Teach­ing in In­done­sia's Largest Trash Dump

Lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion Pesta Pen­didikan is hon­or­ing the ser­vice of teach­ers in the land­fill of Ban­tar Ge­bang, West Java by pro­vid­ing them with pro­fes­sional train­ing and de­vel­op­ment. The ini­tia­tive should in­spire ed­u­ca­tors across the ar­chi­pel­ago to con­tinue im

Indonesia Expat - - Content Page - BY CARANISSA DJATMIKO To dis­cover more about the pro­grammes led by Pesta Pen­didikan, please visit www.pestapen­didikan.com.

Ibu Tati, Ibu Eva and Ibu Cucu are three ded­i­cated teach­ers who spend their days teach­ing in the small ad­min­is­tra­tive vil­lage of Su­mur Batu in Ban­tar Ge­bang. Each of them have so far given 35, 9 and 27 years of their lives re­spec­tively to make sure that the peo­ple in Su­mur Batu earn their rights to the proper ed­u­ca­tion. To say that what they do is ad­mirable would be an ex­treme un­der­state­ment as Ibu Tati, Ibu Eva, Ibu Cucu and the rest of the teach­ers work­ing in Ban­tar Ge­bang do not nec­es­sar­ily share a con­ven­tional teach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence the way most teach­ers nor­mally do.

The area known as In­done­sia’s largest trash dump - which is now de­vel­op­ing into a waste residue pro­cess­ing centre - is home to ap­prox­i­mately 119,230 res­i­dents, many of whom make a liv­ing by col­lect­ing waste. Many of the scav­enger fam­i­lies in Ban­tar Ge­bang re­side in shel­ters built from waste ma­te­ri­als. Their neigh­bour­hood is high­lighted with a moun­tain trash com­prised of around 7,000 tonnes of daily rub­bish picked up from all over Jakarta. All of these make liv­ing con­di­tions in Ban­tar Ge­bang even more in­com­pat­i­ble with the res­i­dents’ health, as they face the risk of get­ting var­i­ous kinds of sick­ness ev­ery­day. Un­der such a sub­stan­dard liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment, it would be hard to make sure that ed­u­ca­tion stays a top pri­or­ity for young res­i­dents.

That said, a num­ber of teach­ers like Ibu Tati, Ibu Eva and Ibu Cucu are de­ter­mined to pro­vide stu­dents in Ban­tar Ge­bang with the ap­pro­pri­ate ed­u­ca­tion, es­pe­cially when only a few of them have gained ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion. In 2014, only 51.4 per­cent of peo­ple in Su­mur Batu com­pleted nine years of school and there is still plenty of work to do to sup­port the land­fill res­i­dents with ed­u­ca­tion.

For that rea­son, Pesta Pen­didikan has come up with a cam­paign that aims to em­power teach­ers in Su­mur Batu with train­ings and de­vel­op­ment. The cam­paign is called

Bantu Guru Be­la­jar Lagi which trans­lates to ‘Help Teach­ers Learn Again’. Through this ini­tia­tive, the or­ga­ni­za­tion hopes to sup­port teach­ers to de­velop their teach­ing skills so that the stu­dents in the ad­min­is­tra­tive vil­lage can get the ul­ti­mate learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. The teach­ers them­selves have be­come aware of the need to have more pro­duc­tive ap­proaches to stu­dents that would bring a last­ing im­pact on their learn­ing achieve­ments. For young teacher Ibu Eva, for in­stance, it is im­por­tant for teach­ers to un­der­stand dif­fer­ent tech­niques in dis­cussing and in­ter­act­ing with chil­dren in class. Ibu Tati, who has been a teacher since 1982, un­der­stands the im­por­tance of em­bed­ding pos­i­tive val­ues for her stu­dents and hopes that they could grow to be­come “in­di­vid­u­als that will con­tinue to study and able to make a con­tri­bu­tion to them­selves, their fam­i­lies, re­li­gions, as well as the so­ci­ety”. As for Ibu Cucu, she finds the im­por­tance of hav­ing an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that is well-ad­justed to the dig­i­tal era.

All of these teach­ers are very much aware of the chang­ing trends in ed­u­ca­tion en­vi­ron­ment and they do not plan to be left be­hind. The prob­lem that teach­ers in Su­mur Batu and the rest of Ban­tar Ge­bang are fac­ing to­day is that they are not equipped with enough pro­fes­sional train­ing and de­vel­op­ment that could raise their stan­dards and com­pe­tence. So far there has not been a na­tional body that can ful­fill their wish to progress or pro­vide them with de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes. Ul­ti­mately, stu­dents must ad­here to an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that does not nec­es­sar­ily prepare them for the greater fu­ture.

Pesta Pen­didikan is giv­ing teach­ers in Su­mur Batu the op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove their teach­ing skills by col­lect­ing do­na­tions that would be used to sup­port these teach­ers with the re­quired de­vel­op­ment cour­ses and train­ings.

They did it by set­ting up a fundrais­ing page at Kitabisa. com which has so far col­lected over Rp.95,000,000.

The col­lected fund will be al­lo­cated to train­ing and de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes in three el­e­men­tary schools in Su­mur Batu for one year.

The teach­ers in Su­mur Batu’s strug­gle to achieve de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties show the need for our ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem to have a cur­ricu­lum for teacher de­vel­op­ment. Re­in­forc­ing this means ap­pre­ci­at­ing the work and ser­vice of teach­ers across the ar­chi­pel­ago who have de­voted their time to raise what could po­ten­tially be­come In­done­sia’s fu­ture lead­ers. If we fail to ad­dress the issue, we would be dis­hon­our­ing the legacy our teach­ers have passed on to us all.

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