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Edugathering: Harita Nickel Boosts Obi Children's Interest in Reading Through Movies and Storytelling

28 April 2024

Harita Nickel, an integrated nickel mining and processing technology company, once again held Harita Mengajar to improve access to education for children on Obi Island, South Halmahera, North Maluku. Aligned with World Book Day, the event focused on the theme "Edugathering: Smart Reading, Smart World Viewing".

A total of 130 students from SD Negeri 217 South Halmahera and MI Al Habsyi Kawasi Village participated in the activity held at PT Halmahera Persada Lygend cinema, one of Harita Nickel's business lines that operates nickel processing and refining, on Saturday (27/4/2024).

The students enthusiastically watched a movie about education entitled Sepatu Dahlan and also enjoyed listening to a fairy tale told by one of Tidore's writers, Shahryan Khamari.

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Students of SD Negeri 217 South Halmahera and MI Al Habsy Kawasi Village were excited to participate in Edugathering which was packaged in a movie watching event and listening to stories about education at PT Halmahera Persada Lygend cinema.

Harita Nickel's Community Development Manager, Ifan Farianda, said Harita Mengajar is part of the company's Community Development and Empowerment (PPM) program focused on education.

He said that the company is fully committed to supporting education quality improvement in order to produce excellent local resources. He mentioned that this support is offered through various initiatives and activities, including Harita Mengajar, which currently aims to boost local children's reading interest.

"We encourage children to have an interest in reading from an early age, which will be their capital to continue learning and have more knowledge. It is hoped that local resources in the future can become a superior human resource, a ready-to-use workforce, so that they can be absorbed in the company and contribute to the development of their region in the future," he said.

Ifan further said, based on research conducted by his team on children in operational circles on Obi Island, it was found that as many as 6 out of 10 students in grade 2 were categorized as non-readers. While for the average of grades 1-6, the number reaches 50%. According to him, this figure is far below the national Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) average of 6% for the non-reader category.

"We're committed to supporting the government in improving education quality, focusing on enhancing literacy and encouraging reading interest, especially among children in our operational area on Obi Island," he said.

The company's initiative received a warm welcome from the teachers. Principal Wa Ode Musliana of MI Al Habsy in Kawasi Village expressed gratitude, stating that the event greatly supports the school's efforts to boost students' interest in reading.

"This is the first time for our children to watch a movie in a theater. We would like to thank the company for helping us to give students an understanding of the importance of reading and education for their future," she said.

Not only this activity, according to her, the company's programs have contributed a lot to efforts to improve the quality of education, especially for children in Kawasi Village.

Meanwhile, one of the students, Amal Ramadan Solissa, shared his joy in watching movies in the theater and listening to fairy tales. According to him, this activity has provided new experiences and inspired him to study harder. When asked what his goal was, the 5th grade student of SD Negeri 217 South Halmahera spontaneously replied, "I want to be a pilot! So, I can take my friends on a trip to America!"

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For information, Harita Mengajar has become a routine program held by Harita Nickel to support the improvement of education quality in its operational circle on Obi Island. The program is packaged in various activities, including sending employees to share knowledge such as foreign language teaching to joint learning visits in the company area. Since its launch, the program has reached 809 beneficiaries.

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