No need to Travel to the City to Get Internet Access
Studying from home is still going until today due to the closing of schools during the Covid-19 pandemic. And it creates an issue for some students to work on their assignments and to submit them online, because of the minimum internet access. This particular issue was experienced by the children in Bengkayang Regency. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, these students needed to go to the city in order to get internet access. Travel is compulsory because they can only access the learning materials online.
Their attempt is no small thing. The distance from their rural village to the city is far. On top of that, the transportation cost is expensive. Those who cannot afford it often choose not to submit their assignments and not participate in school exams at all.
The village where these children live does not have a landline network let alone internet access. If the children could not go to the city, some of them will climb the highest hill, which is 2 kilometers away, to get a connection. No residential area up on the hill. And in the rainy season, the access to get there is even more difficult to travel. This definitely hinders the children learning process.
Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) in Bengkayang Area continues to assist the children's forum in this village. The children forum is a forum that exists to help the children express their ideas and develop their talents and interests.
In a meeting of this children forum which was held last December 2020, the members of this forum propose to build a “Pondok Belajar” (learning hut/center) which can be an open space for study. Ema (27) who assists this children's forum then contacted a landowner to ask for permission if they could build a Pondok Belajar there.
After they got the permission, all the members of this forum worked together to clean up the location, collecting some woods, leaves and used banners from WVI, and turned it into roofs and decoration for their Pondok Belajar.
“I feel really proud of these children who are in this forum, they have an incredible initiative to support each other’s learning process. They are creative in finding solutions and tackling obstacles they’re facing. This is such a good example and it is worth our support. This is also a great idea because it helps the parents to control their children, and it saves the study-from-home cost” said Emma.
Oktaviana (17) one of the students who initiated this Pondok Belajar feels so happy to see it come to a realization. It is such a joy for her to have a place to learn which also has an internet connection.
“I am so happy that I do not need to travel so far to study and to work on my assignments. Here, we also do not need to worry about being hungry because the distance to our house is relatively close. And we feel safe to be here with our friends,” said Oktaviana with enthusiasm.
Written by: Yan A. Riwu, CESP Program Area Coordinator for Bengkayang Wahana Visi Indonesia