The Story of Mobilization Organizations in NTT, Facing Difficult Geographical Conditions

education Minister, Culture, Research, and Technology Nadiem Anwar Makarim launched the Mobilization Organization Program (POP) in March 2020 then as part of Merdeka Belajar. More than 100 selected community organizations to become partners of the Ministry of Education and Culture for the program.
One of the organizations that passed the selection to become partners in the program was the Labda Radmila Agrapana Foundation (YLRA). This foundation chose to work in the eastern part of Indonesia, to be precise in Central Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). As known, This area is included in the category of underdeveloped areas according to Presidential Regulations (Perpres) Number 63 Year 2020.

YLRA Program Coordinator for POP in Central Sumba, Lorensius Gatot Widyarto delivered, in the field of education, the access of school-aged children in the Central Sumba district to get learning opportunities is relatively low. Not to mention the problem of infrastructure and access to learning resources and to gain knowledge.

“The problems in the field of education in Central Sumba can be said to be concerning. School opportunities are still limited for certain parties. For those who have had the opportunity to be able to go to school, they still do not get a guarantee of quality education from their school. Educational problems in Central Sumba do have high complexity” said Gatot to detikEdu, last week.

It connects, “But that is not an obstacle for us to care about and work in the field of education in this region. Precisely with all the conditions that exist, we are called to be able to provide real action as an organization that chooses to work together with the community as partners to contribute to the advancement of the quality of education in this region.”

In the POP program in Central Sumba, YLRA works with the local community to assist school principals and early grade teachers in 10 primary schools both public and private. Such as SDN Manurara, Pari Deta Elementary School, SD Inpres Uma Paohi, SD AD Maderi, SDN Waiurang, SD Masehi Pahomba, and Soru AD SD.

According to Gatot, the mentoring process starts with phonics-based balanced literacy method training which will be given to early grade teachers.

“Facilitators or teachers from YLRA will accompany the implementation of the methods that have been trained in teaching in class. Assistance is also focused on familiarizing the early grade teacher in making a lesson plan before starting the implementation of learning in class,” Gatot said.

According to Gatot, pendampingan rutin terhadap guru-guru ini bertujuan untuk menambah referensi metode pengajaran guru dalam bidang literasi baca tulis serta agar guru mampu dan terbiasa menyusun rencana pelaksanaan pembelajaran (RPP) dengan memasukkan unsur literasi berimbang berbasis fonik sesuai kurikulum, konten lokal, dan kebutuhan siswa.

Tak seperti di Pulau Jawa yang kondisi infrastruktur relatif baik, pendampingan di Sumba Tengah menghadapi tantangan besar terutama akses transportasi dan jalan ke sekolah yang didampingi. Pasalnya, kondisi geografis wilayah tersebut sebagian besar berbukit-bukit dengan jalan yang tak mulus.

Kondisi jalan yang terbilang tak mulus dengan medan yang menantang tak surutkan semangat fasilitator untuk melakukan pendampingan.
Kendala teknis seringkali ditemui sehingga menghambat proses pendampingan, For example, damaged access roads make motorcycle tires easily damaged and so on. Not to mention when there is a negative response to our efforts to improve the quality of education in the target areas or schools,” he said.

It's just that according to Gatot these difficulties are paid off with happiness to share and discuss with early grade teachers and process and dynamics with early grade students. “Keeping up with student progress from time to time is also what we like so that we get to know our region and society better,” he said.

It connects,”In addition, this program fulfills our wish to contribute to educational institutions in our area as members of the local community. We can also see a positive impact on students who will become the next generation for this region.”

The head of SDN Manurara Jongu Ibini Peka, who received assistance from the Ministry of Education and Culture's POP program through YLRA, said that the program really helped school principals and carry out the duties of early grade teachers..

“This assistance allows new teachers to teach in the early grades to gain new knowledge and prepare these new teachers as successors for teachers who will retire.,” he said.

During a visit to West Kalimantan at the end of October 2022 Then, Minister Nadiem expressed his appreciation for POP partners. One of them is the Indonesian Writing Forum (FIM) target 920 study in 14 districts/cities in West Kalimantan in total 2.300 teachers and principals.

Nadiem views the Merdeka Learning policy as proof that mutual cooperation can be carried out in target areas that have so far been difficult to get intervention from the government.

“Precisely through these POP partners, the Merdeka Belajar movement can be achieved. Thanks to these POP partners, schools in areas such as in West Kalimantan can get competency improvement programs,” he said.

This article is reposted with permission from the author of

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *