Contextual Education in Boven Digoel

Boven Digoel has been renowned since old times because it once was used as the exile of the Indonesian freedom fighters, including Bung Hatta. However, this area is still underdeveloped.

Since 2010, Wahana Visi Indonesia has offered a contextual educational program to Boven Digoel. This contextual education is cultural and child-interest-based.

"This cultural character-based approach with child-interest perspective is a breakthrough in driving the success of contextual education in Papua, as well as the application of the basic principles of children's rights," said Radika Pinto, ST, Area Manager of Wahana Visi in Papua.

Some positive impacts of this contextual education are: the students increasingly like the way the teachers teach, student attendance rate is increased, local materials are used as learning aids and the students produce more real works.

A teacher in Tanah Merah district said, "I usually used a cane to discipline them. Now I know how to build a good relationship with the children. I do not need to use this stick anymore."

While in Jair district, the students of Agriculture Vocational School have changed the unused lands into vegetable farms.

"The moms used to go by boat to Asiki down the river to buy vegetables and sell them in this village. Now they can buy the vegetables at Jair Vocational School," said Rufinus Nomokai, the principal of that school.

In the last year of its assistance, on May 2, 2014 Wahana Visi held a Seminar and Exhibition of Contextual Education. In this seminar, the teachers presented the teaching guide books and lesson plans they developed themselves with the assistance of Wahana Visi. The event was attended by more than 80 teachers, representatives of the Ministry of National Education and Culture, Papua Provincial Office, Institute for Education Quality Assurance of Papua Province and the Education Office of Boven Digoel regency.

Faizal Gozali from Jakarta Books and Curriculum Center said, "What have been developed by these teachers are good steps that support the implementation of Curriculum 2013."

In the exhibition, the students displayed their works and the use of local materials as learning aids.

The regent of Boven Digoel, represented by his Assistant 1, recognized the education partners in Boven Digoel.

"This exhibition encourages us to keep continuing to improve the quality of human resources without leaving the cultural characteristics. The local government is very grateful for the support provided by WVI."

*Written by Lukas Ginting, Editor, World Vision Indonesia