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The spirit of Papuan children studying in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

Studying in the midst of the COVID-19

Jayapura (ANTARA) – Studying in the midst of the COVID-19 is not easy for children. Corona virus outbreak caused all activities in the country to be stopped temporarily including schools closed and children studying at home since March 2020.

The spirit of Papuan children learning is suggested by the school to keep abreast of the teaching and learning process via the internet online.

Simply by following the application guidelines provided by the school, students can meet face to face and follow the lessons through the glass screen hendphone.

The advice was followed by school children who live in urban areas. Because, most of the pocket android hendphone. But not all children in the village get a hendphone. Like children in Yoboi Village, Sentani City District, Jayapura Regency, Papua.

Yoboi is one of the villages on the edge of Lake Sentani. This village is reached by speedboat from the Yahim Pier across Lake Sentani about 15 minutes away. One passenger is charged IDR 5,000 / person.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Yoboi children gathered and studied at the Onomi Niphi reading house, while still following the health protocol, which was washing hands, wearing masks, sitting a distance away and then being taught to read.

Onomi Niphi’s reading house was opened by Hanni Felle, a housewife in Yoboi village, after a long struggle. Initially, Hanni started with a children’s learning group (KBA) since 2012.

That year, Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) accompanied the mothers in Yoboi in a training. Armed with the training, he began to be inspired to do something in the village.

The intention is to open a reading place because sometimes children in the village come home from school, they play and bathe in the lake. With a reading house some of the children’s play time can be used to read. That way, when he reaches junior high and high school level, he is no longer surprised by the development of the city.

For the mother of two children, the theory obtained must be put into practice. Hanni started the activity in the children’s study group by processing sago leaves, sago fruit, grain, into learning media for children. The junk bottles are also being redesigned into toys for children.

Over time, the husband, Hanni thought of developing KBA. He wants the children of Yoboi to be able to read and then to write it in written form. The desire to make after Hanni sells in the market, some of the money earned, is used to spend notebooks and pencils.

The purchased notebooks and pencils were given to elementary school students to write what they had just obtained from school. After the children wrote, the book was returned, not brought. At that time, attention was focused on children aged five to eleven years. This Komba Elementary School graduate is trying to read and write as an extracurricular activity after the child comes home from school.

Reading house

In 2018, the woman who was born on April 7 pioneered Onomi Niphi Reading House, Yoboi Village. The living room of his house, used as a library to put a variety of books. Although his house became a library, but did not interfere with family activities.

Although, WVI strives to help facilitate the needs that are specified and then submitted, even looking for donors. One of them is taking employees from Bank Indonesia (BI) to the reading house and then donating wireles, a laptop, a printer and reading books with nuances of the archipelago about 200 reading books for children of early childhood to students. The bank also contributed six plastic containers.

Other assistance, from the Balai Bahasa Papua, helped to provide 50 collection of reading books, the home of the world assisted 15 collection of reading books, the Jayapura District Library and Archives Service assisted around 300 more reading books.

One of Hanni’s colleagues in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) helped 50 reading books, Rumah Dunia in Bantaeng helped 15 reading books. Book assistance also came from the Papua Provincial Education, Library and Archives Service to help the children’s story book of Wamena, then from Youth GKI Siloam Waena, and Papuan writing schools.

The types of books in the reading house are varied, there are books about the story of the archipelago, reading books for elementary school students, middle schools (high schools), there are books for students. There are about 700 more books that are now available in the reading house of Yoboi.

Papuan children in Yoboi village, Sentani studying amid a pandemic at Onomi Niphi Reading House (ANTARA / HO-Doc Hanni Felle)

Reading time

Studying in the midst of the COVID-19 is hard because children cannot be forced to read. If the child comes to the reading house then they are welcome to learn to read, they come alone to read. If it is not finished then he marks the book read, then goes to play until the time when remembering the book, he will return to continue reading.

“I cannot find a child, hey you come to read, I see the interest of a big child to come read. I am not looking for that child from house to house,” he said.

The way to entice children to always come to read is to keep their hearts, let them come to play at home to read and do anything, make children feel comfortable, feel that place is good, finally want to learn to read. Actually, not taking the role of the school but only helping.

Children are free, but there is a specific time set for learning to read. To make them eager to studying in the midst of the COVID-19, Teachers and adults must introduce discipline. Especially for children aged elementary school twice a week ie Wednesday and Friday from 14:00 CET until 16:00 CEST. Friday, study time for elementary school students in grades four, five and six. While Wednesday, the learning time for elementary school students in grades one, two and three.

There is a curriculum compiled by WVI, through that curriculum, there is time discipline, how to read stories, how children are taught so they can read, keep a journal. All of them use time, for example absent 15 minutes, 20 minutes story.

Used cartoon capital is used as a learning medium for children. When the child arrives, the volunteer who works as a facilitator holds the carton then points to the agenda to be followed. The schedule written on the cartoon is hung when the child arrives.

Stories that children want to read are also written in cartoons. That way can find out the character of reading from the child. The reading house focuses on teaching children in grades one through three in elementary school. But grades four through six of elementary school also came to ask to be taught to read.

So, the learning time is separated, class one, class two, then class three and class four five six elementary school. From the child’s participation in reading, the child’s character is known through journals, and the writing is poured.

Most children find it difficult to read, hard to pronounce letters, cannot read, the case is obtained at the reading house. Some elementary school students in the sixth grade also cannot read. Although there is a schedule, but given the freedom to come at any time to read.

When children come to pick up books and then read, they are always accompanied in terms of directing how to hold books, how they open books. Hanni always accompanies, can not let. Volunteers who are willing to be facilitators also assist. Now there are around 80 children who are learning to read at home.

The facilitator works voluntarily, without salary. They are as facilitators including Yudit Sokoy, Erna Yati Felle, Ones Tokoro, Riky Wally, David Done and Hanni Felle facilitators as the person in charge.

The woman who graduated from Asisi Sentani High School continued to promote the activities at the reading house through social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. From there, many people began to know, some chose to partner.

Susana Hanni Felle is showing a learning agenda at the Reading House written in a former cartoon (ANTARA / Musa Abubar)

For young people, but the general public is invited to support the reading house. Because the house produces smart people, can give birth to young people who are smart and love books, said Secretary of the GKI PAM GKI Siloam Waena. The church helped supply the books to the reading house. All of those efforts is to support studying in the midst of the COVID-19.

Head of Yoboi Village, Zefanya Wally, appreciated the presence of reading houses in his administration because he was very helpful to children. This reading house is very important, because many cannot read up to the level of education at the junior high level. Therefore, this case needs to be stopped at the village level.

The Regent of Jayapura, Mathius Awoitauw appreciated the initiative of studying in the midst of the COVID-19 from the community members who helped support a number of ongoing government programs.

One of them is a reading house in Yoboi village. From this reading house, dozens of children are educated to be able to read and write.

West Papua View All

This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

4 thoughts on “The spirit of Papuan children studying in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic Leave a comment

    • Hi, thank you for your kind comments. I could not have said it any better.

      I’ve been struggling to convince the people in the region to stop fighting and think about the future of their next generation. Problems in education, health, and environment should be in their list of priority.

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