Teaching students in a remote area is a personal satisfaction for the teachers. Different characteristics of students in each EBPP school require our teachers to be more creative and innovative. This month all EBPP teachers are very focused on preparing students who will take the national final exams which will be held in March and April this year by the central government.There are 41 students who will take examinations from 6 EBPP schools at elementary, junior and senior high school level and 17 of them are from Pengalusan and Jatituhu schools.
Pak Made S (EBPP senior teacher) uses a strategy of reading books before learning, to increase interest in reading by getting students to read books about 10 minutes before the main lesson begins. Each student must share about their view after reading the books. With this habit of reading, we’ve seen that students' grammar and vocabulary has improved; and they’ve less difficulty composing good sentences and writing short stories. In short, classes become more active and students are more engaged, especially when writing their daily diaries!
Our Balinese Language and Hinduism teacher, Pak Wayan S, uses a different technique, as Balinese and Hindu Religion subjects are the basic foundation knowledge that students must learn at school so they can apply it appropriately in real life. Thus, he uses a contextual teaching model, designed to make learning more meaningful to students by connecting to real life. Before starting the lesson,he gives them questions to direct them to the main topic, which requires them to use their critical thinking skills.
Most people think it’s easy to speak Balinese language correctly without learning it intensively, since Balinese is our first language; but Wayan totally disagree because Balinese language has different levels, where the highest is only spoken by people who have a high ‘caste’level in society. In order to build students’ characters, they need to speak Balinese in a proper way, such as knowing how to address those who are older. The language reflects how respectful you are. Therefore, building our students’ characters and confidence is his first priority in teaching Balinese and Hindu Religion. By having a good character and confidence, they will be able to have good behaviour at school, home, and in society.
"I really like the teaching methods used by EBPP teachers, because I can more quickly understand the lessons being delivered," said Rantani, one of our Jatituhu students who will take the national high school exam this year. Thank you, GlobalGiving's donors, for inspiring EBPP teachers to be more creative and innovative
February 2020, By Komang Kurniawan/Team leader of EBPP
The difficult geographic location of EBPP’s Pengalusan and Jatituhuschools, high up the slope of Mount Agung and Abang respectively, does not dampen the enthusiasm of either students or teachersto get to these schools.The teachers admit that the limited school facilities make them even more determined:faced with many challenges and obstacles, we make use of limited media to develop creative learning methods that can foster students’ ability to think critically, logically and analytically.
Some examples of creative media in learning Civics and Economicsare when our teacher first drew his own charts/ shapes according to the learning material. Secondly, he created cards as the game method of connecting cards and matching cards. Thirdly, active problem-based discussion learning groups and presentations using a digital projector to display picture and video, and using the mind-mapping learning method as well as contextual learning and field practice.
In maths lessons, our teacher creates crossword puzzles by getting the students to fill in numbers according to the subjects such as the results of multiplication, division and fraction numbers. This game is a very appropriate way to hone students’ thinking skills. Another teacher uses charts in teaching statistic by having the students working in groups and doing some interview in neighbours’ house to find the data needed. After collecting the data, then they developed the charts and gave presentations. In science classes, the students also gavepresentations to their peers to prove that the material they learn is already mastered. In English, the teacher uses many different activities such as reading story books every week andgetting the students to memorize five new words, learning through games such as noughts and crosses game to encourage step by step students’ logical thinking skill. In this game the students have to compete in groups; the winner is the first group to fill three squares in a row, either across, down, or diagonally by creating sentences using the words in the squares. If their sentence is correct they can write either “X”s or “O”s based on their group.
Since we usemany different media in learning, the ability to think critically, logically and analyse starts to grow, seen by the students’ ability in asking, answering, commenting, and active communication.To be a successful teacher, we must be able to create interesting learning media that will invite questions and ultimately train students to think critically and analyse problems in all materials presented to them.
Thank you GlobalGiving for supporting our fundraising for education programs, enabling us, the teachers, to develop our students’ skills so they can finish their studies, and hopefully, these skills will to make a real contribution to their life by having the ability to think critically, logically, and to analyse problems. We still need funds urgently to enable us to continue teaching these dedicated students for many years to come.
EBPP teachers have always committed to giving the best education for students in the most remote area of Eastern Bali where the best quality education is needed as well as to improve their living standard towards a better life. One of the principal goals that many teachers set for themselves is to be the best educator they can beand to ensure students understand not only concepts, but practices as well. One of the ways to attain their goals is to continually strive to develop improved teaching methods by sharing and brainstorming with their peers, to engage, motivate and inspire their students to broaden their knowledge – often by creatinggames and other fun learning activities as icebreakers.
In addition to academic subjects, our teachers also assist students in developing creative activities, such as for Independence Day, assisting them preparing for annual Celebration on August 17th, with a variety of stage performances including music, art, culture, dances, and a drama play.This year, the teachers also collaborated with a professional piano teacher from Jakarta, who introduced piano playing to the students and trained them to perform one of their songs, accompanied with piano, on Independence Day.
Some of our teachers are focussed fully on extra-curricular youth empowerment programmes we started in July 2015, sponsored by a USA-based NGO, EMpower – The Emerging Markets Foundation, where the students are able to have dedicated computer skills training, among other topics, as well as hone their leadership and communication skills. These teachers are not only instructors but also as‘facilitators’ when they encourage the students to upgrade their critical and analytical thinking skills and finding the solution together for any problems they find during their learning process. The facilitators ensure that these character-building activities will help the students to be ready to deal with challenges in their life after graduating.
