Building the basics: numeracy skills for Sumbawa students

In Sumbawa, one of six INOVASI partner districts in NTB province, teachers are learning how to get the basics right in numeracy. Syafruddin, S.Pd, is one of those teachers. Through INOVASI’s foundational numeracy pilot, also known as PERMATA, he has been actively participating in workshops designed to help improve learning methods in the classroom.  Currently, Syafruddin teaches mathematics and Islamic education at primary school SD Negeri 1 Lopok, a sub-district of Sumbawa.

Pak Din, as he is familiarly called by his students, is passionate about his role as a teacher.

“Yes, of course I am happy to be a teacher,” he said. Since he was a young boy, he has aspired to be an educator. “By becoming a teacher, we can share our knowledge”.

Syafruddin joined the PERMATA pilot program in October 2017. From his engagement so far, he has seen how PERMATA has begun to help improve mathematics learning outcomes in his school.

“From the PERMATA pilot program, students have been achieving good scores and the average score has risen. The average score of mathematics in grades 1, 2, and 3 is 7.5 and even higher now.”

Gradually, Syafruddin has begun to change his learning method in the classroom, to incorporate more active play style learning. He has worked to make learning more innovative, using a simple game that he developed after reflecting on the success of a fellow teacher, Nurma. In helping students grasp the concept of the cube root of a number, Syafruddin used a table of numbers that helped students answer the questions more quickly and accurately. With these tables, students could easily find the cube root by just looking at the numbers in the table.

Syafruddin is appreciative of the PERMATA pilot, for helping teachers in Sumbawa improve their teaching and learning approach in the classroom. Students have become more active and the lessons are more enjoyable.

“PERMATA is very helpful. The benefits we see are primarily in students’ work. We started using concrete props and the students become more active in the learning process,” Syafruddin said.

Syafruddin will continue to strive to improve basic numeracy skills for students in Sumbawa, including in his own school. He is also one of the coaches for the National Science Olympic of Mathematics in Sumbawa Regency.

He hopes that by strengthening the numeracy skills of his students, he can help them achieve greater success and even enter into this competition. Previously, one of his students won the National Science Olympic at the provincial level, something he remains proud of and hopes to achieve again.

Building the basics: numeracy skills for Sumbawa students