The Complexity of Prumpung
Prumpung is an area in Jakarta which has complex problems. It is a very dense and crowded area with a rather unique society. The residents usually work as sculptors at Merak Port, buskers near the traffic lights, laundry service or by selling fried snacks on the street.
There are many children in Prumpung who drop out of school. This may be because of a financial issue, lack of understanding about the importance of education, or because there are no role models among them who can be a good example.
This year is the 12th anniversary of Sahabat Anak in Prumpung. After working for more than a decade in Prumpung, Sahabat Anak is still not an expert on Prumpung’s complex issues. Changes do happen, especially in those children who decide to attend the Sahabat Anak tutorial classes at Prumpung. The children who started coming to our programs at the age of 7 to 9 years old are now teenagers and young adults. Some of them have gone on to study at university or are already working. We are very happy and proud of them. But on the other hand, we are still concerned about finding the right way to overcome the children’s unwillingness to study and their low self-esteem.
Prumpung’s tutorial classes are held 4 times a week. Each day there are different children who attend different classes. It means that each child only gets the chance to join the classes once a week. The rest of the week they spend their afternoons and evenings playing or watching TV or just hanging out with their friends. They are mostly concerned with becoming a “hip” teenager like those they watch on television or see in their daily lives.
Sahabat Anak still faces the challenge of creating an awareness amongst the children and teenagers about the importance of self-help and studying, without having to constantly remind them at each tutorial class that they need to study.
We still have children who have difficulties in reading and writing, even though they are above 10 years old or are already in primary school. Thanks to the initiatives of the teenage students at SA Prumpung a reading class for the younger students. The teenagers completely manage this program by themselves.
Last year two teenagers from SA Prumpung decided to continue their education at university. They prepared for university by attending the Campus Life Workshop, with other high school graduates from other Sahabat Anak tutorials areas. In the workshop they learned about campus life and the opportunities and challenges they may face.
Nevertheless, they still face problems in everyday life. With Grade Point Average’s (GPA) that are less than 2.0 in their first semester, they still find it difficult to do well in their courses. It is especially difficult for them when the classes are taught in English. They also have experienced culture shock while being on campus because it is so different to school. The most apparent problem they seem to have is a lack of initiative to ask questions and a lack of self-confidence. They think they are just the same as other students, despite their background.
However, whatever the reasons are, whether it is because they are unprepared for classes, or because they are not ready to enter campus life, or because they lack self-confidence, this is our homework at Sahabat Anak. We need to work out how we can prepare the children to be ready for adult life and to be competitive and to inspire them to have a fighting spirit. They also need to realize that whatever their background, or where ever they come from, they are just as worthy and valuable as their fellow students and share the same human rights.
Written by SimSim, Prumpung’s Coordinator
Posted on 06/01/2012, in Bahasa Inggris (English), Prumpung, Sahabat Anak News and tagged human-rights, indonesia, jakarta, Prumpung, sahabat anak, street children, study, university, Volunteer. Bookmark the permalink. Tinggalkan komentar.