Active Learning in Enjibara

Rashidah and I outside her classroom.

We pulled into Enjibara before 9 a.m. the next day to see Rashidah Airin, a 32-year-old Indonesian woman volunteering in education. Although we were a bit early, she rounded up some of the students in her class to show us what they had been working on. Rashidah was a Higher Learning Diploma Program (HDP) leader and she had two classes of 15 candidates, all teachers at Enjibara College of Teacher Education. A former primary school teacher, Rashidah did a master of education management degree in Australia and then worked with an Indonesian NGO providing literacy and numeric training. “I met a VSO volunteer in Indonesia from the Philippines. She was a medical doctor working in a hospital. She was helping people and living in very humble conditions. I was so inspired by her I went online to apply myself,” she recalled. Having arrived eight months ago, Rashidah had made immense progress with her students, all instructors themselves. That day they were working of methods of peer assessment. One candidate, an English instructor, had the group break into groups and do a language comprehension exercise with a sample of text. There was much laughter when they realized each group had come up with different understandings of the paragraph. “It was difficult working here at first,” Rashidah admitted. “Most of the candidates are male and older than me. They’d ask questions and tell me they wanted expert opinions, not mine. I had to take it slowly; I went for tea with them and let them learn about who I was and what my background was. Now they respect me and are enjoying the class.”

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