Education at Remote Areas from Teacher’s Perspectives

*Anton Rahmadi, Irma Istiqomah, Mohamad Adriyanto
Article was presented in KIPI 2010, and was selected for KIPI publication.

Education is a key to increase national prosperity and a part of human development index (HDI) and millennium development goals (MDGs) calculation (UNDP, 2009). Above all, education is also a basic right that governments should provide to their people. In Indonesian constitution, every individual has a right to access same quality of education, in which it also gives a mandate to government to guarantee same quality of education for all citizens. On the other hand, people who live in villages and other remote areas are hardly to have good education. Overall education development index (EDI) in Indonesia was fall into middle-low group compared to other countries (EFA Coordination Team, 2006; Sulistyatuti, 2007).

One fundamental element of education is teacher’s quality. Providing good and competent teacher has always been a struggle in Indonesia. With regard to current condition, only 55% of teachers are competent, and most of them are in cities (Ministry of Education, 2010). Here, we would discuss the actual conditions and challenges faced by teachers in remote area of East Kalimantan.

East Kalimantan is a good case, especially after law for autonomy was enacted. Being one of the richest provinces in Indonesia, contributing roughly 30% of Indonesian GDP is a big advantage. However, East Kalimantan comprises a huge land, a little bigger than Java Island, divided into 13 regencies, in which 50% of them were newly established within last 10 years (Bappeda East Kalimantan, 2010).

Based on HDI, East Kalimantan belongs to five highest HDI provinces and all four cities were at 20 best in Indonesia (BPS Indonesia, 2010a). However, HDI in all regencies in East Kalimantan are around average position compared to national HDI. Educational development indexes in all the regencies and cities are tad higher than that of Indonesian average. However, as we observed from our experience as teachers, we believe that either HDI or EDI do not enough to represent the real situation of educational development in rural areas in East Kalimantan. There are always huge gaps between remote areas and cities in East Kalimantan.
We characterized three indicators that will be studied in our paper, policy in human resource development, socio-psychological state of teacher, and educational support facilities. This study will try to deliver recent findings and data on how East Kalimantan try to cope with ever-changing educational policy and the real condition of education in remote areas in comparison to that in the cities within East Kalimantan in our perspective as teachers.

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