Since the Covid-19 outbreak in February 2019, schools in Indonesia has been closed due to preventing the spread of the virus among people and children. All of our school partners in eastern Indonesia automatically follow the decree from the Ministry of Education about the implementing of school from home. At some point, most of the recommendation is about conducting the online learning.
Due to the lack of facilities and skill to use the technology, not all teachers in our school partners are able to conduct the online learning. Most of them were thinking to visit the kids at their home, but at the same time they have to follow the health protocol. The health protocol requires them to wear mask, keep distance for 1-2 meters, and forbid handshake.
Despite all the challenges, inspiring stories came from our school partners in different region. Started from Ende regency, East Nusa Tenggara. Mr. Philipus Embu, a principal at SDI Barai 1 initiated to bring books to the kids at home. He brings the book along with his motorbike. As a principal, he was motivated to bring the books for the kids at home because his school and village were not able to facilitate the online learning. He told us that most of the parents couldn’t afford the smartphone and also at some places still out of internet access.
Another inspiring story comes from Mrs. Irene Aibekob, a librarian at SDN 29 Perumnas 100, Raja Ampat, West Papua. She brought the books with her Noken (traditional bag from Papua). She visited the kids at their home in the morning by walking, and if the kids are far from the school, she rode motorbike. The kids are allowed to borrow the books and after three days, Mrs. Irene will come again to offer the new books to be borrowed.
Ms. Heronima Lende, a librarian from SDK Kalelapa, West Sumba also visited the kids at their home. Speaking about the distance and geographic situation in West Sumba, she needs extra energy to reach out the children. The school itself is located far from the children’s house. Approximately Ms. Heronima will reach one’s house in 30-35 minute with motorbike. Some children are living in the middle of farming land, since their parents are mostly farmer.
We are inspired by the spirit and dedication of the principal, teacher, and librarian at our school partner. They are motivated us to do more in helping them, especially during this pandemic.
Hopefully, their dedication will be remembered and motivated other teachers to work beyond their job descriptions. And also for the government, especially the Ministry of Education, we expect you to be more aware about the context due to implementing the new policies. Not all teachers and school are capable in using the online platform, so it’s time to work on how to deal about their context and motivate them to be more creative.