Kamel Menanti Akses Belajar yang Memadai

COVID-19 memaksa Kamel, pelajar usia 17 tahun pulang kampung ke desa. Maklum, tidak semua desa di Lembata punya SMA, sehingga Kamel harus pindah sementara dan sekolah di kota. Biasanya ia hanya pulang ke desa saat liburan sekolah tiba, di kala pandemi melanda, Kamel terpaksa pulang lebih awal. Jarak rumah Kamel ke sekolah sekitar 50 km, hal inilah yang membuatnya menumpang di rumah saudara ketika jadwal belajar mengajar berlangsung normal. Di Kabupaten Lembata, sekolah sudah tutup dan Kamel diminta belajar mandiri di rumah.

“Senang sekali bisa pulang ke rumah. Bisa berkumpul dengan adik, mama dan bapak. Tapi, jadi sulit sekali belajar. Sinyal susah di sini kak”

Akses di desanya yang serba terbatas membuat ia kesulitan belajar mandiri. Setiap 2 kali dalam seminggu ia menghubungi guru untuk memberikan tugas yang telah ia kerjakan dan menerima tugas baru. Jaringan telepon genggam belum merata, sehingga mengirimkan tugas ke guru jadi masalah tersendiri. Ia harus pergi ke titik di mana jaringan lebih baik. Bicara media belajar, radio sudah tidak ada dan jaringan TV nasional yang menyediakan tayangan belajar sulit sekali diakses dari Lembata. Untungnya, Kamel semangat dan bisa memanfaatkan beberapa buku paket pinjaman sekolah untuk belajar di rumah. Di saat orang tua Kamel tetap berkebun, dengan keterbatasan yang ada, orang tuanya pun mendukung waktu-waktu Kamel belajar, beli pulsa agar Kamel bisa menyetorkan tugas sekolah dan membayarkan iuran sekolahnya.

Sehari-hari, kegiatan Kamel membantu orang tua untuk cuci piring, memasak, mengambil air, bermain dan belajar. Pagi dan sore, Kamel menempuh jarak 2 Km untuk memenuhi kebutuhan air sehari-hari. Kecuali air untuk masak dan minum, keluarganya mengandalkan air tadah hujan di Bak Pah, namun itu pun belum tentu karena musim hujan sudah beralih ke musim kering. Barulah di malam hari Kamel belajar mandiri. Ia mengerjakan soal-soal latihan dari guru dan membaca buku pelajaran.

“Saat ini saya belum tau kapan bisa kembali ke sekolah. Belajar di rumah sendirian buat saya kurang banyak mengerti, karena sulit sekali menghubungi guru untuk bertanya. Saya berharap paling tidak, desa saya punya jaringan telepon genggam yang lancar dan bisa beli pulsa terus, supaya bisa konsultasi dengan guru-guru”

Oleh: Erlina Dangu & Raisha Fatya


Staying connected: COVID-19 and the impact on girls’ education

The COVID-19 outbreak has forced 17-year-old Kamel to return to her village in Lembata. Without a high school close to her home, Kamel usually stays with relatives in the city and attends school there, only returning home during the school holidays. But with all the schools in Indonesia closed to prevent the spread of the disease, Kamel is now studying remotely.

Kamel is finding her new way of life challenging but is enjoying spending more time with her family. “It’s so good to be able to go home. I can be with my younger brother, mother and father. But it’s very difficult to study as the internet signal is not very good here.”

Internet access in Kamel’s village is limited, which makes it difficult for her to study at home effectively. Kamel does have some other resources she can use, including books that she borrowed from her school library. There are some educational programmes on TV but the television signal does not reach her village.

Twice a week she has to contact her teacher to return assignments that have been completed and receive her new ones. With poor internet connectivity in her home, she usually has to find somewhere else where the network connection is better and not so slow.

While Kamel’s parents have continued to keep to their daily routine of working their farmland, they wholeheartedly support Kamel’s education and ensure she has time to study and buy her internet data so she can submit her school assignments. They have also committed to continue paying her school tuition fees.

During her free time, Kamel helps her parents with the household chores, including washing the dishes and cooking. Every morning and evening, Kamel has to walks for 2 km to look for water for the household as there is no running water in the village.

“Right now, I don’t know when I will be able to go back to school. School-from-home makes it very difficult for me to contact my teacher to ask questions. I would like my village to have a better phone and internet network and be able to buy internet data so I can stay connected with my teachers more.”