KIAT Guru is helping to improve education service delivery in remote villages by empowering communities to report on teachers’ attendance and performance. Teachers’ allowances are tied to their service quality. The pilot started in July 2016, with implementation in 203 schools and impact evaluation in 270 primary schools in five underdeveloped districts. Communities verify teacher presence using mobile phone-based applications and evaluate teacher service performance using community scorecards.
“Teachers are no longer absent. They are more responsible in providing the best education service for students. I hope KIAT Guru Program will continue,” said Natalia, a civil servant teacher at SDN 03 Tempoak public elementary school.
SDN 03 Tempoak is located in Ohak Hamlet, Tempoak Village in Menjalin Subdistrict, which is the westernmost point of Landak Subdistrict in West Kalimantan Province. There are two other public schools in the village: SDN 15 Betung Tanjung and SDN 20 Cagat.
Tempoak has been a target of KIAT Guru (Teacher Performance and Accountability) Pilot, which aims to improve education service delivery in remote villages by empowering communities and tying payment of the remote area allowance with either teacher presence or teacher service quality. The pilot is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), and governments of five districts with disadvantaged villages. Yayasan BaKTI implements the program with technical supports from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia and USAID.
The Pilot has not only helped reduce the absentee rate among teachers in the school, but it also managed to improve the students’ academic achievements. At the end of April 2018, the school took part in the Storytelling Competition held by Karangan Education Technical Implementation Unit (UPT) for elementary schools across the district. SDN 03 Tempoak students were the only participants coming from remote villages in the competition, which was participated by students from three subdistricts – Mandor, Mempawah Hulu and Menjalin.
The school also won the Reading Competition held by Library and Archive Office during the Mutual Cooperation Dedication Month last April in Landak District, where two other schools in Tempoak also participated in. Village stakeholders took pride in the participation, which according to them showed that remote schools can also compete with urban schools.
Sustainable Commitment from Stakeholders
Such achievements were new for SDN 03 Tempoak. Previously, some parents would prefer their children to go to SDN 20 in farther Cagat Hamlet to SDN 03 Tempoak, according to former school principal Sarinus Kabire. But now, parents in Ohak and Tareng Hamlets have more faith in the quality of education in SDN 03 Tempoak, which is now a Pilot Elementary School in the village.
“It’s such a waste if the program discontinues because it has significant impacts to the quality of education in remote schools,” said Sarinus, who currently works as School Supervisor in Mempawah Hulu Subdistrict that borders with Menjalin.
All stakeholders are eager to continue KIAT Guru Program even after the implementing Team finishes its contract in April 2018.
“We are ready to continue the program because after KIAT Guru, the school in this village now has competitive edge over other schools in the subdistrict,” said Sunardi, a KIAT Guru’s cadre.
Principal of SDN 03 Tempoak, Epi Pina Edita, acknowledged that KIAT Guru helped her job to get teachers to be more aware of the role, function and responsibility as educator.
“Teachers here are more disciplined now, they come and return home on time. They also prepare better for teaching and learning activities, and students get their rights to get full class,” she said, adding that if KIAT Guru was practiced in every school, the education state in all region will improve.
Tempoak Village Head, Damianus, was so proud of the elementary school’s achievements that he is committed to allocate operational budget for the program continuation from the Village Fund.
“When community facilitators leave, we, the village government is ready to continue the program’s best practices, and give full support, including for the budget,” he said.
School Supervisor in Menjalin Subdistrict, Hamdansyah, who frequently monitored the development of KIAT Guru’s schools, said he would give sanction to teachers who refuse to cooperate. The statement was delivered during the monthly meeting attended by Teachers Board, the Education Users Committee (KPL), Village Cadres, and parents.
Hamdansyah said not only that KIAT Guru helped a great deal in doing his job, it also brought real changes in the pilot schools.
“Therefore, if teachers are reluctant to have their performances evaluated by user committee, report them to me. I will warn them, or even recommend their mutation if necessary,” he asserted.
The story is also published in BaKTI News 150 Edition July – August 2018
Good leaders lead by examples, the saying goes, and Janur Damianus does just that as the principal of SDN Mboeng in remote Kaju Wangi village in Manggarai Timur District, East Nusa Tenggara.
He would be among the first to arrive at school, riding his motorcycle and navigating the rocky road in the mountainous area for half an hour before reaching the school. The lanky man did not have to rise his voice to make himself heard, but his calm demeanor and stoicism earned him much respect.
“The principal is a kind man and fatherly, but he’s very discipline, making us feel embarrassed if we don’t follow his lead. If we make mistake, he gives reasonable advice instead of being angry. He’s very open and willing to admit mistake,” said Elfrida Iman, the homeroom teacher for 4th grade students.
