By: Lambu Emu, S.Pd, teacher from Matawai Kanoru primary school
In September 2018, INOVASI commenced 27 grant-funded pilots, with 18 new grant partners. This grants initiative is a key part of our approach to expanding and strengthening engagement with Indonesia’s non-governmental education sector. One of these grant partners is CIS Timor, working to strengthen school capacity and inclusive education in East Sumba, an INOVASI partner district in East Nusa Tenggara province. Working with nine schools in Rindi sub-district, the CIS program focuses on training in inclusive education, inclusive community involvement, and coalitions for change. In this story, we hear from Lambu Emu, a first grade teacher at Matawai Kanoru primary school in East Sumba.
I am a first grade teacher at Matawai Kanoru primary school in East Sumba. When my principal said he was sending me to attend the INOVASI and CIS Timor program activities, I was very pleased, as I wanted to gain more skills and knowledge in inclusive education and classroom based management. I wanted to learn more about learning methods and media, to improve the learning outcomes of my students.
Children from my school come from households that don’t pay that much attention to student learning, and often, the children are not taught by their parents before they attend school. They also don’t attend kindergarten, so they come to school and are unable to read well. They use local language and cannot speak Indonesian. For many of these parents, they spend time hunting or working in the fields and the garden during school hours. This means that sometimes, children join them and are absent from school for days or even weeks at a time.
From this pilot, I have learnt that from using better learning media and teaching methods, my students are more interested in the classroom and their learning has improved. We started by teaching the students how to hold a pencil properly, how to write, how to spell out reading, and I guide them every day with patience. While there are still some children who are slow to learn, I ask their parents to visit the school and also invite them to work together to guide the child at home. I am definitely adjusting my teaching to the needs of my students, something I didn’t do before.
After a few months, I noticed that the students in my first grade class could write and read sentences, which was great. Language in the classroom has also improved, and the children are happier and more enthusiastic about learning because the methods I use are more creative. I feel a sense of pride and pleasure when I see these improvements. It makes me feel good about being a teacher. I’ve even had gratitude from parents. Just last week, a parent said their child was now experiencing positive changes in reading and writing.