A delegation of senior officials from Indonesia, led by Vice Minister of Education Musliar Kasim, toured Whitman Sept. 20.
The delegation of seven people, part of the third U.S.-Indonesia Joint Commission, has been touring U.S. educational institutions for the past few days and also met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after visiting Whitman.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia asked the Institute of International Education, a non-profit based in New York City, to coordinate the delegation’s visits to U.S. universities. Kasim also wanted to see a traditional high school, so his group added a quick trip to Whitman to its itinerary.
Clare Banks, the senior manager of the IIE Center for International Partnerships, accompanied the delegation to Whitman. Banks stressed the importance of cultural exchanges and said that face-to-face meetings are one of the best ways to build partnerships between countries.
After touring the building and seeing classes in session, the group had a chance to talk to principal Alan Goodwin about American high schools. Goodwin also expressed interest in developing a “sister school” program with a school in Indonesia.
“This is especially important right now because Indonesia is trying to strike up a partnership with the United States,” said Goodwin. “If we could somehow be part of that through a relationship with a school there, that would be great.”
Kasim and his staff were very impressed with the technology that teachers use in their classes and the wide variety of subjects offered.
“Not many schools in our country have facilities like Whitman,” Kasim said. “This is a very sophisticated school.”