Having been teaching for 31 years, Januar, 53, was transferred to SDN Mboeng in 2015. He recalled how he arrived at around 7.15 every morning only to find the school almost empty. Many of the teachers would be there way after the classes supposed to start at 7.30.
Janur said he did not get angry, as he understood the challenges faced by the teachers and the students who have to walk through harsh terrain to get to school. Come rainy season and the bamboo structures would leak and the school would be flooded that the students would be asked to stay home for a couple of days.
But he consistently showed up early for the first few months and it paid off: the teachers started to come on time. “I treat them like they are my own children,” said Janur, who originally came from Golosari Village in the neighboring subdistrict of Sambirampas.
When KIAT Guru program selected the school as part of its pilot, Janur was ecstatic and welcomed the idea as he felt there were many rooms to improve but the school and the community did not have enough resources. The pilot is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) and governments of five districts with disadvantaged villages, including Manggarai Timur. Yayasan BaKTI implemented the program, with technical support from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia and USAID. The pilot aims to improve education service delivery in remote villages by empowering communities and tying payment of the remote area allowance with either teacher presence or teacher service quality.
KIAT Guru facilitator Angga Yoga S. said the principal became a focal point for the pilot as he has strong presence and is very well-respected in the community.
“He helped approach the village government to support the program, and he fully supports the Education User Committee (Kelompok Pengguna Layanan, KPL), which comprises of parents and local community figures, even though he knows that the Committee would monitor and evaluate his performance,” he said.
When an issue emerged as a teacher demanded to be promoted as civil servant, Janur settled the problem amicably, giving understanding to the teacher that such decision was at the national government and the most important thing is for students to receive quality education.
Angga said Janur is very open to suggestion even when it comes from a much younger person.
“I told him about a school principal in Yogyakarta who likes to do rounds at the school to see for himself condition of the students; he thought it was a good idea and did the same ever since,” Angga said.
Janur initiated the library at the school after the students requested it. He said he sought the books from other schools, as well as from his relatives and grown up children in Jakarta. The school managed to get a couple of hundred donated books this year.
Another of his initiatives is the rule obliging everyone to only use Indonesian Language at school from Monday through Thursday. The rule was implemented after he saw the results of KIAT Guru baseline survey how many students were still lagging behind in Indonesian language as they mostly use local dialect.
“I’m not promoting KIAT Guru but it is indeed a very good program. We as teachers learn a lot. The most valuable lesson is discipline and attendance,” he said.
He hoped that the pilot would be implemented in every school, or at least at his eight-year-old daughter’s school across their house. Janur said he did not enroll his daughter to SDN Mboeng because it was too far and the harsh terrain would be more severe when it rains. He was however concerned with the late attendance and lackluster performance of the teachers in his daughter’s school.
“It’s ironic that I work hard assisting the program to improve SD Mboeng while my own daughter’s school is ignored,” Janur sighed.
Dawn has not yet broken in Hawir Hamlet in Nggilat Village, Manggarai Barat District in East Nusa Tenggara, that July morning. But Patria Helena “Helen” Delasmi, 9, and her brother Yanuarius Theodata Giarto or Gian, 6, were all set to go to school. While waiting for breakfast to be served, the siblings were playing with their three-months-old sister held by their grandmother. They have to wake up early every morning because the school is quite a distance away and getting there is almost like a cross-country adventure – a thirty-minute to one-hour walk through dirt and gravel road, passing through a forest, meadow and a river stream. But they have no choice as there is only one elementary school in Nggilat, SDI Hawir, which serves three hamlets and a neighboring village, Singkul. The school has been selected to take part in the KIAT Guru program to improve education service delivery in remote villages by empowering communities and tying payment of the remote area allowance with either teacher presence or teacher service quality.
The pilot is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction and five district governments with disadvantaged villages, including Manggarai Barat. It is implemented by Yayasan BaKTI, with technical support from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia and USAID.
As trails of sunlight broke into the kitchen, Helen and Gian were having breakfast of rice mixed with noodle. They were accompanied by their mother Veronica Sulastri, 27. Like many children in this village, Helen is shy toward strangers and she is not yet fluent in Indonesian as she is more accustomed to speaking local dialects. “She actually likes to read and she likes Mathematics, but she has difficulties in understanding Indonesian language,” Veronica says. She tries to help Helen with her study and homework every night, which is included in KIAT Guru's set of community service agreement.
KIAT Guru empowers communities to hold teachers accountable by agreeing to prioritize five to eight bottom-up service performance indicators to improve the student learning environment. In turn, communities, in this case parents, must also do their part at home, such as providing what children need, like a uniform and desk to study at home, and helping with homework. “But I can only help so much because I’m only a junior high school graduate,” Veronica said.
