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Teach Tolerance, End The Violence

Written by Vina Dina Fitriana, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Have you listened to a song titled Heal The World? If you’ve never listened to that song, then you’re definitely missing out! It’s a peaceful and heart-warming song, written and sung by Michael Jackson to persuade the listeners to create a more peaceful world with compassion and tolerance between religions, ethnicities, and countries.

Tolerance is the key to creating a peaceful and safe environment for the human race. Tolerance between religions, ethnicities, and countries are important to prevent discrimination and civil war. How many cases of bullying occur because someone is perceived as different? How often is an ethnic or race being discriminated because of their skin color, religion, or because of the past mistakes of their ancestors? Those who are different and a minority because of their ethnic, religion, skin color or appearance are frequently bullied and treated unequally.

Bullying and discrimination are not a new case, but why haven’t they been resolved?

“Tolerance, like any aspect of peace, is a forever work in progress, never completed”

-Octavia Buttler

Tolerance is a forever work in progress because humans are social creatures who need each other and always live side by side. So, we need to be tolerant since we were young until we become elderly and it’s become necessary to teach tolerance from a young age in order to make children get used to being tolerant, because tolerance is an important behaviour and attitude. According to Rady Children’s Hospital’s page, tolerance means respecting and learning from others, valuing differences, bridging cultural gaps, rejecting unfair stereotypes, discovering common ground, and creating new bonds. Children need to be given the understanding that The Creator created humans in a wide variety and always live side by side. There are many possibilities for them to meet friends who are different from them, and they need to accept the diversity.

We can teach tolerance to children by giving examples of how to live with tolerance. Children learn by imitating and listening to people around them. Hence, we urge ourselves to be tolerant first and pay attention to our attitudes or what we said, so we could be a role model for our children. Moreover, with the development of technology, we can teach children through books, music, films or games. If it’s possible, we can prepare children to live side by side with a diverse environment by sending them to schools which have many ethnicities and religions. Perhaps it could be a good idea if we can choose two or more children as a representative to lead a peer group discussion about tolerance and remind each other as Project Child Indonesia did.

“We do not need guns and bombs to bring peace, we need love and compassion”

-Mother Teresa

It’s already 2021, the diversity among us is getting wider. While things are dynamic and fast, there is no need to point a gun to make others obey us, no need to use violence to make others agree with our opinion, and no need for hate speech to tell someone is wrong. What we need is mutual understanding, love and compassion for others to create peace.

Isn’t it great to live peacefully? Live with the feeling of safety and sound to grow and develop according to what we want, believe, and what we truly are. No matter where we are from, what race we are, how much money we have, what religion we trust, we are one. We are human. Together we bring peace to our universe, we create a safe place for our children to grow up and be themselves. We don’t have the capacity to judge others and tell them they did wrong. Let’s embrace cultural tolerance and make the world a better place to live.

Picture by: Era.id

The Future of Children Is In Our Hands

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

“Children are the future of our nation.” We often find people saying things along those lines. “Children are the future, so they have to try hard and be the best in everything they do.” “Children are the future, so they have to be responsible for their own future.” These kinds of saying are neglecting the fact that in order to succeed, children need to be given the necessary support. That’s the most important thing that most people forget nowadays.

This year’s World Children’s Day celebrates and promotes children’s welfare and awareness among children worldwide. The United Nation acknowledges that children’s welfare is indeed vital for the wellbeing of children in the future.

Us as a society is already basking in comfort of our current societal system that benefits those in power. For children who were born to less fortunate families, having the basic necessities is already out of the question while for those who were born to wealth are already having a better start since birth. It’s a challenge for children from marginal families to even have the proper nutrition that benefits their health, moreover having quality education and finding a way out of poverty.

Discovering the holes that cause this wrecked system that benefits those having money is a challenge that might never be conquered. But, as a community, we can make small changes. Project Child Indonesia’s program Sekolah Sungai and Online Learning Assistance are two among many other efforts that have been done by a lot of sympathetic people out there. It cannot dethrone the system, not yet at least, but it has proven itself to be impactful. As an individual, you can start paying attention to these kinds of programs and projects held all across Indonesia that aims for the betterment of children’s welfare.

Rather than keep saying that the future is children, why don’t we create a better world right now so that our children can live a better future?

Dearest students and teachers all over the world,

Hi, hello, how are you? Are you healthy and safe? We sure hope you do.

How’s online classes? Is everything going smoothly? Are you bored and tired of the situation?

We know things are different right now during the pandemic. Social and physical distancing are a must, after all. However, don’t lose hope just yet!

