Day One

“Teaching in the school, we cannot pay you a proper salary. Maybe the money you will earn here only can afford your petrol”, said the principal.

Talking with the principal about what things that would be going on, I didn’t mind about the salary. Somehow I knew that I should be teaching at here. It was a small school, run by a Christian foundation which is based in my city. The school’s location, however, is far from the city. It’s in the border, where we can find big truck, big bus on our way to get there. Border….

I have 12 hours (1 hour lesson is 40 minutes) in a week to teach. Though we will teach for a whole month (it means 4 weeks and sometimes more), we will only be paid according to how many hours we teach in a week. For example, if we have 12 hours in a week, and for one hour we are paid -let’s say- 16,000 rupiahs (it’s around $1.25), so count it yourself how much you will get in a month. Demand? Cannot. That’s the system. Just take it or leave it.

I took it.

It is a small school belongs to a Christian education foundation. There are only one class in each grade, whereas each class only consists of 17 to 30 students. Sometimes the number is less because many students skip the class. There are only around 10 teachers, 3 staffs, and two old couples who live at school’s area and sell food in the school canteen during the break time. The teachers sometimes only come when they have schedule to teach because some of them also have schedule in other schools.

It is a school which accepts those who are dropped out from their previous schools. It is a secondary education institution that becomes the last choice for mostly students. It is a place which simple and homely. It is a home for those who seek love and affection.

And I was there. I am still here. Writing.

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