Helen’s father, Maksimus Sunardi, 31, helped her tie her shoes before going to school. Sunardi welcomes the KIAT Guru program in his children’s school and he actively takes part in the meetings between teachers and the Education User Committee (Kelompok Pengguna Layanan, KPL), which comprises parents and community figures. He hopes the government fix the village road as it worries him that his small children must go through such physical adventure to reach their school. “Some children in this village don’t want to go to school as it is too tiring,” he says.
As a farmer, the harsh terrain also limits market access. Sunardi sells different commodities, from candlenut to rice and coffee bean, which are collectively sent with trucks to traders in Reo sub-district in the neighboring district of Manggarai. The commodities prices are fluctuating, Sunardi says, in the mercy of the traders.
Helen climbed down the stairs in front of her house, which is divided into living area that is made of brick and a wooden kitchen in the back. A toilet and bathroom are built outside. A couple of friends were already waiting for the siblings to go to the school together. Some of the students live in the neighboring village of Singkul, even further away from the school. They would pass Helen’s house every morning and the sound of them running and talking will be her cue to leave the house.
More students joined Helen and other kids to walk to school. The students seem to have gotten used to the rocky and hilly road, as they walk fast and bounce in joy, even though some of them are still very young and some wear flip flops as they cannot afford shoes. During KIAT Guru’s initial meeting with the children, where they were asked for their recommendations for parents and schools. They wished for basic necessities that children in more developed areas take for granted. Some of them want shoes, food and a good uniform. Others wished for not having to look for firewood in the forest.
Helen and other students drew water from Turvale River into the jerry cans. Dry season makes the school’s front yard arid and dusty, so children are asked to bring water to dampen the ground and moisten the plants, as there is no water source available at school. During dry season, the river is only an ankle deep. But in times of heavy rains, it will overflow up to two-meters high and the children are sometimes forced to stay home. When the water subsides, Helen’s father, Sunardi says, he and other fathers would carry their children on their shoulders to pass the river.
Students walked up the rocky path in the forest and each carried their jerry cans of water to school. SDI Hawir Elementary School occupies a three-hectares area, but is in poor conditions, with cracked floors and ceilings, dirty walls and broken blackboards. There is no available water source, and there is only one toilet, a rickety bamboo stall with a hole in the ground that is used by 116 students and their 11 teachers.
A truck passed the students who walked to the school. The rocky village road makes it impossible for regular cars to pass through, so trucks serve as public transportation between villages. The back of the truck is modified so it accommodates benches for passengers to sit on and they put a canopy above the truck. People can usually hear the truck long before it is seen, as the drivers play loud house music to entertain passengers, and themselves.
Helen passed a meadow on her way to school. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she said, as translated by her father, “midwife.” Perhaps she learns from the hardship her mother had to endure when delivering her children. There is no clinic and midwife in remote Hawir; the closest health center is in Rego Village, some 7 kilometers away. Veronica had a traumatic experience with a traditional midwife when giving birth to Helen. So for Gian’s delivery, she opted to go to Rego, which meant walking for one hour carrying her huge midsection as the rocky road makes it difficult for regular cars and ambulance to go through. Maternal mortality cases are rare now, but the harsh terrain creates medical complications, such as bleeding. For her youngest child, Veronica chose to stay with her sister in the district’s capital city of Labuan Bajo for two months until she gave birth.
It was 7.15 a.m. and the students finally arrived at SDI Hawir. All of the teachers have also come. While waiting for the class, some of the students played with their friends outside while others went straight to their classrooms to do their cleaning task. Fifteen minutes later, the bell rang and everyone ran inside the classes to start the day’s lesson. Helen sat in the back of the room along with other third graders. In the baseline study of KIAT Guru pilot, Helen was “not meeting the basic ability” for Bahasa Indonesia and Mathematic. Nevertheless, she is eager to study and very active in class, carrying her parents’ high hopes that she would graduate from university.
Photo: Fauzan Ijazah
It was almost 7.30 a.m. and the principal and the teachers at Mboeng Elementary School (SDN Mboeng) in remote Kaju Wangi Village, Elar Subdistrict in Manggarai Timur, East Nusa Tenggara, took turns to take each other’s photograph with a cellular phone.
They were not about to update their social media’s profile pictures. Instead, the photo session was part of KIAT Guru Pilot to improve education service delivery in remote villages by empowering communities and tying payment of the remote area allowance with either teacher presence or teacher service quality.
The pilot is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), and five district governments with disadvantaged villages, including Manggarai Timur. It is implemented by Yayasan BaKTI, with technical support from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia and USAID.