School might be different, because it has to be online. You might not be able to meet your friends and peers face-to-face, but the fact that you can still meet each other online is a blessing in itself. So, do your best in class!

For students: please respect your teachers! Online classes have not been easy for them as well. At least, pay attention to their explanation and respond to them. Put on proper clothes and sit properly. Turn on your camera if you can, so that the teachers know who’s behind the screen listening to their explanation.

For teachers: please do your best in teaching! We know that it might be difficult to have restrictions when you’re teaching. It must be difficult to be confined into a screen while having to convey difficult materials to your students. However, it is not right if you just give students a ton of homeworks instead of actually explaining the materials to them. Find ways in which you can actually teach your students effectively. Remember, these childrens are the future of our nation.

At last, we hope everyone will continue to take education seriously. Don’t forget that, sometimes, education is a privilege, but also put your health first and foremost before anything else. If learning online has become overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek help.

Please stay happy, healthy, and safe! 

With concern,

Team Project Child Indonesia

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Education Over Pandemic

Written by Nindy Silvia Anggraini, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

The level of the spread of Covid-19 which is increasingly fierce has made community activities seem to stop. The social distancing policy makes public places closed, including schools. The implementation of Pembelajaran Jarak Jauh (PJJ) policy is an alternative for all schools in Indonesia to be able to carry out teaching and learning activities. Various virtual learning features are developed and used by teachers and students to keep interacting and learning. But the government forgot that Indonesia is not a country with a population that has an equal economic status. There are still many who are less fortunate and cannot enjoy online learning facilities. Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency in 2019, internet penetration rates in rural areas are at an average of 51.91%, and in urban areas, they average 78.08%. The ownership of computers, which is an important medium for learning, is very low. In rural areas as much as 9.93%, while in urban areas as much as 28.43%. The Ministry of Education and Culture realizes that learning will not be optimal due to uneven facilities. The government has done this by providing PJJ broadcasts on TVRI and RRI, but that has not reached some regions yet. Their hopes in reaching knowledge seemed to bud because it was limited to learning facilities. Of course, this needs more attention from the Indonesian government

However, the problem is not an obstacle for teachers and students who are less fortunate with extraordinary enthusiasm. There is already a lot of information about teachers who go from house to house of their students who do not have access to online learning both television and the internet. They deliver learning materials following the curriculum to each student like a private course. Things like this need to be appreciated. Not just giving material to students, but there is a struggle and a burning passion there. Not to mention the distance between student homes that are not close is a big challenge. This is the picture of the educators needed by our nation today. Teachers become the second window of knowledge for students after books in the field of formal education. For those of us who are currently able to sit comfortably enjoying online learning facilities, shouldn’t we appreciate it with a higher enthusiasm for learning?

Reference

https://www.bbc.com/indonesia/maj alah-52642997

https://www.kompas.com/tren/read/2020/04/18/140342165/kisah-pak-guru-avan-mengajar-dari-rumah-ke-rumah-karena-siswa-tak-punya?page=all

Help the Teachers in Need

Story by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

It’s been three months since I am stuck at home, preferring not to go out rather than risking my health amids the coronavirus pandemic. I am very lucky to be able to stay home and continue my learning online. Since my university shut down its offline classes last March, online classes had been in full swing. My lecturers, although not many of them are internet savvy, have been able to conduct online classes without any difficulties.

Unfortunately, not all teachers, lecturers, and students are lucky. Many out there are unable to gain access to an electronic device, more or less accessing the internet. As students, it might be difficult to continue learning, but for teachers and lecturers, the inability to access the internet might cost them their life. There are many stories out there about teachers and lecturers that are not a permanent part of the educational institution. They work as contract workers, so there is not much compensation from the school or even the government if they lose their job.

These teachers are considered as public servants. They work to serve the public: students. Without them, many students would not be able to get an education at all. If children don’t get proper education, what will they become in the future? 

Teachers are vital to the education field, but also they are the ones who are hit the hardest during this pandemic. With the shift in learning methods and their situation of not being able to access the internet, there isn’t much hope for them. If they stop teaching, they immediately lose their source of income.

As privileged citizens, it is time for us to pay back our teachers. They volunteer to teach the future of our nations, it is only fair for us to support their efforts too. There are ways in which we can help:

  1. Write to the government

As individuals, we cannot do much to change the lives of those contract teachers. However, as an institution, the government surely can. We can always use our voice in this democratic nation to help increase the chance of livelihood for those teachers.

  1. Donate, donate, donate!

There’s always a chance for you to do good through donations. This is one of the open donations that you can donate your money to: https://kitabisa.com/campaign/santunanguruhonorer. No matter how much your donation is, it will always be useful and what’s wrong with sharing your blessings, right?

