ExpectationPatrya Pratama 6 Februari 2011
It has been more than 2 months i stay at Desa Labuangkallo. I know it is too short of a period to feel and say that I am now “local” enough, although many comments saying that I start to appear like one (“over-tanned skin” and language style), but at the longer i stay the more attachment i have with this place (this does not necessarily corelated to my ever-longing of malls and city life). There is one thing that annoys me more than anything else as an “intern labuangkallos” as well as an elementary teacher here: expectations. I really hate that people have such a low expectations for the village, the school, and the kids. One particular example was when the examination comes. There was no particular preparation set for the students weeks before exam so then they can do well. Parents seemed indifferent about the exam. The kids did not prepare anything at all either. My fellow teachers did not seem worry at all either regarding how the kids were doing during exams. “Sembarang aja” (just do as you please) is the theme of doing things over here. In short, no achievement was expected to come out of the examination. Why cant we have a better school attendance? Oh it’s ok because they need to help their parents doing their fishing thing. Why cant we have a better teacher attendance? Oh its ok because they have families to take care of in Grogot, the district’s capital, besides they dont really want to be here anyway. Why cant student A read? Oh its ok, she is just not really good at studying, besides, she’s in grade 4 now, 2 years left before graduating elementary school and then get married. Why cant we have more kids send to middle school? Oh, its not necessary, just to able to write, read, and basic math are enough to work, no need to continue. Why cant we have the same kind of problems for examination as the schools in cities? C’mon they cant even understand the questions. Why cant we have the students take the books from school so that they can read it at home? Please, they’re gonna rip off the books and they end up becoming aeroplane. Well, the list can go on and on and on through other examples, showing that the people, either from Labuangkallo or from outside the village expect anything from the village, the school, or the kids. It has been getting to easy for the people to find excuses of under-performance. Why cant we expect the same to the coastal schools like mines to perform as good as their counterpart in cities? Because they cant ever reach the standard? Well, double the effort then! The low academic (if not anything related to the village exept the shrimps) performance has been so persistent that the people of Labuangkallo have gotten used to it. They expect nothing from the school but the mere ability to read, write and basic counting. In part, i blame the people from outside Labuangkallo for the low performance. The outside world never expect anything from our school, our kids, our teachers, or our people. Given the remote location with no demand of anything from the outside, we simply make out tiny village of safe haven, as if we were safe from the dangerous world. Well, we can change this. I remember when we met Jusuf Kalla before our deployment. He said something like we have to set the standard high for the kids anywhere because we are competing with other nations. Barack Obama also has said that whomever out-educate us today, will eventually out-compete us tomorrow. I think we should start to play it rough rather than succumbed to the “oh-its-because-they-are-from-remote-underdeveloped-kampong” attitude. My kids performace is in everybody’s hands, including YOU!
Guns, Germs, and Steel6 Februari 2011
Let’s say there is a boy named Nugi. He lives in a coastal and remote village of Indonesia. Nevertheless, even by the countries’ city standard, he com...