Basic Skills of Remote (Area) Students Need to be Strategized

Kompas, page 13

The absence of teachers in the island areas due to transportation reasons is feared to inhibit the national literacy movement. Students are not proficient at reading, writing, and counting/numeracy because teachers are not always present in class to introduce various concepts. In fact, according to the Head of School Literacy Movement Task Force of Kemdikbud, Pangesti Wiedarti, that the ability to read, write, count (calistung) is the basic foundation for students to understand the teaching materials. Calistung ability is also the basic capital to build literacy skills.

According to Pangesti, Indonesia should also conduct research on the impact of students’ calistung ability. This research can be initiated by the Language Agency because the research should be longitudinal, which is done from the beginning of learning to junior high in a sustainable manner with samples from a number of areas. The Language Office in each province can do it.

In the frontier, outermost, and disadvantaged (3T) areas, according to Pangesti, using the mother tongue would be better in order that the emotion and language sense can be strongly attached. In Primary School (SD) Teacher Education, prospective teachers should also be given calistung strategies with fun games and functional media.

A number of teachers in the Aru Islands Regency, Maluku, left/ walked out on their duties because they were disappointed with the situation. They repeatedly called for the government’s attention on transportation and official housing, but the government did not respond. To go to the place of assignment for example, the teachers boarded a fishing boat with an erratic schedule because it depended on the weather.

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