Teacher’s attendance was an issue in this village, as some of them often only showed up at 9 a.m., or 90 minutes after the class was supposed to start, if they came at all. An unannounced visit in SDN Mboeng on October 31, 2016 showed that one in six or 17 percent of teachers who were scheduled to teach were absent. The reason for their absence was to attend a training in a neighboring subdistrict. This figure is consistent with The World Bank baseline survey of 270 KIAT Guru schools that indicated the rate of teacher absenteeism was at 25.4 percent. An earlier survey by Analytical and Capacity Development Partnership (ACDP) in 2014 indicated that the rate of absenteeism among teachers in remote school (19.3 percent) is double the national rate (9.4 percent).
Since April 2017, SDN Mboeng has carried out one of three KIAT Guru intervention model, where the remote area allowance of eligible teachers is paid based on their attendance in school, as verified by community representatives. The principal and teachers have to clock in before 7.30 a.m. and clock out after 12.30 p.m. using KIAT Kamera, an android-based camera application. At the end of every month, the community representatives check if teacher’s absenteeism is excused, and evaluate teacher’s service performance using community scorecards. This model worked wonders in reducing the rate of teacher’s absenteeism and late attendance.
“Starting from April 2017, none of the teacher was late. And it trickles down to the students. Seeing their teachers disciplined, the children are now in order, too. They have better manner and they rarely come late anymore even though many of them have to walk for 30 minutes to one hour to get to school,” said Andreas Jemahang, KIAT Guru cadre whose son also studies at the elementary school.
Along with the Education User Committee (Kelompok Pengguna Layanan, KPL), which includes nine members comprising parents and community figures, Andreas evaluates teachers’ attendance and service performance based on a set of service indicators or “promises” that were agreed between teachers and community members beforehand. Based on the recommendations from children, whom KIAT Guru team consulted at the beginning of implementation, the promises range from coming to school on time, to not using corporal punishment on children and being more creative in teaching, such as using visual aids and holding classes outdoor.
As teachers improved, students had too, as shown by a baseline student learning assessment and a diagnostic test in Bahasa Indonesia and mathematics.
“The baseline student learning assessment was conducted in September 2016 and it showed how six 3rd graders did not fare well in reading. In June 2017, there was a diagnostic test on these students and the results were exhilarating. The six can now read well, two of them met the basic standard for second grade, two fit the third grade standards and one even passed the fourth grade standard,” said Karolina Lantu, 3rd Grade homeroom teacher.
Sabina Rantos, a sixth grader at the school, said she liked it that now teachers conduct classes outside, such as for science class.
“It’s more fun,” said Sabina, who have to walk two hours every day to go to school and from school.
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017 Author: Hera Diani
One July morning in SDI Hawir elementary school in remote Ndari Hamlet, Nggilat Village in Manggarai Barat District, East Nusa Tenggara, the fifth graders were studying about Catholicism, but the material was beyond memorizing the Bible verses by heart.
The teacher, Quintus Kalis, began the class by asking the students whose responsibility it was to cook in their houses. The children replied in unison: “Mom!”
“What about cleaning the house? And other household chores?” he asked again, and was met with a similar response. “Mom! The girls!” the kids said.
“Boys don’t help at all? What if your mom is ill? You don’t eat?” he pressed. This time, the 45-year-old man was met with silence.
Smiling, he went on to tell the class that household chores are not necessarily the duty of girls as both girls and boys are equal and have the same ability.
During our chat outside the classroom, Quintus said that divisive gender roles have been his concern for a long time, even though he might not be aware of what the phrase means.
“I observed the communities and wondered how come men just sit around waiting for their coffee to be served. Boys are playing all day while girls have to help with house chores since early on. It made me uncomfortable,” he said. He then made a promise to himself to teach values of gender equality to students when he became a teacher.
Originally from Colol Village in Manggarai Timur District, Quintus graduated from teacher college STKIP Keuskupan in Ruteng, the capital of neighboring Manggarai District. He worked at a parish for five years after graduating before teaching religion at a junior high school in Pateng, Manggarai Timur. That was when he began to infuse gender equality in religion class.
“Teaching religion is not only about praying or faith, but also cleanliness, manner,” he said, adding that he even taught the students how to cook rice.
“More important thing is, we have to walk the talk and be a role model. We can teach them how to sweep the floor clean, but if we don’t set the example, they won’t do it.”
Those principles are implemented at his own home, where his two daughters as well as his son have to do chores. Quintus is not bothered by the fact that his wife, who is also a teacher, brings home bigger paycheck as she became a civil servant earlier than he did.
“My eldest daughter asked me ‘why is Mom’s salary higher than yours?’ I told her that we are actually paid the same, but I gave mine to her Mom,” he said, laughing.
