English Program for Children in Mapin Kebak Alas
NTB Times, Mapin Kebak -English in Indonesia is studied as foreign language. Teaching English needs some effective strategies for the students to comprehend the content and not the structural. It is somehow challenging for the teachers to deliver the subject. In this case, some rural villages in Sumbawa face the issue. Many teachers discover several concerns regarding transportation, teaching students having slow pace in learning English, infrastructure, limited income, etc. It also came to one point that some parents there did not distress English as a primer skill for their children. Both parents and students accentuated on simply passing the examination. They did not find the opportunities of using English in real life.
It started when I spent holiday in one of my relatives’ house in Mapin Kebak, one of villages in West Alas, West Nusa Tenggara. It takes at least two hours from Sumbawa city. That afternoon, I saw some children playing in front of yard. They played some traditional games which probably vanished and many people did not amuse themselves with those games. I asked my relative, Nul, about their age, their habits, their school, and so on. They were primarily elementary school students grade 3 to grade 6. They lived several blocks away from Nul’s house. Their parents are mostly employees, farmers, and migrant workers, some of the children are orphans, too. They gathered with their friends and joked around. I was curious if they learned English at school. He said English was introduced at middle school level. There was no extracurricular activity for English. They might learn it by themselves from televisions. He wished someone to volunteer and open an English course for the children there because the participants would be more to come.
After going back from Mapin, I tried to contact my jie jie (Chinese term for older sister) and friends to be the children’s supporters. Three of them were already donors since my charity project in Suranadi, West Lombok. I sent them a mail and asked if they were willing to lend a hand. I explained the details of condition there and how their helps gave important impact. Thank God, I managed to raise funds to provide school packages. It did not reach the expectation. However, it was enough to share with them.
I called Nul for a second time to collect some data of children in needs. I had Sus to help me this time.I had to make sure the donation going to the right hand. I asked permission from the authorized village personnel for this activity. There were 40 elementary school students and 3 middle school orphans. They were from different school in Mapin Kebak and Mapin Beru. Sus said the children were excited. Finally the day came. Nul’s front yard was our ‘classroom’. I met the children for the first time. I introduced myself. From I saw, they were enthusiastic to know more. I threw some questions and asked them to answer them in English. I was surprised to see how those children knew some Basic English vocabularies, counted in English, and sang an English song. Nul was correct; they said they learnt English through TV and songs. I found several mispronounced words. They possibly heard somewhere or uttered the words exactly like how they were written. Despite of lack of pronunciation, they had high spirit to show their ability. I appreciated their effort. I taught them a simple English song, ‘head and shoulder’. Children learnt fast if we showed them verbally. Their expressions were getting brighter when Sus and I shared the school packages from the donors. Children sure loved gifts. I heard from some parents that it was the first time someone doing this. They were so thankful. They anticipated the continuity.
It could not be happened without love and support from people who cared about education. I sincerely thank you to my jie jie and friends who support and give to important cause. Children are love and lovely. Let them feel being loved and secured. I wish more people cared. I plan to gather more rural students who want to study English in fun way and provide proper learning environment. I cannot do this alone. Let us work together. (NT01)
#Contributor Dwi Rizka Harriami