here, and it is
enthusiastically supported by parents, students and
teachers. From every aspect this program is a winner.

End comment.

HUME

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