After teaching junior high school for 17 years, he was transferred to SDI Hawir in 2013. He found the community in Ndari Hamlet more laid back compared to that in Pateng.
“In Pateng, if we passed people’s houses at the time where we’re supposedly at school, people would say, ‘Teacher, why so late? What about our kids in school?’. But here, they said, ‘Teacher, come drink coffee with us’,” he said.
The attitude has gradually shifted, he said, ever since KIAT Guru launched a pilot in Nggilat Village, Manggarai Barat to improve education service delivery in remote villages by empowering communities and tying payment of the remote area allowance with either teacher presence or teacher service quality.
The pilot is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) and governments of five districts with disadvantaged villages, including Manggarai Barat. It is implemented by Yayasan BaKTI, with technical support from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia and USAID.
Quintus said the program has ‘awakened’ the community and the teachers, mediating them to create better solutions to improve the students’ learning.
He said he was glad that KIAT Guru made children the core of the program, consulting with them first and foremost before the pilot started by asking children to assess learning support provided by their teachers and the community members. It was in line with his own understanding that adults should enter the children’s mind and their world instead of treating them like object.
“We have to think of them as our own children. Enter their world, get to know them as each of them is unique and have different levels of ability. If we bring them into our ideal mind, we would lose our temper,” he said.
“If we’re too hard on them, they would be too scared to learn. When the recess bell rings and they scream for joy, don’t be too happy, because that means our class is like a prison for them.”
That morning on the very last day of May 2017, a young woman was standing in a classroom that was transformed into a meeting hall. She held the microphone steady, her voice loud and clear, with no trace of nervousness or fear in front of an overwhelmingly male audience. She was reading the scores given to each teacher in the school for their service performance that month.
“Service indicator number one. Principal is present on time, from Monday to Thursday, from 07.15 until 13.00, and from Friday to Saturday, from 07.15 until 11.30. The maximum score is 20. The score given by the User Committee is 17,” said that young woman.
She is Alfiana Pamut, the Head of the User Committee in SD Inpres Golo Popa, a primary school located in Manggarai Timur District, in East Nusa Tenggara, one of the poorest regions in Indonesia.
As I sat at the back of the room, observing how the meeting went, I could not help being impressed by the scene. In a different context, citizens making demands on teachers to provide better service may be a normalcy. However, SD Inpres Golo Popa is located in Compang Necak, a very remote village, three hours’ drive from the nearest town. The last nine kilometers of the distance took an hour’s drive, due to a very badly paved, uphill, and winding road. In isolated villages like Compang Necak, teachers tend to be very well respected due to their higher-level of education, income, and social status.
Unfortunately, precisely because of the remoteness of villages like Compang Necak, the government education department staff at the district level and the supervisors at the sub-district level can provide very little supervision to these teachers, if any.
A UNICEF study in 2012 revealed that the lack of supervision to schools resulted in higher teacher absenteeism. An unannounced survey by Analytical and Capacity Development Partnership (ACDP) in 2014 found that every one of five teachers was absent from remote schools, which was double the national rate.
A World Bank unannounced survey conducted at the end of 2016 in SD Inpres Golo Popa found that one of the seven teachers was absent from the school. None of the 51 students tested (of 61 registered students) had achieved their grade-level competencies in either Bahasa Indonesia or mathematics.
Such was the disheartening situation before KIAT Guru (Teacher Performance and Accountability) pilot started. The pilot is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Team for the Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K), and governments of five districts with disadvantaged villages, including Manggarai Timur. Yayasan BaKTI implements the program with technical supports from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia and USAID.
The pilot aims to improve education service delivery in remote villages. It empowers communities to hold teachers accountable by agreeing to prioritize between five to eight bottom-up service indicators to improve student learning environment. In some pilot schools, the community empowerment is combined with pay for performance of a part of teacher’s income, based on either User Committee’s verification of teacher presence, or User Committee’s score on teacher service performance.
After Alfiana completed reading the service performance scores for all seven teachers in the school, the village cadre, who moderated the meeting, invited the principal and parents to provide their responses. Ester Esem, the School Principal, took the offer after a few other teachers did. She asked, “The UC gave me a score of 6 out of 10 for indicator 7. Principal checks on teachers’ teaching and learning activities and teachers’ presence every day. I would like to get an explanation. I conducted daily supervision.”
In SD Inpres Golo Popa, the teacher service performance scores evaluated by the User Committe determined the amount of remote area allowance that eligible teachers received. In other words, the principal, whose total score was 91, would receive 91% of her remote area allowance for the month of May. Since the total amount of the remote area allowance is one times the base salary, the User Committee’s score is high-stake for teachers.