The EMpower modules are designed and developed to enable our students to have experience, interaction and comparison with other communities outside their surroundings, and recently, our EMpower team arranged for all high school students to join a field trip as part of their development. On June 28th 2019 they arranged a trip to Kopernik Foundation and ARMA (Agung Rai Museum of Art) Ubud. After the Kopernik team explained what they have done for last mile communities and simple technologies they used to reduce poverty, our students had a chance to present products they’d designed and made of bamboo in order to diminish the used of plastic. In ARMA, the students experienced extraordinary masterpiece of art from famous artists in Bali. What a great experience!
On the second week of August 2019, the EMpower teachers held Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with our students who were equal partners with teachers, experiencing taking part in a real discussion. All teachers and students sat together with commitment of the learning process so they will be able to create more comfortable and fun classes in the future. This activity also gives students confidence to express their feelings and ideas; for teachers, this activity was a reflection to improve our teaching methodology.
Many thanks to all donors through GlobalGiving's creative crowdfunding campaigns, providing funding that enables our teachers to keep doing our important job in educating our students and we try to keep on innovating and updating our teaching methodology to make students more enthusiastic in learning.
Being a teacher and educating children in our own village is something that is very pleasant and rewarding for those who like this job: teaching in the classroom whereas some people prefer learning than teaching. As a teacher at EBPP, supported by GlobalGiving donors, we must have extensive teaching insights and understand the learning characteristics of her/his students, so that teachers can be creative and use different methods in teaching. As time goes on, EBPP teachers keep innovating their teaching techniques, such as: learning through research in libraries, learning through games, learning English through art - as inspired by one of our volunteers, making artwork utilizing nature’s potential, composing songs related with nature and human life, and many other techniques.
Computer-based National Exams
One of the teacher’s most important tasks is assisting students to prepare and be ready to face the national exam as the real challenge in their school life. Starting this year, the exams are no longer answering question on paper but by using computer! The teacher always put their best effort to help them to be the best they can be and be able to pass the exam.
National Education Day, annually on 2nd May
This year, we held our National Education Day celebrations in EBPP’s Daya Bamboo Centre. The teachers, in collaboration with all our students, prepared many activities such as the opening ceremony to commemorate education heroes, creative art performances, Balinese and modern dance, music performances, poetry reading, and also – for the first time - the fantastic fun competitions of junior high school students creating English words through letters, the winner making the most words in 10 minutes; and the other one was creating English sentences through words for senior high students in 10 minutes. The most fun competition however was the general knowledge quiz for all levels: elementary, junior and senior high. All students enjoyed the celebrations, assisted by EBPP teachers.
“Extra English classes – Please!”
Students’ motivation in learning English encouraged our teachers to offer them extra time to learn English after classes finish – BUT they would have to come down to EBPP staff rooms in Ban office. It was then a wonderful surprise when, without prior notification, EBPP’s Manikaji and Darmaji students came the 5 and 7 kilometres respectively to EBPP Ban office last Thursday, 16th May! They committed and agreed to study after school ended and hopefully their English language skills will rapidly improve.
Many thanks to our GlobalGiving donors for supporting our teachers in our mission. By developing and creating different teaching methodology we as teachers are able to give the children the best start in life. Adapting curricula that work for the children helps them to enjoy learning and we hope they will continue to learn throughout their life.
REPORT FROM THE FIELD: A Teachers Perspective on Teaching Children in East Bali
By; Eka, EBPP English teacher
I always look forward to school days as day worthwhile days where students can optimize their potentialthrough learning provided by EBPP education program. EBPP teachers always put their best effort to make the students ready for the biggest step in their life. Because education is an essential need for people wherever they are and they must have enough education as their life stock.
My name is Eka, one of EBPP’s 12 high school teachers. I’m from Lombok and joined EBPP in 2011 to teach English from elementary to senior level. I live the beautiful village of Ban with my husband, who is also a teacher in EBPP.
EBPP has 6 schools and every day I go to a different school located on steep roads around Mount Agung and Mount Abang. I really enjoy teaching at EBPP because of the different experiences I have every day, although the road is so difficult and we go on motorbikes on steep and slippery roads. Going to our schools I can also usually see the greatness of Mount Agung from the distance, even though we know that Mount Agung is still on high alert, which means we have to be careful for any unexpected situations. But this situation doesn’t affect our team’s dedication in teaching our lovely students.
One of our biggest motivations to keep teaching is we always know that we are never alone fighting for our students’ better future. We are so thankful to the people who already support, and help us. This month, we get help from Tarryn Biswas, a young teacher and artist from England who is volunteering to teach English through art at all our schools throughout February and March.Tarryn’s lived in Indonesia for over a year now andher program is intended to build on students’ vocabulary and English skills through visualisation. This is a unique technique because the teacher can combine skills and learning methods to provide a form of visual learning that can be delivered to students of all abilities and levels. Tarryn’s presence in EBPP does help us a lot, by giving new knowledge and teaching skill that are beneficial for our education progress in the future. We hope there will be more people like Tarryn who’ll visit and teach us more new knowledge and skill.
Recently, the heavy rains caused many leaks to our Pengalusan School roof, but we are so grateful to a local Golf Club that has funded the renovation, with many repairs to its roof, ceiling, and windows. Right now, together with the residents of Pengalusan hamlet, we work to make a comfortable study centre for our Pengalusan students.
By continuous support from our donors, especially through Global Giving, we are able to improve our students’ life standards step by step. For us, the teachers, we become more motivated and dedicate our best effort to teach the students in these remote areas. Our donors also help us to help the students reach their goals.
Thanks to Global Giving who has helped us with the sustainability of our program so that our program can continue helping the children of East Bali to reach their goals.
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