Theo Kelen, Jayapura, Jubi – At least 366 elementary school students in Jayapura Regency, Papua cannot read, a recent survey by Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) says.
Education Team Leader of WVI for Sentani Marthen Sambo said the results were obtained from a survey conducted in 78 elementary schools across 15 districts in Jayapura Regency from October 11 to 29, 2021.
"Not all schools in 15 districts could be surveyed. In Demta District, for example, only two out of four targeted schools were surveyed, while six out of seven schools in Sentani District were surveyed. Of the 81 elementary schools targeted, only 78 schools were successfully surveyed," said Sambo on Thursday, December 16, 2021.
The survey involved 853 elementary school students, namely from Sentani 268, West Sentani 89, East Sentani 74, Kemtuk Gresi 72, Depapre 64, Waibu 60, Nimbokrang 56, Yokari 52, Kemtuk 29, Ravenirara 19, Demta 18, Nimboran 18, Unurumguay 15, Ebungfauw 12, and South Gresi 7.
The result of the survey shows that 48 percent of students are able to read and understand the text, while 9 percent are not fluent in reading and do not understand the text. The rest of it, or 43 percent of the students surveyed, cannot read at all.
According to Sambo, this finding is very alarming because 43 percent is a large number for third-year elementary students who cannot read. Students should be able to read in order to learn.
The reason, Sambo said, was that children's literacy activities in the school environment were still low. For example, the teacher rarely taught new vocabulary to students that their interests in reading were lacking.
Sambo said that in order to improve the reading ability of elementary school students in Papua, especially in Jayapura Regency, several steps need to be taken, such as holding a literacy program supported by both the government, NGOs, and the community, improving teacher's quality, and creating a comfortable environment for children at school.
Jayapura Education Agency's head of Primary School Division Slamet Riyadi said the government continued to improve the quality of education by installing internet networks in several remote districts in Jayapura Regency. "This is important because learning is often done online nowadays," he said.
Meanwhile, YPK Amai Elementary School teacher Oktavia Afni said teachers need a lot of training related to Information and Communication Technology to adapt to online learning. Afni hoped that all parties, including teachers and parents, would contribute to improving the students' literacy skills. "Psychosocial support is also important for students to actively learn," she said. (*)