If you ever feel like you don’t have anything to do with the fate of those contract teachers, just remember the face of your favorite teacher. The one who helped you during your school years and educated you to be who you are today. Imagine if the fate of your favorite teacher is the same as those contract teachers, would you still be quiet about it? As a functioning member of society, you have received kindness that your teachers gave to you, now it is time for you to share those kindnesses.

Reference:

How to Help: Ending Child Labor

Written by Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Content Writer Intern Project Child Indonesia

Do you remember your childhood? Was it happy? Were you able to have fun with your friends and family, buy toys, and eat whatever you wish? If yes, then you are very very very lucky. You are most likely the only one among ten children to have the privilege to do so. In Africa and Asia, the other nine children have to work hard and are often exploited as a laborer. These children have to work to support their family instead of working on their dreams. Often, they also become the victim of human trafficking and sexual abuse.

The issue of child labor has been nagging on our society for years. Without the proper surveillance and laws, it will be impossible to end it. As citizens, we can urge the government to create better laws to fight this issue. However, having surveillance and better laws is the diplomatic way to end it. We have to use a personal approach as well. Laws and surveillance will not increase the children’s life quality, it will only help against their cases. We have to help in bettering their education so that they have higher chances to be successful in life. Material help such as money and food can’t last very long, but education can. Changing the mindset of these children will contribute a lot, not only for the children individually but for national development as well.

A simple way that you can do to help personally is volunteering. Every child deserves education and if you can help to provide them with it, why not? Volunteering for an organization or program that helps to provide education for children such as Project Child Indonesia’s Sekolah Sungai is a very noble action. You’ll help to give access to education for these children and you’ll play a role in helping them achieve their dreams. It might be a small help, but it will give impact to the children, no matter how small. 

You can help, no matter how. There will always be a way that you can help.

References:

HARDIKNAS: Saatnya Melawan Diri

Ditulis oleh Graciella Stephanie Ganadhi, Penulis Konten Project Child Indonesia

Pada 3 Juli 1922, tiga tahun setelah kembali ke tanah air dari pengasingannya di Belanda, Ki Hajar Dewantara mendirikan “National Onderwijs Institut Tamansiswa” (Sekolah Taman Siswa) di Yogyakarta. Sekolah ini merupakan sumbangsihnya terhadap pendidikan muda-mudi tanah air yang kala itu dibatasi oleh pemerintah Hindia Belanda untuk menuntut ilmu. Kala itu, orang yang berhak bersekolah hanyalah kalangan ningrat, orang peranakan, dan anak priyayi. Filosofinya yang paling dikenang dan dihidupi hingga sekarang adalah “Patrap Triloka” yang berbunyi: “Ing ngarsa sung tuladha, ing madya mangun karsa, tut wuri handayani (Di depan memberi contoh, di tengah memberi semangat, di belakang memberi dorongan).” Menurutnya, semua orang, terlepas dari latar belakang dan kemampuan ekonominya, berhak untuk mengenyam pendidikan yang dapat berperan dalam perbaikan hidupnya.

Setiap tahunnya, tanggal 2 Mei selalu diperingati sebagai Hari Pendidikan Nasional yang bertepatan dengan hari kelahiran Ki Hajar Dewantara. Sebagai muda-mudi Indonesia di jaman sekarang, semangat kita seharusnya sepadan dengan semangat yang dimiliki Ki Hajar Dewantara. Bapak Pendidikan kita di masa mudanya telah berjuang melawan pemerintah Hindia Belanda demi mewujudkan kesetaraan pendidikan bagi seluruh rakyat. Pada jaman sekarang, yang merupakan lawan kita mungkin bukan pemerintah Hindia Belanda, melainkan kemalasan kita sendiri yang dengan mudah bisa kita lawan. Sebelum adanya keputusan untuk pembelajaran daring, banyak dari kita yang acapkali mengeluh dan menyuarakan keinginan untuk belajar dari rumah karena kita sudah terlalu bergantung pada internet untuk segala kebutuhan kita. Namun, nyatanya, setelah diputuskan untuk melaksanakan pembelajaran melalui daring, banyak dari kita yang protes karena kesulitan. Memang, seperti yang dirasakan oleh Ki Hajar Dewantara, perubahan itu pasti menyulitkan, apalagi dengan banyaknya dari kita yang mungkin masih kurang paham tentang penggunaan pembelajaran daring. Tetapi, janganlah biarkan penghalang kecil bernama keengganan belajar dan kemalasan ini menghalangi langkah kita untuk menuntut ilmu. Jangan sia-siakan perjuangan Ki Hajar Dewantara yang berjuang untuk kesetaraan pendidikan kita semua. Ujian kita lebih mudah, jadi marilah kita sebagai muda-mudi Indonesia terus berjuang mengalahkan ego kita sendiri demi masa depan kita yang lebih cerah!

