ACTNews, DONGGALA – The streets in Palu, Sigi and Donggala are now filled with children wearing the red and white uniform. Since Monday (10/15), elementary school students have started studying. Not only that, the learning activities in junior high schools and high schools have also started.
Previously, after the disasters that hit Central Sulawesi, teaching and learning activities in schools had to stop because the teachers and students are affected by the 7.4 earthquake and its subsequent disasters last September.
Currently, the teaching and learning activities in schools have not fully running. Many schools were damaged, one of which is State Elementary School 13 Sirenja in Donggala. The school sustained major damages, and to conduct teaching and learning activities in the school would be too dangerous. “The buildings are now unsafe to use after being hit by the earthquake,” said Mir’atun, one of the teachers in the elementary school.
Because the school suffers heavy damages, Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) team set up a makeshift school to provide a space for the educational activities. On Monday (10/22), ACT, through Sirenja Humanitarian Post, set up a makeshift school for State Elementary School 13 Sirenja. This temporary school was built on a front yard of a house belonging to one of the locals.
This location was chosen to prevent the students and teachers from the risk of being hit by collapsing buildings. “Initially, we set up the school on a field, but it was too close to the buildings of the school, so we moved here. There are some trees here to give us some shade,” Mir’atun added.
Though the learning activities have been running for two weeks, not all students came. Most of them are staying with their families on hills far away from the school. The school hours are only three hours a day, beginning at 8 a.m. and ends at 11 a.m.
“Of total 178 students we have, only 59 come. Students come infrequently. They are still traumatized because aftershocks are still shaking,” said Mir’atun with teary eyes.
The students do not wear any uniform. They come to school wearing casual clothes. Many of the students and teachers did not even manage to salvage their uniforms when the 7.4 magnitude earthquake shook.
With this makeshift school, Mir’atun hoped that all of her students could go back to school. Parents are also expected to support them to heal the trauma of the students. Education needs to be prioritized in order to hasten the post-disaster recovery. “Through education, students will have knowledge of disaster mitigation,” Mir’atun added.
Not only in State Elementary School 13 Sirenja, makeshift schools will also be set up in State Junior High School 3 Sirenja and State High School 1 Sirenja. These makeshift schools will temporarily replace their original schools that need to be renovated. “We also provide psychosocial support service,” said Lukman Solehuddin, Coordinator of ACT Post in SIrenja, Tuesday (10/23).