10 Jul, 2023
RUMAH BELAJAR’ ACTIVITIES IN DEA BEQ VILLAGE
As part of its community development program in East Kalimantan, the BOS Foundation, supported by BOS Switzerland, runs ‘Rumah Belajar’, a series of educational activities for children in nearby villages. The topics taught through Rumah Belajar are available to students from pre-school to high school level and typically cover general knowledge subjects. These activities are carried out twice weekly in the yard of State Elementary School (SDN) 018 in Dea Beq village from 4-5 p.m.
Taking place in the afternoon, it is not uncommon for the children to arrive hot and sweaty after playing in the heat of the day with their friends. Despite this, they still enthusiastically participate in the learning and educational activities on offer. Sometimes the students will pop out of class during the session to buy snacks.
The activities usually begin after partaking in prayer. Some of the boys compete to be the prayer leader, but the girls tend to be shy when it is their turn to be prayer leader. In the schoolyard, the students sit on grass or soil. "Let’s be more in tune with nature," they agree. It is inspiring to see these children eager to learn, despite being dirty and hot!
It is not only the children who benefit from this activity. During my time as a teacher leading Rumah Belajar, I learned a lot through observing the students as they learned. One of the most important things I discovered was that every child has a different and unique learning style and, as a teacher, I must differentiate my teaching style and feedback to them. While no two students are the same, they all deserve the same opportunity to grow.
Rumah Belajar was quite crowded one afternoon and the teachers had to raise their voices on several occasions to calm down the students. They were just so active and enthusiastic! It is often a challenge keeping up with their energy levels, with materials prepared in advance sometimes modified on the spot to meet the needs of the children present.
Teachers have covered reading, writing, and arithmetic during these sessions. We have also taught the children how to introduce themselves using English. While tiring, the activities are very enjoyable. Seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter of these children makes us want to continue sharing knowledge with them.
"Thank you very much, Ma’am. Have a safe journey home. We'll see you again soon," are the warming words we often hear when leaving Rumah Belajar at the send of a session.
Text by: Nur Syamsiah, Coordinator of Community Development Team at Muara Wahau (2018-2023), East Kalimantan