The role of EBPP teachers, apart from online/offline teaching is to provide support to our local tutors, parents, and students themselves to increase motivation while they must continue studying at home. Due to the serious 2nd wave of the Covid Pandemic at the beginning of July, learning in the new 2021/2022 academic year which started on 12th July 2021, carried had to continue with online and offline learning systems, which for our high school students is carried out on a scheduled basis through WhatsApp groups.
However, the struggle of EBPP teachers during the Covid-19 Pandemic, especially has its own challenges, such as teachers not being able to monitor the development and ability of students to ensure they fully understand and absorb all learning materials. This challenge for many students, especially those who just moved to 7th Grade from elementary school is (a) not having access to a smartphone to support distance learning and (b) many students have difficulty in finding internet signals. This situation is very difficult, but it never reduces the teachers’ enthusiasm and struggles to teach. During the covid19 pandemic, I still try to serve all my students as much as possible by adapted the way of learning and teaching according to the conditions of today's pandemic. To ensure we give our best support to our students, EBPP teachers also conduct field visits 3 times a week by adhering to strict health protocols.
In online learning, students and teachers struggle to adapt in order to learn well. I tried hard to explain slowly and in detail both through chat and voice messages in WhatsApp groups, so that students could understand what the teacher was saying. We’ve also open an information service without a time limit because we understand the situation of students who have difficulty find a signal and some of them take turns using cell phones with their friends.
Hopefully we can always provide the best service for our students so that learning during this pandemic can be a suitable alternative to face-to-face learning. We would like to thank all the donors who until now are still faithfully helping us, so that all activities can still run well.
Due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and thehigh potential risk of infection, schools remain closed and our teaching activities are still carried out using distance learning: offline for our elementary students with teachers taking materials to their homes and practicing questions, whilst always following COVID-19 health protocols; online with smartphones for junior and senior high students, who our teachers visit directlyweekly to answer queries and share creative ideas.Whilst this is still challenging, our teachers continue to innovate so that students’ learning remains interesting and does not become a burden due to excessive learning assignments.
Teachers’ Capacity Building Programs
In order to support and increase our teachers’ resource capacity, EBPP conducts various capacity building activities, outlined below:
1) Photography training: As all of our teachers are required to document students’ activities with their smartphones every week, especially for keeping our donors updated,EBPP management team held a full day intensive photography training course on 10th March to help us improve basic photographytechniques, with hands on practice and advice. We now take much better photos!
2) Teaching techniques for students with special needs: This online Zoom trainingheld over 4 sessions from March-April, was given by a counselling guidance teacher from a state school in Bandung, West Java. She is an education psychologist, who deals specifically with students with special needs. This beneficial capacity building training focussed onteaching techniques and proper mastery of student classes, which was very interesting and useful for us to refresh our teaching techniques and give more focussed attention to slower learners.
To help students’ struggling families and increase learning motivation during the pandemic, EBPP continues providing monthly staple food supplement packages comprising rice, mung beans, dried fish and cooking oil for all students and their families.
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, we continue to innovate in order to improve the quality of resources, especially in teaching techniques at EBPP schools for the future. We hope that this pandemic will end soon and we can return to normal face-to-face classroom teaching-learning activities.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the home learning system for students is still being implemented. All EBPP teachers still have to deliver learning materials for students to their respective homes, especially for students at the elementary level, while for junior and senior high school levels an online learning system is implemented via their WhatsApp group. This of course requires teachers to think more creatively in preparing subject matter; some lessons are currently presented in the form of multimedia as instructional videos, so that lessons are easier for students to understand.
The start of the rainy season, is a new challenge for EBPP teachers, where the steep, sandy sloping paths leading to students' houses is getting damaged by rainwater and is very difficult to pass by motorbikes, with teachers often have to stop by the side of the road, even have to walk, to deliver learning material to the student's house
Now ending the ninth month of students learning from home and the end of the 1st semester of the 2020-2021 school year, students have their final test/learning evaluation. All teachers prepared exams for all subjects and then distributed to each student at their home. The first day of exams was December 7th for one week. This exam took a long time because the road to some of the students' houses was very difficult, especially the road leading to the Jatituhu School, was very difficult for motorbikes to pass.
The students’ test results are input to report cards which will later be distributed to students. This pandemic situation makes teachers work extra hard because the learning process is not centred in one place.
Towards the end of this year, EBPP teachers also participated in several workshops organized by the district level Government Education Department that were held specifically about implementing new teaching methods during the Covid-19 pandemic, and discuss new techniques that will be applied in teaching.
To increase motivation and fulfil the nutritional intake of all students and their families, EBPP distributed nutritious staple food aid every month, from May to December, which played a key role in reducing student dropout rate to zero.
EBPP teachers’ other activities included making reports on the progress of student activities during 2020 in six EBPP schools, as well as preparing year-end presentation reports for education programs carried out on December 18.
