Desa Ranggo and Desa Lepadi identify literacy and numeracy issues in Dompu

Understanding local context and education challenges is a key feature of the INOVASI program. In Dompu, INOVASI has been working closely with the local community to better understand and identify key educational issues. Dompu Regency is one of INOVASI’s partner districts in NTB province.

Through the facilitation of different ideas and dialogue with key stakeholders, a key issue raised by local Dompu stakeholders has been the lack of the community’s role in the education sector, contributing to lower levels of literacy and numeracy skills in primary schools across the district. In this context, INOVASI’s current pilot, ‘Community Engagement to Improve Learning Outcomes’ (known locally as BERSAMA) is seeking to address the absence of the community in education.

As part of pre-pilot planning, INOVASI last month held a workshop to engage the government and other key education stakeholders in literacy activities and child protection in the Lepadi and Ranggo communities. Earlier in 2017, initial ethnographic fieldwork revealed some important insights about cultural context in Dompu. With horse racing season and the agricultural planting and harvest season, children are missing up to 90 days of school annually. This has negative implications for their learning.

The workshop was attended by village government, school committee members, and 35 parents, and was officially opened by Emil Sribudi as Head of Curriculum and Assessment at the Office of Education Dompu. Other attendees included Dedi Purwanto as Desa Ranggo’s Village Secretary, and Sri Karna, Education Coordinator from INOVASI’s NTB provincial team.

Dedi Purwanto emphasized that although the program is still new in Dompu, Desa Ranggo’s government has allocated budget from village funds to provide support to four primary schools in Desa Ranggo with 12 teachers, as a demonstration of government commitment in the field of education.

“Every year, the village government provides a budget of Rp 100,000 for each teacher. That is, the government prepares a budget of Rp 14,400,000 per year,” explained Dedi.

Sri Karna conveyed that any form of commitment does not mean much without the support of the community.

“This is not just training, but more importantly it shows that the community is contributing to finding the right solution, to solve the problem of literacy and reading in Dompu,” said Sri.

Emil also added that parents have a big role to play in improving literacy and numeracy skills. “The character of the society is in the hands of parents and the family. Hopefully, parents can provide space and support the learning process.”

During the workshop facilitation, coordinated by local INOVASI facilitators, key literacy and numeracy teaching and learning issues were identified.

It became evident that teachers were required to teach but without adequate appreciation and honorariums. In addition, problems also arose from those teachers whose methods of teaching in the classroom were monotonous and lacked creativity. With regards to parents in the community, it was identified that parents did not provide attention or encouragement for their children to study at home and in school. This lack of parental support was also reinforced by village government groups. For example, parents were not helping with simple tasks such as homework checking, and lack of support to the learning process in the school. The village government group also highlighted a lack of coordination with parents, school stakeholders and other village officials.

One idea offered by parents was to initiate “Paruga Baca” as a forum for parents, teachers and committees to convene and seek information. These would be in the form of learning centers and advocacy. A solution offered by the Desa Ranggo’s government was to form a Village Community Empowerment Cadre in charge of mapping the quality of education in Desa Ranggo, as well as the planning of Village Rules specifically in education. All local stakeholders ideas will be considered by INOVASI as pilot implementation gets underway in August 2018

Desa Ranggo and Desa Lepadi identify literacy and numeracy issues in Dompu