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Exploring the highland of Kalimantan:

 


Developing A Generation of Dayak Lundayeh

“A piece of heaven had fallen to the earth,” Yohanna Ginting started her conversation while walking along the path in a deep forest. I agreed, the beautiful scenery are seen where the hills are embraced by the clouds, water flowing and the sun is shiningi all year round. “Rice and fruits are plenty all year, we don’t need to use fertilizer and any pest control,” she continued. Even the mountain produces its own salt. Maybe this is one of rare places on earth, located 1000 meters above sea level and miles away from the sea but the mountain has a water spring and produces salt. This land has been blessed!

Krayan Village  

We have to fly by plane to get here, to the land of Dayak Lundayeh. There’s no road to available. I asked some people how could they first migrated to this place, it’s like being trapped in a place surrounded by mountains in East Kalimantan, but no one could really answer.

They named this place Long Bawan and the area borders with Malaysia. The people live in small villages with cool temperature, shaded with a vast tropical rainforest. Most of them are farmers and raise domesticated livestock. Long Bawan produces a lot of rice and they even ‘export’ the rice to Malaysia – rice with no pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

For the last ten years PESAT has started the ministry to develop generation of Dayak Lundayeh through education. Yohanna Ginting started her ministry here in 1996 and together with her husband, Benny BS and a colleague, Adel Vina, they’re the first teachers of the first High School established in this remote village, SMA Kristen Terpadu (Christian Integrated High School).

 

perempuan lundayeh berkebun

     
siswi-siswi
Para siswi SMAK Terpadu
 

This first High School in Krayan-Long Bawan educated 13 students when first started, and their age wasn’t a ‘normal’ age for high school students – most of them were already in their 20s. And not only that, they couldn’t read and write well. “In their first year, we had to teach them read and write,” said Benny smiled. And this condition went on for the next couple of years. This could happen because low quality of the teachers who taught at the lower level. In the past, a Middle School graduate was forced to teach elementary students because there was a lack of teachers.

     
students
 
 

The number of illiteracy and low quality education was high, they would accept student who graduated from Middle School but still illiterated. But optimism and persistence could answer the challenge. “We couldn’t refuse a student who graduated from Middle School and say they cant read, “ Yohana continued.

Now the SMAK Terpadu (Christian Integrated High School) is preparing their students to take the national exam (UAN). In previous year, 98% of its students passed the exam and it’s quite an achievement for a high school of a a deep forest of Kalimantan !

 

     
krayan road
 
  smak

 

 
library
 
 
laboratorium
 

guru dan murid

  

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