Referensi:

  • https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sekolah_Taman_Siswa
  • https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ki_Hadjar_Dewantara
  • https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hari_Pendidikan_Nasional

Online Learning, Is It Just for Our Vulnerable Community?

Written By : Intan Realista Zanta Avhisa – Sekolah Sungai Program Manager

The contagious virus, COVID-19, had struck severely almost every country without exception. The major sectors to support basic human life could not be avoided to get impacted significantly since the appearance of the outbreak in the end of the year 2019. Education is definitely the sector that encounter unprecedented challenges throughout the pandemic. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced that more than 850 million students around the world, or about half of all students, have been forced to stay at home. The students are deprived of education due to the prolonged widespread cases. 

The first positive case confirmed on March 2, 2020 in Indonesia led to the changes on the education system afterwards, as a respond to stop the spread of the pandemic. The Ministry of Education had declared some adjustments on face to face into online learning. The policy was also highlighting the cancellation of the national and semester exams and its possible substitution. The teacher and school are proposed to present the education on the awareness on the coronavirus among the students for the nonce. It was such an ideal answer to fight against the pandemic for education sector so that it was not stopped at all. Though the online learning continues the existence of education, it also reveals our inability to protect vulnerable community maximally and emboldens the social gaps at the moment.

Well-established schools located in urban area may adjust to the online learning quickly without meaningful obstacle since it becomes one of their daily approach to support the learning. Meanwhile, schools with minimum facilities located in rural area surely struggle to inform and conduct the shift from face to face into online learning. The accessibility of the online learning is also questionable though the Indonesia’s Internet users is in the fifth rank worldwide. There are still students who could not access online learning to catch up with the current education system out there. The parents who work as blue collar worker that were fired because of the pandemic obviously choose to buy food for their family’s survivability than credits for the children to follow the online learning.  This becomes a huge problem, since in this pandemic, they do not have their face to face learning as one and only accessible way to pursue education. Students are forced to stay at home and lost their opportunity to get appropriate education. For some students, online learning is a perfect solution while other students could not even enjoy the solution given due to their unfortunate conditions. 

The difficulties also occurred on the practice of the online learning. Online learning had been applied for quite a long time ago, but the challenges now lay on immense implementations throughout the country. It is used in all schools, all subjects and all-day. Many complaints from the students and parents to the unbearable tasks, deadline, and schedules are expressed every day. This shows the unpreparedness of Indonesia’s curriculum to be shifted into online learning. Some of the students were not accustomed to an independent learning process which becomes the important key of the online learning. The process of the learning is way more difficult for the student to develop in the current situation. Teachers and schools are also struggling to give the best contribution to the online learning through limited trainings and capacity.

The assistance of the schools and teachers in the learning is absence, which requires the replacement of the roles to the parents or guardian to ensure the process of the online learning. However, in the condition of the pandemic, this should be really analyzed on any possible scenario where the parents and guardian could be absence too. The parents may be busy to fulfil basic necessity to survive than accompanying their children to study. Some students may live with their grandparents which too old to utilize technology. In addition, not all students especially primary students are in the capacity to be an independent learner and able to operate the tool to access online learning by themselves. These circumstances are possibly to be happened and they become the most vulnerable victim of the situation. 

I am not saying Indonesia should stop the online learning due to some inefficiency of this policy. The policy should be appreciated as a direct respond to the pandemic. This is more to be a reminder for everyone in the education sector to keep looking for comprehensive solutions for the vulnerable communities to get access on education in the current condition. Students should learn how to be an independent learners, teacher must equip themselves to more online teaching strategy and government should be aware of the impact of each policy especially to the vulnerable communities. Knowing the fact that the similar situation possibly happens and it could force the students to stay at home anymore, therefore, our struggle does not stop when the pandemic is over.

Raising Awareness on Climate Change Issues Through Education

Written by Sekar Ningtyas Kinasih, Content Writer
Project Child Indonesia


Many scientists have stated if our future generations will face severe issues about climate change, where human beings play the role in rising temperatures around the world. The worse thing is that climate change turns out to be a threat to a child’s opportunity to live, survive and thrive. We often witness that extreme weather such as heat waves rise in frequency and severity, then it threatens children’s lives in several chronic diseases such as renal disease, respiratory disease, fever, and electrolyte imbalance. Floods effects poor water and sanitation facilities, then cause cholera while the children are vulnerable to it. Crop failure caused by the changing of rainfall season and aridity, leading to the rise of food prices that make a lower class economy society would be hard to obtain adequate nutrition that can have lifelong impacts on their health.