The audience went silent after Ester spoke. I could feel a lot of them were getting apprehensive. While waiting for the moderator to transfer the microphone over, a few people carefully shifted their weights, making sure that the wooden chairs on which they sat did not creak.
Once Alfiana got the microphone, she said, still with loud, and clear, and confident voice as before, “We checked the document, conducted observation, and interviewed the students before giving the score. In the teacher presence form, two teachers marked themselves as being present in school. However, on that day, they were supervising tests in other schools. So, your supervision [of the two teachers] was not very maximal, and we saw that this was not good.”
I was very much impressed by the User Committee. During lunch break, I had an informal chat with some of them. I was curious how they became so brave, and how they could voice their demands so strongly and solidly.
They responded, “For us, becoming members of the User Committee is the responsibility of the heart. We divide ourselves into two groups and take turns to visit the school and every classroom every two weeks. We have to score teachers as fairly as we could, because we know that our score will determine their allowance. However, we also could not give high scores to teachers who do not deserve them, as we have to be accountable to the wider communities.”
Comprised of nine members, six of them parents of students and three of them community leaders, the User Committee members are elected by the parents and community members. The User Committee in Golo Popa consists of five females, and led by one.
While what I witnessed in Golo Popa may be one of the best-case scenarios, it is still very encouraging to see how, after only three months of community facilitation process, the User Committee could already hold the principal and teachers accountable to the service indicators that they had agreed to. It may take longer for other communities to achieve similar level of social accountability, but Golo Popa shows that it is definitely possible!
At the end of my visit, after thanking Ester, the school’s principal for her hospitality, I asked her how she felt about the User Committee. To my surprise, she told me that their presence has made it easier for her to hold her teachers accountable.
“I had often reminded my teachers of their responsibilities to come on time and to prepare for their lessons. But as a female principal, the male teachers would not listen to me. Now I have all of the User Committee members conducting the monitoring on my behalf,” she said.
Saturday, Aug 12, 2017 Author: Hera Diani
Several dozens of children formed a circle in the front yard of SDI Hawir elementary school in Nggilat Village, Manggarai Timur District in East Nusa Tenggara a July 2017 afternoon after class. Each of them then said their names, grades, the hamlets they were from and what they wanted to be when they grew up.
“I want to be a singer!” said Erdi. Emanuel wished to become a policeman while Yulia wanted to become a doctor. Other aimed for painter, teacher and midwife, and the kids burst into laughter when a girl said she wanted to be a mother. “In the kitchen!!” a boy mocked her, leaving the girl smiling shyly.
When they seem to have relaxed, they were brought back inside the classroom for a session where students from third to sixth grade provided recommendations and feedbacks on teachers and parents.
It was the second time such assessment was held, the first one was in March, before the KIAT Guru pilot was launched at the school. The pilot is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction (TNP2K) and governments of five districts with disadvantaged villages, including Manggarai Barat. Implemented by Yayasan BaKTI, with technical support from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia and USAID, the pilot aims to improve education service delivery in remote villages by empowering communities and tying payment of the remote area allowance with either teacher presence or teacher service quality.
At the core of the pilot are the students, whose opinions and recommendations are the basis to create the indicators of teachers’ attendance and performance, as well as feedbacks for their parents. Before the pilot even started, the children were the first party to consult as they were deemed the most knowledgeable on what the teaching and learning process should be at school.
At SDI Hawir, the students were given an informed consent form stating that the information they provided would be shared with other parties. The form had two emoticons, one smiley and another frowning face, and they had to tick either one to indicate their approval or disapproval on information sharing.
Afterwards, they started to write on cue cards on what their parents and teachers should do to help them improve. Reading what they wrote on the cards was an emotional experience as many of their wishes were basic necessities their peers in more developed areas take for granted.
Many of these students live in neighboring hamlets and have to walk about 30 minutes to one hour to reach school, on a rocky path that passes forest and a river. Some of them wished they have shoes instead of wearing flip-flops to school. They also asked for food and new uniforms, and there was a kid who wished he did not have to look for firewood.
As for the teachers, the students said there have been improvements as none of the teachers have been late in the last three months, and they appeared to be more relaxed and in good spirit.
“What about physical punishment? Any of you is still being beaten by the teachers?” asked
KIAT Guru facilitator Pansbert Chrispierco Bunga, who led the assessment.
“Nooo,” said the students. But there was a small voice from a boy that said, “Yes.”
“Are you still being beaten?” Pansbert asked.
“Yes, with (a piece of) wood, on my bottom. It wasn’t hard, though,” said the boy.
The boy, and the rest of the students, said they would not mind punishment but it should be done lightly, like kneeling, singing or a slight pinch on the cheek.
