It is not like common classes where pupils are always being quite and tense, playing games is a learning method for a group of children. They blend with the nature. Their jokes and laughers fill the atmosphere during the learning. Their joyfulness is often made teachers to stop for a while to laugh with them. These children are joined the learning group called Papua Learning Movement (GPM).
One of the pupils is Elvius Wakur, 13 years old, the son of Westen Wakur. He lives in Buper and joined the study group because he thinks learning is important. “We usually learn how to draw, count, listen to folk stories, reading a story book, and learn how to write and read as well. I prefer reading the fairy tales, counting and reading a book, and learning together,” said Elvius who is a pupil of VI-A SMP YPPK Padang Bulan. Everyday he must go to his school by public transport, but sometimes he goes with his brother who is a student of STM (Vocational High School) Kotaraja.
GPM Chairman, Alex Giyai, said the organisation was established on 20 February 2012 based on the initiative of Yohana Pulalo, a civil servant of the Provincial Papua Government. She solicited other current members because she thought the learning is important. “So, the first discussion was running, which was attended by Agus Kadepa, Andi Tangihuma, Aleks Giyai, Alfonsa Wayap, Hengky Yeimo, and Arnold Belau. After that we agreed to run the activity,” he told Jubi on Monday, 19 February 2018. Then another members came for joining.
Pulalo was inspired to establishing this organisation when she saw the children of Papuan women traders in Expo Waena. “There are many children at Buper, so she gathered the children and taught them every afternoon for two months by herself, until some of friends came to join her to encourage the establishment of this study group,” she said.
The presence of GPM is important because these children are victims of city development. Because their parents make a living from morning to afternoon and their children were neglected. “We pay attention to people who live in the suburbs because they are marginalised from development,” he said.
There are twelve volunteers in GPM, but only five remain active. GPM has run its activity in two places, Buper and Kotaraja. Within a week, the learning activity is conducted three days in Buper and three days in a kiosk in Kotaraja. The children were divided into two groups in three levels of learning activities.
Level one is aimed to those who are not able to read and write, they are usually not-attended school and first grade children. While the second level is aimed for those who are already know how to count, read and write but still with efforts. They are generally first to third grade student. In the third level, children are introduced to advance reading such as novel, folks, and academic textbook because most of them are generally in junior high school or minimum fourth grade of the elementary school. The class is opened from 15.30 p.m. to 18.00 p.m.
“So far the number of children who join the GPM class are more than 20 children in Buper and 16 children in Kotaraja,” said Giyai. He added not all of these children go to the formal school, but some of them cannot attend the formal school because of their age. GPM teaches children aged 6 to 17 years.
He said GPM expects this learning activity can develop a contextual education in Papua, therefore it can eliminate the illiteracy among Papuan generation. “GPM progress is significant since it was built in 2013 to 2018. So it has been 5 years,” he said. Its progress indicator is pupils can read and count. Even one of them can have the second rank in her class. “Currently our challenge is some of the parents are still not trusting us as a group of volunteers who really want to teach,” he said. GPM activist,
Tresia Tekege, said her reason to join this group is because she wants to share her knowledge to her juniors. “I hope that they can be improve and give the best for their country and become a master on this Black Pearl country which is rich with milk and honey,” she said. Represented the parents, the Reverence Welkies Kogoya, appreciated this activity. “We didn’t trust them their presence to teach our children at the beginning, but after five years of their integrity, we believe that they really teach and educate our children,” he said. (*)
Reporter : Agus Pabika
Editor : Pipit Maizier