Numerous Teacher Absences Place Quality Education in Hock

Kompas, page 1

Education in a number of remote areas of the country is still plagued by personnel problems. Teachers often leave their work location citing reasons such as lack of transport facilities or no official residence. The teaching-learning process, therefore, does not run as it should and thus educational quality has been placed in hock.

In Maluku, in the Aru Islands, a number of teachers leave the school for months at a time because they prefer to live in Dobo, the regency capital. The teachers only come to the working location prior to the semester testing and the national exam. The same problem also commonly occurs in Papua, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and North Sumatra.

Using the Aru Islands as an example, the teaching-learning process in SD Negeri Batugoyang, Aru Selatan Timur District, only exists thanks to two participants from the Graduate Teachers in the Frontier, Outermost, and Underdeveloped (3T) Areas program. They are teacher candidates who have just graduated from the Institute of Teachers’ Education. The permanent teachers, holding civil servant status, are not to be found as they prefer to live in Dobo. They leave the schools because there is no regular public transport connecting Batugoyang and Dobo.

Meanwhile, a member of the Consultative Body of Batugoyang Village, Abdullah Opem said that it requires firmness by the regional government for the teachers to be obedient. This is, of course, because holding civil servant (PNS) status, the teachers have already sworn that they are ready to work anywhere.

The Department Assistant of Economic and Government Development of the Aru Islands District, Marthinus Lengam, said that the quality of education in Aru was indeed a concern. However, there was little that his department could do due to the problems with access.



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