Equal opportunity with limited school availability
In the windy, cool weather surrounded by mountains…
“This animal has a long neck, four legs, and her body is full of black polka dots, and their basic colour skin is yellow… what animal is this?” I asked a third-grade elementary school class when we were teaching and playing guessing games in their classroom.
“Giraffe… Giraffe… Giraffe…” The right answer came from almost every third-grade student in the classroom. These students were learning about animals, and the students seemed happy and enthusiastic.
That was part of the activities that the IWitness team from Indonesia participated in: doing some fun teaching for the IDEAL project run by Save the Children at the Cimaung Public Elementary School in Cipinang Village, Bandung, two hours away from Bandung City.
We split our team members into three groups to teach three different classes (first grade, second grade and third grade). The teaching sessions were very fun and challenging since most of the students can only speak the local language, while the team did not speak that language at all. However, the team managed to finish the lessons in the allocated time and bring happy faces to the students.
Another part of the programme was visiting the Cimaung Junior High School, which is the only available public junior high school in the village. The uniqueness of the school is that they have a special environmental subject for the eight and nine graders.
The school is very green; plants can be found in every corner of the school. They also have a good waste-management programme. When we visit the school, the teachers led us to the ongoing environmental class. Divided into six groups, the students made a frame from banana leaves, vases from recycled papers, and wall decorations from pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, eggshells and coffee beans. Another interesting creation was the floor cleaning agent made from waste cooking oil and citric acid.
Awareness about children with disabilities in Cimaung village is very low. Data from the West Java government shows that there are approximately 187,000 children with disabilities in West Java, but only 15% of them have access to education. The IDEAL project is a response to accommodate the needs of children with disabilities who live in rural area in West Java Province. We do hope that children with disabilities in this village will get better access to education in the future.