As for the school, they hoped the classrooms would be renovated as some of them were in poor condition, with cracked floors and ceilings and dirty walls. The toilet, a rickety bamboo booth with a hole in the ground that is used by 116 students and their 11 teachers, required fixing and addition, they said.
SDN Mboeng in Kaju Wangi Village, in the neighboring district of Manggarai Timur, also hoped for good school infrastructure. The school was built by the community in 2009 so that their children could go to school. Initially, the building comprised of four classrooms made of bamboo, with dirt floors, no doors and no windows. And later on the local education office built three additional rooms made of bricks.
Based on the children's recommendations, the school then installed doors at the classrooms (as the children said they often found dog poops on their desks the next morning), and punctured holes on bamboo walls to enable some lights inside the rooms. They still wished to have more permanent structures, but at least they now have a library, which they requested last year.
“I love it, I love reading storybooks,” said Victoria Anggraini Dautteri Nambung, 10, a sixth grader.
SDN Mboeng's religious teacher, Tomas Langga Ras, said the KIAT Guru program, particularly the child assessment, has transformed him into a new man.
“I used to be the most feared teacher. I had a booming voice, I yelled at kids and used my two hands to discipline them. Now, thanks to KIAT Guru, I’ve come to realize that corporal punishment is not appropriate and it damages children’s psychological state.”
Janur Damianus, the principal of SDN Mboeng, said the students’ demands brought tears to his eyes.
“To be honest, it had never occurred to me that students could be opinionated. I guess, we always put children as object. But KIAT Guru taught us to give more effort. It gives us motivation,” he said.
A meeting held in August 2017 between teachers and the Education User Committee (Kelompok Pengguna Layanan, KPL) of SDI Hawir elementary school in Nggilat Village, Manggarai Barat in East Nusa Tenggara, quickly turned into a heated argument.
Members of the KPL, which comprised of parents and community figures, had just finished presenting the results of a diagnostic test looking at how the students fared on mathematics and Indonesian language following the implementation of the KIAT Guru pilot program since April 2017 at the school.
The pilot is a collaboration between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Team for Acceleration of Poverty Reduction, and five district governments with disadvantaged villages, including Manggarai Barat. Yayasan BaKTI implemented the program with technical support from the World Bank and funding from the Government of Australia and USAID. The pilot aims to improve education service delivery in remote villages by empowering communities and tying payment of the remote area allowance with either teacher presence or teacher service quality.
The diagnostic test on 30 students of SDI Hawir showed that they have made some progress compared to the baseline survey held before the pilot was launched. The number of students who have difficulties in reading or mathematic have decreased and some have met the basic standards of their grades.
Amid this progress, however, the result showed that a couple of fifth graders who still could not read, whereas the baseline survey indicated that all of the fifth graders could. The KIAT Guru facilitator, Pansbert Chrispierco Bunga explained that since the problems on both the survey and the diagnostic test were given in multiple choice, the students perhaps answered correctly the first time but they could not provide the correct answer during the test. This situation created a commotion between the KPL and the teachers, as both parties threw a blame game.
“How is it that fifth graders cannot yet read? I’m questioning the capacity of the teachers. It may be better for the school to appoint more capable teachers especially for first graders, so that they will have more solid basic ability,” said a KPL member.
Some of the teachers became defensive, saying that parents should not leave it all up to teachers in educating their children.
“You cannot blame us because we are appointed by the government. Parents should also take part in educating these children, helping with their home works at home,” said a teacher.
The school’s principal, Damasus Jowan, said he felt proud of the progresses the students made and asked to look for solutions.
“How could parents want teachers to have all the responsibilities? The duties of the teachers have limits, please do not throw the blame at us,” he said.
After exchanging arguments, both the User Committee and the teachers concluded that the problem was because the children had trouble receiving the lessons. Pansbert from KIAT Guru, who initially let both parties resolved their own arguments, immediately chimed in, saying that a blame game, particularly on students would not solve the more pressing issue at hand.
“If the results are not satisfactory, let’s create solution beyond what we have agreed on,” he said.
KIAT Guru empowers communities to hold teachers accountable by agreeing to prioritize five to eight bottom-up service indicators to improve the student learning environment. In some pilot schools, community empowerment is combined with pay for performance as part of teacher’s income, based either on the KPL’s verification of teachers’ presence, or the KPL’s score on teacher’s service performance. Comprising nine members – six parents of students and three community figures, KPL members are elected by the parents and community members.
The members take turn to come to school and monitor the teaching and learning process. A KPL member in Nggilat Village, Maria Fransiska Di, said there are three methods of evaluating the teachers: direct monitoring at school, document checking and interview with students.
Every month, they presented the evaluation process in a meeting with the school. The results often incited arguments between the KPL and teachers, who sometimes feel the former did not do their job well while their evaluation would affect the teachers’ allowance.
