More than one year of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on students’ learning loss. Three regents of INOVASI’s partner districts in North Kalimantan, namely Bulungan, Malinau, and Tana Tidung, were responding seriously to this problem. The regents’ responses were followed by technical implementation in the field. The following are their attempts:
Bulungan Regent, Syarwani, during Temu INOVASI Forum in September 2021 said that handling learning loss was closely related to his vision to realize Bulungan district which is food sovereign, advanced and prosperous. He created a learning recovery policy so that his mission to improve the quality of human resources who are healthy, intelligent, with character and competitive can be realized.
The Head of Human Resource Development of the Bulungan Education and Culture Office, Suparmin Setto, said that his party used the experience from the early-grade literacy pilot program with INOVASI to implement the Bulungan Regent’s policy on learning recovery. By mobilizing 166 trained facilitators (103 at the elementary level and 63 at the junior high school level), learning recovery was carried out by utilizing the emergency curriculum (under special conditions), using the literacy-numeracy learning modules from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology (MoECRT), conducting cognitive and non-cognitive diagnostic assessments, and implementing learning differentiated. All these materials were trained for teachers through teachers working groups (“KKG”) and Subject Teacher Consultations (“MGMP”). “We will form a learning recovery technical team to strengthen coordination and communication,” he added.
The principal of SDN 011 Tanjung Palas Utara, Syahrani interpreted the learning recovery policy from the Bulungan Regent by creating an acceleration program at the school level. Through acceleration, students were mapped based on their reading ability, and then given special mentoring. By using this acceleration program, grade 6 students, such as Ario, were able to catch up. Ario was already fluent in reading when he entered grade 6. However, due to the limitation of learning from home, his ability decreased and he was only able to read words and had difficulty in reading comprehension. After receiving special mentoring from this teacher(s), Ario is now fluent in reading.
Malinau Regent, Wempi W Mawa, used the limited face to face learning (“PTMT”) to prevent learning loss. PTMT was held in the green zone areas.
The Head of Education and Culture Office of Malinau, Fureng Elisa Mou, said that the district was using PTMT for learning recovery. The recovery was conducted by using the emergency curriculum (in special condition), the literacy-numeracy learning modules from MoECRT and differentiated learning. In addition, his party also strengthened the synergy between schools and Village Library as well as Community Reading Centres. With such synergy, schools and Village Library/Community Reading Centres provided special assistance to children who faced difficulty in reading and experienced learning loss.
The Head of Ikatan Keluarga Baca Malinau (IKBM), Olipianti, during an interview with tempo.com in October 2021, shared the success of the synergy program during the pandemic. The reflection results from Litara Foundation and Bandung Institute of Technology showed that 60% students experienced a significant improvement in their reading ability. These children achieved the learning target of fluency in reading.
The same benefit was also felt by Hepi Ramat, a grade 1 teacher in SDN 002 Malinau Barat. Speaking at the national webinar organized by the Directorate of Primary Education, MoECRT, in August 2021, Hepi showed the effectiveness of learning in his classroom. By applying the Education Office’s policy and synergy with the Community Reading Centres, as many as 45% of his students were able to read fluently in June 2021 even though the year before (in June 2021) none of his students were fluent.
Tana Tidung Regent, Ibrahim Ali, during Temu INOVASI Forum in April 2021 said that Tana Tidung responded to learning loss with five strategies, which were: (1) the use of meaningful and contextual teaching materials by utilizing the emergency curriculum and MoECRT’s literacy-numeracy learning modules, (2) learning assistance through visits to students’ homes and working with parents, (3) reading culture through lending non-text books to students’ parents , (4) monitoring and evaluation through surveys, using websites and webinars, and (5) opening schools. These five strategies were followed by training and mentoring through KKG at the elementary level and MGMP at the junior high school level. These five strategies succeeded in making learning participation in Tana Tidung reach 98 percent by December 2020.
The Head of Teacher and Education Personnel of Tana Tidung Education and Culture Office, Diana, said that the support and the policy of the regent, Ibrahim Ali, were the key to success in carrying out learning during the pandemic. The Office held teacher capacity development through KKG and MGMP. She said that in addition to high learning participation rate, grade 1 students’ ability to read in Tana Tidung also improved. As many as 21 percent students experienced an improvement in their reading ability, from not fluent in reading to becoming fluent within a year. In fact ,18 percent students were recorded to have achieved reading comprehension. The results were explained by Diana during her session when she was a speaker in the SMERU Research Institute event last September.
Such policy affected Fauzan, a grade 1 student of SDN TU 2 Tana Tidung, as he was able to quickly read. He only needed three months to be fluent in reading. This achievement was shared by Puji Lestari, a teacher from SDN TU 2 Tana Tidung, during a webinar organized by FKIP UBT and INOVASI in February 2021.