Monday, Dec 10, 2018 Author: Hera Diani
Of the 390 villages in Sintang District in West Kalimantan, only 30 of them are not categorized as disadvantaged or very disadvantaged. The rest is still plagued with poverty, lack of infrastructures amid the harsh terrains, and lack of quality human resources. These have affected the quality of education in this district, resulting in low competitiveness of students.
“It is not uncommon for students here to be able to read fluently only when they are at 6th grade,” said Kartiyus, Head of Sintang Development Planning Agency.
In July 2016, Sintang government adopted 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’s presence or teacher’s 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.
In Sintang, the pilot has been implemented in 66 schools in 22 villages. An independent survey shows that there are strong effects in student learning outcomes and parental supports for learning, particularly when teacher’s remote area allowance is paid based on teacher’s presence, as recorded using an android-based camera application and verified by community representatives.
“The program has only been focused on two subjects, Math and Indonesian, but the improvement has been remarkable,” said Kartiyus.
In SDN 06 Nanga Sekapat, Tirtakarya Village in Merakai Subdistrict, for example, teacher’s attendance increases from 55 percent to 75 percent. The illiteracy rate has decreased from 2 cases to zero, while numerical illiteracy rate has dropped from 5 students to zero student.
Meanwhile, in SDN 40 Lepat Betung, Temawang Bulai Village in Sepauk Subdistrict, teacher’s attendance rose from 71 percent to 75 percent. Illiteracy rate dropped from 10 to 2 cases, while numerical illiteracy cases decreased from 3 to zero.
The pilot was handed over to village authorities in December 2017, and nearly 10 months on, based on the joint monitoring by TNP2K, Yayasan BaKTI and the World Bank, it is still running well with the backing of central, district and village level regulations and funding.
This has led to the commitment from the district to continuing and expanding the program. Sintang District Head Jarot Winarno said in early October that he is committed to scaling this intervention from 22 to all 213 very disadvantaged villages in the district.
“It has to be scaled up at the entire district. Some villages protested as to why their schools are not targeted by this program. We want all schools with special allowance to be covered, but we need assistance. Maybe we can start by implementing it in very disadvantaged villages,” Jarot said.
Kartiyus welcomed the idea to expand the KIAT Guru program, but he said it was more feasible to expand it in stages, given the financial, human resources, and logistical considerations, as well as regulatory support. He suggested adding 66 schools in 2019.
“Maybe we can start the replication from the neighboring villages with disadvantaged or very disadvantaged status. It will be easier in terms of logistical issues,” he said.
“But we do need the expansion as it is in line with our vision and mission to educate and create smart generations.”