Teacher Shortage Troubles Remote Regency in Sulawesi

The Jakarta post, page 5

Many schools in the remote district of Lindu in Sigi regency, Central Sulawesi, are still short of teachers. In fact, some of the schools have resorted to their principals teaching classes.

The shortage of teachers in the district affects at least two Islamic elementary schools, three schools under the Bala Keselamatan Foundation, two junior high schools, 10 state-run elementary schools and a senior high school, according to Maklon, head of the regional technical implementing unit at the Lindu Education, Youth and Sports Office.

Even more worrying, Maklon said, some teachers in the district are still contractual or temporary teachers. Nevertheless, most teachers in the region remain committed to carrying out their tasks.

A number of new elementary and junior high schools had principals, added Maklon, but lacked staff to teach sports, religion or other subjects. According to Maklon, students at the schools are forced to learn only by reading textbooks. So, the students are only asked to take notes.

Sigi Regent M. Irwan confirmed the shortage of teachers at schools in remote areas of the regency. He said his administration would prioritize dispatching teachers to remote areas in the near future.

Sigi Education, Youth and Sports Office head Ahmad Labaso said the teacher shortage was not the only problem faced by local schools, which also lacked other education facilities. He said some teachers who had been appointed to certain areas asked to be transferred to other schools after serving for several years.

Hence, the Sigi Education, Youth and Sports Office was taking measures to even out the distribution of teachers across schools in Sigi, with a focus on employing local manpower. According to him, recruited teachers had to be ready to be sent to rural areas in order to produce high quality education.

The Sigi Education, Youth and Sports Office said it had made strenuous efforts to afford students in remote areas a decent quality of education, on par with that common in more central areas.

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