Over these cases, we know if climate change has become an urgent issue requiring a global movement, one of which is through education. According to UNESCO, education is a critical tool to help the populations in understanding the impacts of climate change and encourage them to transform behavior to practice more sustainable lifestyles, participate in decision making and take action as soon as possible. They also promote Climate Change Education (ECC) to support the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). UNESCO provides guidelines on how to introduce “climate literacy” that becomes government responsibility to involve climate change education towards all levels and components of the education system. It requires strong coordination, support and many resources such as establish curriculum and build teaching methods in schools.

Based on the World Values Survey in 2005-2008 of 47 countries, the people who possess a higher level of education tend to express more concern for the environment. Besides, when in the 2010-2012 World Values Survey asked the participants to choose between protecting the environment versus boosting the economy, the results showed that secondary education preferred the environment more than those with less than secondary education. In separate semi-arid areas of China, farmers who have an adequate educational background are likely to use rainwater harvesting and supplementary irrigation technology to relieve water scarcity. Likewise in the Netherlands and Spain, the more educated people the more they consider to use less energy at home, save much water and control their consumption with environmental harm limitation.

Since it becomes very clear that human actions seriously affect environmental disrepute and climate issues, education should be a limelight to get sharpened and tap their potential. And yet, we do know that it’s really hard to change our attitudes on the preservation of the environment overnight, as well as to complete education courses through formal to informal that going to takes time. But still, the various threats that are not trivial by these issues have assumed an unprecedented pressing to which we are all responsible to do something.

Sources:

  • https://eacea.ec.europa.eu/national-policies/eurydice/content/how-can-education-contribute-awareness-and-action-climate-change_en
  • https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/education-increases-awareness-and-concern-for-the-environment/

How Digital Literacy Can Be Teached on Children

Written by : Mochamad Novritsa Zulfikar

The advancement of technology nowadays surely really influence educational sector. Various things in life that relate with education, like interaction model, literacy model, ability of understanding, and psychological aspect are the things that change since the development of technology. Thus, the change of view or educational method should be done either. Kai-Fu-Lee, on his Tedx seminar about “How AI Can Save Our Humanity”, said that Artificial Intelligence only disrupts on jobs that don’t need creativity and compassion. Both things will make us as the real “human”. Therefore, it is considerable if educational way should be also focused on both. That does not mean we only clear all the courses that already available, but also change the method of lessons and system that can increase their literacy ability.

The main point is, on taking the advantage of the technology advancement, we need a revolution in education that is not to meet the needs of the industry side, but to provide valuable experience to students, educators, or even parents, which is useful in dealing with after-school or real life. The availability of the internet can be both making a good thing or a bad thing for students. We Are Social and Hootsuites, on their report (Digital 2019 Global Overview) on how the internet users around the world (one of them is Indonesia) are growing, reported that the average of people in Indonesia spend their time on internet is 8 hours and 36 minutes a day. Moreover, for only social media activities, they spend for 3 hours 26 minutes a day, with 48% of them is around 13 – 24 years old. Since they already use internet for most of their life activities, we, as an older people than them, should make some actions to control. However, providing regulations or restrictions on children in using the internet is not a wise and effective solution. More fundamentally, giving them an understanding of how to use a good internet is the key. Or, it can be said, invites them to become independent learners based on the internet, in order to improve their literacy skills in seeing every things. That is often referred to as digital literacy.

Utilizing children’s curiosity can turn them into independent learners. Children are natural learners. But, how we can trigger children’s curiosity?

Increasing digital literacy is indeed not an easy thing, especially for children who still often use the internet only as a means of entertainment, not as a means of satisfying their curiosity. In fact, according to Sir Ken Robinson, also on his Tedx seminar about “How to Escape Education’s Death Valley”, He said that the teacher, in the context of education, is a determinant of success in the learning process. Teaching, is a creative profession, not only as a process of passing on information. So, in addition to only digitizing each learning method, students also need to be given an understanding of how to use the internet wisely and optimally. Maybe they, who still think of the internet as merely entertainment, just don’t understand if there is more that they can explore. Therefore, it should be our duty as an educated people to tell and teach them how.

References :

  • How AI can Save Our Humanity | Kai-Fu-Lee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajGgd9Ld-Wc&t=63s
  • We Are Social and Hootsuites “Digital 2019 Global Overview Reports”
  • How to Escape Education’s Death Valley | Sir Ken Robinson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX78iKhInsc