Erma Rahmawati, an alumnus of the Department of Biology Education of Yogyakarta State University, recently has joined the Scholars Teaching in Remote, Outermost, Underdeveloped Areas of Indonesia Program.
The program, which is aimed at providing distributed education for school student all over Indonesia, requires selected scholars to teach at schools which are located in remote, outermost, underdeveloped areas of Indonesia.
Erma was selected by the committee to teach students at one of the schools in those areas. It was SMP Katolik Swasta Wolojita, a private Catholic junior high school in Wolojita, Ende Disrict, East Southeast Nusa (Nusa Tenggara Timur), which has limited facilities to support teaching and learning process. “It took two and a half hours from Ende to Wolojita. The last 40 minutes was pretty tough as we had to pass turning roads and bad road conditions made it harder for us to drive,” she said.
During the teaching and learning process Erma had to deal with poor access to learning materials for students. “They only relied on their notes for learning. Though textbooks were available, they were not updated to the latest curriculum. But what I like most about it was their enthusiasm,” she said.
She also made some adjustments to the teaching and learning materials to make it easier for students to learn. “Their learning pace is not as good as most students’ learning pace in major islands and we didn't have facilities for lab practice,” she added.
At her school, Erma found herself really attached to the local culture. “Every first Monday of the month the local government of Ende requires teachers and students to wear Ende traditional costumes, lawo lambu for females and ragi and luka lesu for males. I’m glad to take part in preserving the local culture, especially Ende-Lio textile,” she ended. (yuliana)