The Story of Emanuel Begu, the Teacher who Travels around Lembata Coast to Teach

Hello, my name is Emanuel Begu. I am a contract teacher at SMPN 3 Satu Atap Hamahena, East Ile Ape, Lembata District, East Nusa Tenggara. Since the School from Home (SFH) began, I have been regularly traveling around to teach students twice a week. The travel is necessary because many of our students have no access to the internet; some do not even own smartphones.

Today, I am scheduled to visit a student group in Atawatung Village, a remote village that is only reachable through a 20-minute journey by motorcycle and a 15-minute journey on foot because the roads to get there are not passable by any vehicle.
Afterward, I will continue my journey to visit villages on the East Ile Ape Coast. With my trusty red motorcycle, I always enjoy the trip, passing by the ocean with an incredible view and cool breeze.
My new activities began last April. Due to the new health protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, the visitation program is limited to five students per group. In one day, I take turns teaching from one group to the next ones.

Now I have arrived at the learning spot of one of the groups. We are going to study at a field near the beach. I take out my teaching equipment: modules, student books, learning media, and the attendance form. Today we will be learning math.
After a few weeks of following the School from Home program, I can see the weariness in my students’ eyes. Some of them have started to become neglectful when it comes to finishing their assignments.
However, I feel that the students are more focused, as there are only five of them in each group. I can better observe their developments.
For instance, one of my students who used to be very quiet in class and almost never talked is now actively participating in discussions. I am so happy to see that.

Just like that, 30 minutes have passed, and I have to continue my journey to teach the next student group. See you again next week, kids! Don’t forget to do your assignments, alright!

Written by: Fransiskus Ola Ama Langun/Ciptanti Putru | Illustration: Aida Rahma | Translated by: Siti Fatimah Ayuningdyah