Dimas Setyo Kukuh Permono is one of the teachers of SM-3T program (The Scholars Teaching in the outermost, disadvantaged and frontier regions) placed in Vocational High School of North Bajawa, North Bajawa sub-district, Ngada Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. At first he thought that they seemed afraid of him, but they showed a warm welcome when he introduced himself.

“It is probably because my physical appearance seemed too big for them and I resembled to the troop from Java,” Dimas said. They even thought that he was too young to be their teacher then.

Dimas, who is a Civic Education graduate of YSU, was surprised by one of the students who was surprisingly older than him. She is Albina Wongga who was born in 1986. She spent several years working in a foreign country to support her family. However, it did not stop her from pursuing her education. She tried to enroll as a Vocational High School student although she was twenty five years old at that moment.

“It was not easy to mingle because I have one student who is older than me,” Dimas said. “I learn that education cannot be restrained by age.” He added.

In this school, Dimas found a new innovation in vocational practice. He tried to farm broiler which is considered as typical livestock in North Bajawa. It was accepted although criticized by local people at first.

“It is our main program now,” Dimas said. The program was considered successful because it transformed the practice material  into an activity which improves students’understanding about their study program as well as an income generating activity to cover  the school operational cost. (dedy)


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