A Story of Women for Education in COVID-19 Pandemic Era

Volunteer's Blog

, (Asa Onsai)

The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed made many changes worldwide, especially in terms of the education system. Many students have to learn at home independently and can only carry out learning activities using information technology, the internet.

The pros and cons of learning from home are still being debated in society. I’ve heard grievances from some parents that I know, about their difficulties doing teaching-learning of their children at home for some reasons.  Some do not understand the lessons that must be given to their children, and some feel burdened because they can’t afford to buy devices (laptop/cellphone) for learning needs. Besides, Some children also complained that they could no longer play with their classmates and felt bored just at home.

I felt sorry seeing those situations and decided to discuss them with some friends to find solutions. We thought of voluntarily teach the children in the slum areas and make sure to still comfort the health protocol. Our activities were simple, we invited the children to come and play, learn math, and learn English. At least we could give them a smile and joy at that time. The parents of those children were warm and welcome too. They were supporting us by giving us a space for teaching those children.

The photo above is taken when I was in Bali in September 2020. It was an enjoyable experience with three of my friends. They are Revita, Sharon, and Karen (they are energetic girls). Seeing the smiles and laughter on the children’s faces was so pleasing to us.

In December 2020. I returned to my hometown, Sidikalang, located nearby Medan City (North Sumatera). I met an inspiring woman in my village, Winda Tumanggor. Since the implementation of the study from home policy, She became a volunteer who opens a free course for children in her backyard. She focused on teaching elementary school children only. She set up some schedules based on the children’s grades to make teaching-learning easier.

These children were struggling to access information from their teachers from school since they do not have any devices ( laptops or cellphones). Then, Winda is willing to use her cellphone number as intermediate information from schools, such as homework or school exams. When I asked her whether she will continuing teaching the children without being paid, She said that she is willing to do it without taking any profit or being paid from those children’s parents instead she just wants to help them by volunteering in her village.

Patiently, she teaches those children from reading, writing, to the general lesson of elementary school. However, Winda has a job, running her business from home, she is still available and actively teaching the children. I think she is a great woman who cares about the education of children in her village.

In terms of education, the pandemic COVID-19 exactly causes a lot of change. Some people become complaining and stressed, on the other side some people being optimistic and took it as a chance for sharing love and compassion just like Winda did.  It also encouraged me to keep our volunteering activities with my friends in Bali just like what we did before. Hopefully, there will be many figures like Winda on the other villages in Indonesia and hopefully, the pandemic COVID-19 will be pass quickly for sure.