A Ray of Hope in the Hoeya Valley (2)
Generally in Papua’s remote areas, education is oriented to the natural environment. Children are learning from the natural surroundings. Students generated formal education of reading, writing, and counting at school, while in the nature students learn from the natural environment such as hunting and gardening. So anyone who works for the advancement of education in Papua should be aware of the reality that formal education that introduced in schools may be vanished, the students who have recognize letters, able to count and write potentially become illiterate again because their nature is calling.
"They don’t like to stay long in the class, they often looked hungry, sleepy or sick even at 9:00a.m.," Said Mark Leppang S.pd who has served about six years in the valley Hoeya as principal.
“It’s not easy to teach in the school, because of less interpretation of the students; anyone wants to ask but could not deliver the proper question in Indonesian. When they asked they did not answer. Supporting facilities are very limited too that also influence the learning process and the quality of human resources. Teachers are required to be more creative to achieve curriculum success. Their spirit to study in the school is very weak: this is a daunting challenge for us, because we have to be more creative and always be innovative with available media to support teaching and learning activities. “Lepang explained.
For Leppang and his colleagues, to teach here is an amazing experience. What challenges to them, when they meet the students, explaining unknown things to them and make them understand it well, while they have to deal with the character of the students and local knowledge.
“We also learned a lot from the students and the community here and strive to build a harmonious communication with the public. It's an amazing experience, “said Leppang who is fluent enough in speaking in Amungkal, the local Amungme languange. Markus Leppang has got a prize a motorcycle from PTFI for his exemplary role as teacher in remote areas. It was a tribute as well as challenge for him.
Other obstacles are the lack of facilities and teaching personnel. Why there are teachers do not want to stay long in their posts? Because there is no health care, limited access to transportation and even food is limited.
Leppang and his two partners have to spend their own money amounting over 20 million rupiah to pay for the transportation from Hoeya to Timika. It was during the school test preparation and no Airfast helicopter service, so they have to take a patrol helicopter.
"There were only less than ten pairs of free student uniform that provided by the government. The government expects school uniforms are charged to the parents, while the economic conditions of the people here are still far from what they had imagined. So we bought them ourselves then distribute them students, let's say that it was our charity for education in this land, all as a media for education campaign. “There is an inevitably pride to see the students wear their uniform and can go to school” said Leppang. (Johan Gandeguay)
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