Starting 2014, after the election of the new president of Republic of Indonesia, to ensure the effectiveness of the administration, the Ministry of Education and Culture formerly coordinated education from preschool up to higher education, is being reformed. The respective ministry is now divided into two entities. One of them focuses on higher education and research which now is the Ministry of Higher Education and Research. Meanwhile the Ministry of Education and Culture is now in charge of coordinating basic education and culture. This structural reformation brings a positive change at SEAMEO RECFON as we continue serving our excellence in higher education for nutrition professionals; we now also cater our partners’ mandates to contribute to the improvement of basic education from food and nutrition perspectives.
In this regard, a specific unit named “Community Development” at SEAMEO RECFON has been serving as think tank and administration body for the organization of school-based as well as community development projects. The United Nations defines community development as “a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems“. Due to gear shifting as mentioned above, since 2015 SEAMEO RECFON has aimed to document best practices of community development projects that take place at schools. This documentation has resulted in some project initiatives and research among school children at all levels since 2016 and branded as “Nutrition Goes to School – NGTS”.
In August 2016, simultaneous visits to various Directorate Generals at Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) Republic of Indonesia were initiated by Director of SEAMEO Secretariat together with Centre Directors from SEAMEO BIOTROP, SEAMEO SEAMOLEC, SEAMEO RECFON, SEAMEO QITEP in Language, SEAMEO QITEP in Mathematics, and SEAMEO QITEP in Science. The meeting envisions the leadership role of the Minister of Education and Culture Republic of Indonesia as the SEAMEO Council President 2017-2019. The consultative meeting have resulted a proposed 3-year cooperation program with Directorate General of Teacher Education and Development, Directorate General of Early Childhood Care Education and Family Education, Directorate General of Primary and Secondary Education, and Directorate General of Culture. This document signifies an important milestone for the direction of NGTS program at SEAMEO RECFON.