Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Beautiful School, The Realization of Ibu Sugiarti’s Dream (Part 1)

When she started to teach in 1992, Sugiarti aspired to make her school shady, clean and beautiful.  Her aspiration was achieved when her school, SDN 008 Desa Air Putih, Kecamatan Lubuk Batu Jaya, Kabupaten Indragiri Hulu, Riau, became the winner in Tanoto Foundation’s Pelita ASRI (Safe, Healthy, and Environmentally Friendly) program clean school competition in the past 2016.

In addition, her school has also become a favorite in the region.  It is proven by the rising number of students who register each year. For 2016/2017 school year, the total number of students reaches 315 persons.  It rose 20% from the previous year.

Sugiarti is not originally from Riau.  She came in groups with other families from Wates, Yogyakarta, being participant of the transmigration program from the government in 1989.  Her first arrival in Riau was a difficult period in her life.

She remembered when the transmigration officer asked her group to around to join in the housing allocation drawing.  When passing on the hilly roads, Sugiarti saw from afar small houses amidst the lush forest.  She prayed in her heart that her house would not be one of those.

Fortunately, Sugiarti got a house not far from a local resident settlement.  She also received a patch of oil palm plantation land, which she has been cultivating up to the present with her husband.  In 1992, she was asked to teach in the newly constructed school as an honoraria-based teacher.  Despite that, she is now performing the role as the implementer of the school head’s tasks.

“The learning environment was far from being conducive,” remembered Sugiarti.  “In the past we taught in wooden building that was partitioned into 3 rooms.  In each room, two classes ran in parallel which made the students and myself had to divide our focuses for learning.”

Over time, with the help of the government as well as the involvement of the village community, the number of schoolrooms of SDN 008 Air Putih slowly increased.  In 2011, SDN 008 Air Putih joined as Tanoto Foundation’s partner school and received various training through the Education Quality Improvement Program (Pelita Pendidikan Program).  The first training that the school participated in was the Pelita Pustaka.  After the training, Sugiarti together with the other teachers transformed the small library room into a permanent building.

“In the beginning, our library was just a small room from wood and we did not know how a library should be managed.  After participating in the Pelita Pustaka training from Tanoto Foundation, we worked together with the community in an effort to have a permanent library building and to be able to manage activities in the building” said Sugiarti.

To be continued to Beautiful School, The Realization of Ibu Sugiarti’s Dream (Part 2)

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