NTB educator Roslinda, from Dompu, embodies all those characteristics found in Indonesian heroine, RA Kartini. Since 1985, Roslinda has devoted herself as a teacher in Dompu. This year, Roslinda assumed responsibility as the principal of SDN 28 Dompu. She is also actively involved in the INOVASI program, a partnership program between the Australian government and the Indonesian government aiming to improve the quality of education in Indonesia, especially in literacy and numeracy.
NTB became INOVASI’s first partner province in June 2016, with six partner districts: Central Lombok, North Lombok, Sumbawa, West Sumbawa, Dompu and Bima. In the implementation of all education pilots, INOVASI focusses on local solutions to local problems, designing pilots as per local priorities and challenges.
In Dompu, INOVASI’s pilot program is called Community Engagement to Improve Learning Outcomes. As part of this initiative, school and community stakeholders are encouraged to collaborate to help develop children’s learning outcomes in literacy and numeracy. Across the district, many children often miss school due to cultural activities and commitments. For example, when the harvest season comes, students put aside school to help their parents in the field harvesting. This sustains a negative impact on the quality of their education, particularly at the primary school level. For school to remain a top priority, there needs to be more encouragement and understanding generated in the community. This includes with parents and community leaders.
As an educator, Roslinda welcomes the pilot. Her involvement with INOVASI has been as a local facilitator, working to increase her skills as a principal at SDN 28 Dompu. As local facilitator, Roslinda has joined training workshops with other teachers and school supervisors from Lepadi Village, Pajo, to discover ways, approaches, and strategies for improving literacy and numeracy learning.
“INOVASI made me understand the PDIA [Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation] approach to find a suitable way of dealing with every problem. It is new and exciting to learn in order to encourage the progress of the nation’s generation,” Roslinda said.
She didn’t stop there. Roslinda has also shared her knowledge and experience with other teachers and supervisors in her school. Her teaching passion was also supported by her late husband.
“My late husband advised me to give my priority to become a teacher and principal, do not put personal duties first, because being a principal is a mandate,” she explained.
As a principal, Roslinda realised that she is not just a leader, but also a role model and inspiration for teachers.
To commemorate RA Kartini on 21 April last month, Roslinda said that women have a very important role to play in developing character in education.
“I mean characteristics like being caring, honest, courteous and helpful. Do not let people think that only men that can do the work. Women should also take part in carrying out the task of encouraging character education,” Roslinda said.
Roslinda stressed that women must be competent, professional, and have integrity in implementing their duties. Roslinda has actively helped to promote gender equality in her school. As a female head master, Roslinda is a real champion for gender equality practices in SDN 28 Dompu, and in the broader community.
Although Roslinda admits that the number of female and male teachers is not equal, she always encourages teachers to balance the participation of female and male students in classroom.
“In implementing the teaching and learning process, teachers should be able to divide male and female students evenly. For example in the discussion group, the numbers should be balanced and each of them should be given the same opportunity to express their opinion,” she said.
Roslinda hopes that learning practices in the classroom and in her local community will continue to consider issues of gender equality.