Andreas Jemahang, KIAT Guru cadre who works closely with the KPL in Kaju Wangi Village in the neighboring district of Manggarai Timur, admitted that the parents initially lacked self-confidence to evaluate the teachers.
“We didn’t feel confident as we are only modest farmers and we have to monitor and evaluate teachers who are university graduates. But we have been encouraged not to hesitate,” he said.
KPL also works to monitor the communities, particularly parents, to remind them to do their share in helping children improve their academic abilities.
Dispute aside, both teachers and communities agreed that KIAT Guru have brought them together with the mutual goal to provide better quality education for their children.
“We as parents did not pay much attention to what happened in school, thinking there are teachers to do that. With KIAT Guru, we are reminded that our children’s abilities mostly did not meet the standards. The teachers perform better now, and the communication between teachers and parents now exist,” said Maria Fransiska Di of Nggilat Village.
Teacher Benediktus Roni of SDI Hawir said with KIAT Guru, KPL and teachers are mediated to disclose and solve problems.
“With the agreements between schools and communities, both parents and teachers become more aware of their responsibilities,” he said.
Religious teacher Quintus Kalis said KPL has done a great job in monitoring the teachers and he was convinced that with KPL’s involvement, the quality of education at the school would improve.
“KIAT Guru has increased teachers’ professionalism here. The program has made our ‘flu’ disappear and the sick days are behind us,” he joked, as in the past, many teachers did not come to school due to ‘influenza’. “Now we’re ‘healthier’ and have perfect attendance.”
Back to the diagnostic test result, both the KPL and the teachers decided to amend their initial agreements in a meeting a week after. The additional points include afternoon classes, replacing morning flag ceremony with tutoring session and 15-20 minutes refreshing session in the morning. These amended agreements would be evaluated every month, and readjusted every semester.
Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 Author: TNP2K
Sebadak Village is the location of the KIAT Guru pilot program located in Kecamatan Ketungau Hulu, Sintang District, West Kalimantan Province. The village is about 9.5 hours from the city of Sintang regency, with the condition of the road is damaged and muddy and can only be passed by double-gardan car with minimum rent Rp. 1.5 million. There are about 290 heads of families scattered in three hamlets, namely Ensamboy Hamlet, Sejinggau Hamlet, and Sebangkong Hamlet whose position is separated from the other two hamlets as it is across the Ketungau River.
All children in Sebadak Village attend SDN 05 Sebadak, which is located in Sejinggau Hamlet. SDN 05 Sebadak has 7 teaching staff consisting of 2 state teachers and 5 honorary teachers. The KIAT Guru Program aims to improve the quality of basic education services in remote areas by involving the community in ensuring the presence and quality of teacher services in 200 pilot schools in 3 districts in West Kalimantan province and two districts in East Nusa Tenggara province. Through the socialization of the teachers' teaching goals to schools and communities, teachers and parents are increasingly aware that many improvements are needed in SDN 05 Sebadak.
Sunday, May 8, 2016 Author: TNP2K
The village of Compang Necak is located in Lamba Leda District, East Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province. For most Lamba Leda residents, the name Compang Necak is associated with a picture of the village whose infrastructure conditions are far from feasible. Although decorated with beautiful views of rice fields, the journey to the village of Compang Necak from the capital city of Ruteng Regency, is full of damaged roads. Usually local residents pass the road on foot or by an open-air vehicle used for public transportation, which is called oto kol
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 Author: Rahman Ramlan
"For more than three years I have been selling here, there has never been a flag ceremony at school," said a porridge seller near the school grounds of Sungai Seria Elementary School 09. The porridge seller is a mother of a student named Sohrah. Sohrah's mother also attended SDN 09 Sungai Seria. This morning, Sohrah's mother departs earlier than usual to attend the flag ceremony. "That's my child, who holds the flag," said her proudly.
The emotion and pride clump in Sohrah's mother's heart. Her eyes sparkled to see the red and white flag flutter on the flagpole accompanied by the song Indonesia Raya, the national anthem that had not been heard for a long time at that school. But that day, the choir of the children broke the morning silence on the Seria River, raising new hopes for the generation in this village.
The Importance of Flag Ceremony
The implementation of the Flag Ceremony every Monday is a form of service agreement between the school and the community in Sungai Seria village. The meeting to agree on service promises is one of the pilot models initiated by the KIAT Guru Program (Teacher Performance and Accountability) through a mechanism that combines community empowerment with responsive government.
Through Service User Groups (Kelompok Pengguna Layanan, or KPL) from representatives of parents, community leaders, women leaders and citizens who care about education, the efforts to ensure the quality of education services in schools can be monitored and evaluated regularly.
Read full story here (Indonesian).