Teaching while Learning the Wisdom of Flores Islanders


A savannah in Kurubhoko, Nginamanu Village, Flores Island, is the scenery out of the windows of Satu Atap Kurubhoko Junior High School. The school is in the same building with Inpres Elementary School. Moreover, it is also the only Junior High School in the region. In this underdeveloped area in Indonesia, YSU Alumnus, Nur Hidayah is having her teaching program.

Kurubhoko is a region mainly formed by barren hills. However, the spirit of the society is not as dry as the area around them. Hidayah told the reporter that every morning their students would go down the hill to reach the school. While walking, they bring a jerry can of water to fill the water container at the school. They also bring many books for being ready to learn. Her students in Class IX have responsibility to clean their dormitory while the others go to find firewoods and fetch water from the well.

They are not like the common students in Java Island. “I don’t see them in their tidy uniform and shoes. In rainy season, they take off their shoes because of muddy soil” Nur Hidayah said. Moreover, in traditional ceremonies and custom weeks (araound September to November), the children do not go to school in order to get involved in those ceremonies.

Siprianus Bhara Meko, is one of her inspiring students. “His only one leg to walk gives me a lesson to be grateful to God for what I’ve got,” Nur Hidayah cried.

Friends of Siprianus do not dare to invite him looking for firewoods though finally he still insists on joining them. When learning in the schoolyard, he is the most active students. His one leg does not stop him to continue his study in vocational High School in Hospitality program, in Maumere.

Despite of the limitation in the region, East Indonesia is rich in nature and culture. Hidayah learns a lot from different culture, life style and people’s norms. “Their togetherness is the most memorable experience in dedicating ourselves to Indonesian education,” Hidayah said enthusiastically. (Febi)

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