Retna Burham

After a long interval during which CIE received regular Holiday cards from Retna, but then lost contact, we again have email contact. She sent this update on the state of NFE and the activities of some of her cohort who were at the Center in the 1970s.


Here is some information about the progress of NFE in Indonesia. Up to now there is only one state educational university (IKIP Bandung) in West Java, which offered NFE Masters and doctoral degree programs. Our friends Djudju Sudjana, Endang Sumantri, Sutaryat, arranged that program in Bandung. Syahbudin Harahap passed away not long after he finished his studies at UMass


Since year 2007, Faculty of Education at Jakarta State University (UNJ – formerly IKIP Jakarta) had planned to open UNE program for master degree entering the new academic year 2009-2010.  We hope Center for International Education can give us support in new ideas, suggestion and innovation or activities to complete the curriculum according the progress of science in this field I know you should be very busy, but I appreciate your help toward the success of this program.


In addition she writes that she is now fully retired. Her husband passed away and she now lives with her daughter, whose email address she can now use. She would love to hear from others from her era. [2-09]


Earlier Retna Burham wrote from Jakarta, Indonesia.  She was happy to see the pictures and descriptions of folks she knew at CIE in the newsletter, including Anna Donovan, June Bourbeau and John ComingsJaya Gajanayake was her room-mate at UMass.


In the 27 years since she left Amherst, she’s consulted for UNICEF, UNFPA, the World Bank, and USAID, among others.  Retna is now retired but still advises students during the thesis/dissertation process at the State University of Jakarta, and is still writing environmental education texts for Indonesian schools.  She has also written books about methodology and evaluation techniques in non-formal education, guides for tutors and facilitators, and building objectives and needs assessments.

In the past few years she has seen Nanette Brey in Jakarta, Jan Droegkamp in Bali, Kathleen Cash in Medan, and Daniel Moulton in Jakarta, where they both worked for a World Bank basic education project from 2004-2006.


My Indonesian colleagues from CIE UMass group (10) are mostly retired but some of them are working at private universities.  It’s still hard to change the participative learning system from the traditional one in Indonesia.  There are many aspects in education that must be control and developed by the government.  We are discussing about spiritual quotient, Indigenous children and also Millennium Development Goals. [7-07]




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