The last activities to be carried out at the end of this year are: compiling a work plan for next year. Hopefully next year the situation will be better and free from the Covid-19 pandemic, so that all teachers will find it easier to deliver all learning materials for students at school. In conclusion, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a New Year, and thank you for all your help, so that we can continue our activities in providing a better education for all students in remote areas for a better future.
We hope you enjoy THANK YOU and Season Greeting video from our Pengalusan children here.
The Covid-19 pandemic is still a very serious problem in Indonesia and so all schools remain closed and students continue learning remotely from home, requiring EBPP teachers to always think creatively and innovatively; whatever problems the students face, they must be able to find the best solution quickly.
In these difficult remote learning situations, after adapting and improving the WhatsApp group learning process for the last 6 months, it is the best solution. In teaching with this system, students can easily ask about subject topics they do not understand, even though some have to walk quite a distance to find internet signal. As EBPP teachers, we must be ready to respond to questions from students, anytime and anywhere. Often our teachers work late into the night in order to provide comprehensive learning materials that are suitable for their students’ home study.
What our Teachers say
Wayan S, an EBPP teacher who and the principal of the Pengalusan School, said, "During this pandemic, as a teacher, I am responsible for motivating all students so that they can join together fighting for their education. Even though I have to go to higher ground or places far from high school students’ homes to meet them for study, I’m also responsible for bringing print outs of lesson material for elementary students studying offline. Three times a week I walk around to the students' houses to monitor their progress and ensure that none of them have problems in learning.I also communicate with their parents, so they understand how important it is for their children to learn every day, especially during this pandemic. Many parents don’t want their children to leave the house to study, but after I explained that they left the house because they had to look for internet signals to study, their parents finally understood.”
"As Coordinator of the EBPP Education Program, I feel very proud of all my teaching friends who go every day to students' houses to teach, they never complain or feel tired, even though they have to travel through steep, dry and rocky roads,” said Made S.
Proud to be keeping students nourished and safe
All EBPP teachers are very pleased and proud when they can provide the monthly supplementary food packages of rice, green beans, cooking oil and dried fish to all students so that none go hungry and can enjoy studying at home, even during the long and hot dry season like now.We really hope that we are able to continue this until the end of this year and that no students feel the need to drop out of school to seek work to supplement their parents’ income! We are also very pleased that all teachers and students received donations of bottles of good hand sanitizer last week, accompanied by educational hygiene posters which we fixed to the school walls.Hopefully, these extra precautionary measures will prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 Virus so that students are always healthy and can still follow learning well.
Thank you to the donors, especially those who helped through the crowd funding of GlobalGiving, so that we can still carry out learning activities well – and keep up the spirit of ourteacher!!
Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck around the world, most students couldn’t study well because their schools were closed. On 16th March Indonesia’scentral government also announcedtemporary closure of all schools and students must learn from home. For teachers who care about their students, teaching is very difficult in this situation!
To overcome this difficulty, EBPP teachers initiated a distance learning system, dividing their tasks between two groups. The first group is assigned to prepare the respective modules whilethe seconddelivers the subject matter to each student's home. Getting to most students’ homes is quite difficult because they can only be accessed via often steep and winding mountainous footpaths. Even so, the teachers are never discouraged crossing broken roads every day so their students can study at home. They are assisted in distributing materials for elementary schools by our local tutors from each school, who also coordinate with the parents to assist by monitoring their children.
For middle and high school students, EBPP teachers have designed an online learning system through WhatsApp groups, sending all subjects online. The difficulties with this system are: not all students have a smartphone and (b) difficult in all locations to find good signal without going outside. To ensure all had phones and equal opportunities to study, EBPP allocated a GlobalGiving $1,000 “hardshipgrant” to buy 16 cell phones, and loaned them to these students so that they could study effectively from home.
To avoid Covid-19 virustransmission, EBPP’s provided each student with complete hygiene/sanitation kits plus masks and all teachers urged students to always maintain good hygiene and health.
We also knew that during the strict lockdown many may go hungry as their families have no income; to assist them, EBPP distributed nutritious food packages to all students and their families in May; AND we plan to providefood packagesevery month during the COVID -19 lockdown – if we have available funds.
Boredom: To relieve boredom while stuck at home, our art teacher distributes drawing and painting materials so students can use their free time to paint at home, channelling their creativity to paper and canvas through colour media and pencils.
Semester exams: In mid-May, all studentstook their final semester exams with a difference!As these could not be done by WhatsApp messages, our dedicated teachers prepared photographed AND photocopied every test and distributed to each student's home! In thefollowingdays, all teachers were full on checking/markingall students’tests papers.
Good luck EBPP teachers, stay safe and healthy;hopefully the Covid-19 virus will soon pass and life will return to normal.
We’re grateful to all donors who’ve helped us feed and support our students till now – but your urgent assistance is needed to enable us to provide food packages for June, July and until the COVID-19 lockdown ends.
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