Bina Cita Utama School

Bina Cita Utama School
Combined international & local school in Kalimantan
Education & Learning
Not for profit (incorporated)


A National Plus School in Central Kalimantan Indonesia.

The name ‘Bina Cita Utama’ means ‘building excellent ideals’


Bina Cita Utama is the first ‘National Plus’ school to be registered with the Department of National Education in Central Kalimantan and is the first school in the province to use English as the primary language of instruction. The staff of BCU has created an environment for teaching and learning that is stimulating and supportive for students in their developing years. The organization curricula and activities are student-centered designed to accommodate individual learning styles so that each student experiences success.

The main objective of the school is to develop a high quality learning environment which nurtures and educates the ‘whole child’ so that as adults the students will be able to make real and positive contributions to the development of their communities and the wider world. BCU is founded and managed by Yayasan Bina Cita Utama a non-profit foundation registered with the government of Central Kalimantan. The Yayasan is also affiliated with Susila Dharma International an international NGO that has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).


BCU School opened in Rungan Sari in July 2005 with 23 students. The majority came from Palangkaraya and surrounding areas while some of the children were from the international community in Rungan Sari. The impetus for the school came initially from families living in Central Kalimantan who needed schooling for their children and were interested in strengthening ties with the wider community. With the encouragement of community leaders the solution was to develop a school that would provide educational opportunities for both Indonesian and international students. The school would strive to educate young people to become adults with good character and a social conscience.

Central Kalimantan is one of the least developed provinces in Indonesia although it is extremely rich in untapped natural resources. Because of this there are enormous opportunities for growth; and one of the objectives of the community in Rungan Sari is to work to ensure that this growth is grounded in human values. Hence the importance of the school as an incubator for fostering these values in young adults.


The Mission of the school is to be an innovative educational community in Palangka Raya district offering challenging programs of study and a high quality environment for learning. The school seeks to nurture individuality self-worth a sense of humanity and to educate children to become adults that will make a positive contribution to the development of their communities and the world. The school’s Vision is to develop this high-quality student-centered learning environment into a model school that can be replicated throughout the province; including a teacher training program that will bring new teaching methodologies to the wider community of children in Kalimantan.


The guiding philosophy of the School is to enable the ‘whole person’ to develop and achieve excellence. Our educational programs encourage individuals to develop their natural talents and skills; to become independent thinkers and articulate communicators. Each student learns to perform within the limit of their individual capacity which enables them to adapt and achieve success in an ever -changing world. BCU students are self-motivated taking responsibility for their own learning.

Although scholastic achievement remains a central objective it is balanced with social cultural moral and physical development. As a result students are caring community-minded individuals approaching social environmental and ethical issues within a moral framework.

The Formal Education Program from Grades 1 through 12 serves 81 students who range in age from 6 to 16. The curriculum is flexible and by combining Indonesian and international curricula it is ideal for educating both Indonesian and foreign-born children in a common environment. It provides an excellent opportunity for cross-cultural exchange and understanding and leads to a collaborative educational environment The Scholarship Program provides tuition for gifted children from low income families in the area. Currently 10% of thestudents are on Scholarship with seven students on full scholarship and three students on partial scholarships. BCU aims to always have at least 10 – 15 % of all students on scholarship and is actively looking for sponsors to support this objective.

A Teacher Training Program is now being carried out to train local teachers in child-centred teaching practices. This program is one of our major contributions to improving the overall quality of education in Kalimantan.

The Volunteer Program provides a unique opportunity to live and work in Kalimantan and to take part in changing the lives of people through an innovative learning experience.

BCU School is located 36 km from Palangka Raya in Rungan Sari a mixed community of Indonesians and foreigners that includes a housing complex a boutique hotel and other meeting and leisure facilities.

The School is in the community hall at Rungan Sari with five classrooms TV/AV room and a science lab. The Siregar School building is close by and has four classrooms offices for administration and staff a library school canteen and a computer lab.

For recreation Rungan sari offers a swimming pool a soccer field and volley ball and basketball courts. This setting provides a relaxed learning environment within a peaceful natural setting. The school is well-placed for families in the wider area with relatively easy access from Palangka Raya the provincial capital and Kasongan the district capital.


As the result of a generous donation the BCU Foundation has acquired 10 hectares adjoining Rungan Sari. This land will be used to house the future expansion of the school. The initial plan will accommodate up to 300 students and will include boarding and sports facilities an assembly hall and classrooms. Eventually a complete teacher training department will be established to service the needs of BCU teachers as well as those from the surrounding area. Funds for this development will be sought from international donors the government and private sources. This project fills a strong area of need in Central Kalimantan. The local government is very encouraging and supportive because they recognize that quality education is needed to develop the future of the province. With the majority of teachers in Central Kalimantan being under trained and a high absentee rate for teachers we hope to contribute in a small way to solving this immense problem.


A National Plus School is a new category of educational institution in Indonesia which arose from the need to modernize the educational system. The Department of Education passed a law for the development of schools using a combination of Western and Indonesian curricula and methodologies. Instruction is delivered in a foreign language chosen by the school (most often English) as well as in Indonesian. The school hires both native foreign language speaking teachers and Indonesian teachers who can speak the foreign language. Students benefit from the new instructional approaches and materials and also become proficient in a second language. Teachers benefit from the opportunity to learn and apply new approaches and techniques in the classroom.

National Plus Schools have the twin goals to catalyze improved curricula as well as teaching and learning methods. This type of school is ideal for educating both foreign-born and Indonesian children in a common environment. It provides an excellent opportunity for cross-cultural exchange and understanding and leads to a collaborative way of working together. Bina Cita Utama is the first National Plus School in Central Kalimantan. It arose from a need in a community of families with mixed cultural backgrounds who had previously been involved with starting a national plus school in Jakarta. High quality education was a strong need and a priority in the province. This initiative attracted the attention and interest of both the Department of Education and other families who wished their children to have this type of education. A National Plus School for the greater Palangka Raya area was already high on the priority list of the Ministry of Education. Government officials herefore supported formation of the school at Rungan Sari believing it could be a model for other schools in the province.


BCU students come from a range of backgrounds. The majority of the students are indigenous Dayak and the others are Javanese Sumatran and from other parts of Indonesia. The five expatriate students at BCU are from Australia and Mexico.

The Indonesian principal Dr Gunarjo a physics professor from the University of Palangka Raya teaches math and science to the High School students. Karsten MacDonald with ten years experience as an educator in Australia is the Principal Counterpart. He also is the Primary School Coordinator and teacher trainer.


Tel: 0811 520 6688

See e-mail and website details below.

Address: Jl. Tjlik Riwut Km. 36 Sei Gohong Bukit Batu Palangka Raya 73225 Kalimantan Tengah Indonesia’

Dr Gunarjo; Karim MacDonald Rashidah MacDonald Utami Geiger Mansur Geiger Michael van der Matten Hamid da Silva, Isti da Silva Bardolf Paul and Litha Mustapha
Karim MacDonald