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HOW IMPROVE THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN

RURAL AREAS?
Educational systems in rural areas has different challenges compared
to those in the city. Based on my experience, it depends on the
problems, caused every rural places has unique character.

1. Listing priorities
It is the crucial part after doing such assessment in the school and
community. In some rural places, the problems maybe very complex,
and other places maybe just mediocre.

Don't expect too much to change a thing, a small step and permanent
result is important to make it sustainable rather than see the school as
programs or projects to developed.

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Rural school in Tengger Indonesia, pictures owned by Arizal A.

Rural school in Riau Indonesia

Listing priority such as

What we can do for the first semester, first year, 5-year plan,
etc
Focusing on academic achievement or focusing on student
motivation or merely focusing on building or technology
integration? or adding extracurricular activities or focusing in
national test or literacy and numeracy
Ensuring all indicators is measurable. There are a lot of types
rural school
2. COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

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In rural education, usually we already have well developed plan that
makes us unaware about the community. Forgetting about society and
local community contribution is biggest mistake of rural education.

Unlike education in elite school, rural education needs to take into


account community contribution. We also need to take into account
economy aspect of community such as what is the parents occupation,
where the school located, are the community aware about education,
and it can be part of promoting some educational goals. We can also
understand what is the aspiration among the community and creating
sense of ownership[4] .

Regular education meeting in West Papua, Indonesia

This steps crucial to ensure the community understand and support


what's done by educators.

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This steps also important to identify what is the resources in the
community.

For example, we can invite fisherman to share their story to students.


This can make students engage and make students feel that education
align and has impact on their social life.

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This steps also crucial to make educators include the cultures and local
values in the education process so that students able to mantain local
wisdom including about environment.

3. ENSURING TEACHER QUALITY AND TEACHER


DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Since teachers work in rural areas, they can be easily stress and
overburden. Ensuring teachers well supported is crucial. When the
recruiting process, employers need to ensure that teachers are aware
of unavoidable challenges and lack of support. So, recruiting the best
teacher is the best option.

Then, teachers need to have enough time in terms of holiday and


teacher development. The challenge will be very unique so that
ensuring teachers well trained everytime is crucial so that they can
facilitate student learning well.

Teacher also need do some extrawork such as teaching students


several times and teaching students some basic stuff because students
never learn about it before.

Also, several times teachers need to share with external educator such
as lecturer and professor or experts to have some feedbacks about the
learning process.

4. DESIGNING SPECIFIC CURRICULUM

Well, somehow this is the best option. Standardized test maybe make
education meaningless because schools sometimes lack of support.
Designing specific curriculum can help teachers and schools achieve

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certain goals faster and better and in the same time, students can still
enjoy the learning process.

This specific curriculum maybe not totally new, just add some certain
things that do not cover in national curriculum. For example about local
wisdom, environmental, and development economy so that it suit with
the needs of the community.

5. TAKE INTO ACCOUNT STUDENT PERSPECTIVE

Well, students have their own opinions and voices. Their imagination
and feedback is crucial. We need to take into account student
perception. Education is not only filling students with knowledge but
students can create their own direction of we give only facilitate and
support them. This action work well in developed country like the US
but I think it is also good for rural education. Some of them called by
PAR -participatory action research[5] . Another example is VOYCE (Voice
of Youth in Chicago Education) [6]
. In this movement students believe
that they can create high quality education system with some
programs such as youth leadership development. They can make some
movement.

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