Sekolah Mutiara Harapan, a school founded to serve the children of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) employees, became Sumatra’s third International Baccalaureate academy in 2009. To date, it is one of only a few dozen similarly credentialed schools in Indonesia, and among some 4,000 around the globe. The co-educational school, which delivers lessons in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, serves children from the primary grades up through grade 9.
As part of the $15 billion RGE Group of corporations under the direction of CEO Sukanto Tanoto, APRIL is among the world’s leading producers of pulp and paper products for the global market. Mr. Tanoto and his family have initiated significant efforts to fund educational scholarships and to improve Indonesia’s school infrastructure, in order to serve students of all ages. Through Sekolah Mutiara Harapan’s programs, which seek to meet or exceed national and international standards, students of Mr. Tanoto’s employees enjoy a higher level of academic opportunity than they otherwise might.
Sekolah Mutiara Harapan’s mission is to foster habits of lifelong independent learning and patterns of participatory citizenship among all its students. Teachers strive to inculcate character traits such as self-discipline, creative expression, and teamwork in the young people in their classrooms.
The school as it exists today represents a merger between two original institutions set up for the children of Indonesian and international expatriate workers employed at the Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper mill. By the mid-1990s, more than 70 children of international workers were attending the school. In 2003, Sekolah Mutiara Harapan began welcoming Indonesian students. This milestone was followed by the merger of the two student bodies in 2006 under the continued Sekolah Mutiara Harapan name.
Today, students at the school participate in both academics and sporting activities, as well as seasonal celebrations of Ramadan, Chinese New Year, Christmas, and other holidays.