A Portrait of Education in An Oil Palm Plantation: SD Perdana Sukamara

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Kabupaten Sukamara is an area with the smallest population in Central Kalimantan. That’s why the number of teachers who have the right competencies to teach is also limited while the need for qualified teachers in Central Kalimantan continues to increase to achieve an equal distribution of education.

In Sukamara, this phenomenon is caused by the difficulty in obtaining proper training that can support teachers’ career. Moreover, geographically, Sukamara is located in an area that has numerous fast-flowing rivers and oil palm plantations—it’s as if the people of Sukamara are trapped in their area.

This is what happens to SD (Elementary School) Perdana Sukamara, one of the schools located in the middle of an oil palm plantation in Kabupaten Sukamara. Krisdiana, the principal and a Grade 5 teacher at SD Perdana Sukamara shares with us her experience related to this urgency.

Krisdiana knows that getting adequate training in Sukamara isn’t easy. The only thing she can think of is making efforts to attend training herself and pass the materials on to the school.

“Sometimes, it’s difficult for me to participate in the training. The training is done in the city center, so I have to travel long distance. It is tiring, but I don’t want to give up. The teachers at my school have to gain sufficient knowledge to become qualified to teach,” said Krisdiana.

There are many things that Krisdiana has tried. She once invited tutors to conduct a training session at her school but unfortunately had to cancel because the school was difficult to reach. Furthermore, based on her experience, the school always receives training modules late, so Krisdiana has to come to Dinas Pendidikan (the Regional Office of Education and Culture) and get the modules herself.

In response to this, the Putera Sampoerna Foundation together with PT Sampoerna Agro are committed to improving the quality of education in the Sukamara by providing required training through the Lighthouse School Program.

In this program, facilitators from PSF provides the teachers at the school with a variety of training sessions and mentoring through direct intervention method so they can get optimal knowledge and experience.

In addition, in regards to the implementation of the Merdeka Curriculum, teachers at SD Perdana Sukamara have also been given training and assistance on the characteristics and stages of the Curriculum. The aim is to get SD Perdana Sukamara ready to start implementing the Merdeka Curriculum.

The impact of the training program has gradually been felt by the teachers at the school. According to Krisdiana, teachers can now create a more fun learning atmosphere. “After several training sessions were carried out at the school, our teachers began to try implementing what they had received in the classroom. The students turned out to enjoy such teaching methods, “she explained.

With the training conducted at the school, SD Perdana is now ready to become the beacon of the Sukamara by implementing a variety of fun learning methods and sharing them with other schools in the area.