Financial Assistance Supports Teachers during COVID-19 Emergency

The pandemic affects people of various occupations, including honorary teachers.

Abu received financial assistance from the Sahabat Guru Indonesia program in late March. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, SERANG - In the midst of the corona pandemic, not a few people were affected financially because many businesses and public facilities were forced to close temporarily as per the social distancing policy. In many areas, many taxi drivers and street hawkers lost their customers due to people choosing to stay inside their houses. Like the informal workers whose livelihood have been badly affected, many honorary teachers have also been financially affected.

Umar Abdul Azis (53) or familiarly called Mr. Abu, is one of these honorary teachers. He teaches at one of the schools belonging to the Mathlaul Anwar Foundation. His income is irregular. Even before the COVID-19 emergency, he earned only IDR 300,000 a month that sometimes is paid every few months. But now, the school has been temporarily closed while Abu's salary is based on his attendance to school.

"At the moment, I am not actively teaching. I don’t know whether I’ll get paid or not. With or without salary, I still have to fulfill my family’s needs," he said at the end of March.

Another honorary teacher, Romanudin, also faces the same fate. His income at the La Tahzan Islamic Boarding School in Citeras Village, Rangkasbitung, Lebak has also been uncertain since his school was temporarily closed. Romanudin used to receive IDR 8,000 per teaching hour. On average, Romanudin and other teachers at La Tahzan Islamic Boarding School can earn IDR. 400,000 to IDR 500,000 per month. Since the COVID-19 emergency, no one knows how much they earn now.

Global Zakat - ACT through the Sahabat Guru Indonesia program has been providing financial support for teachers. Since November last year, has been going on, even during COVID-19 emergency. Abu and Romanudin were some of the teachers who received this financial assistance.

Riski Andriyani, Program Coordinator of the Sahabat Guru Indonesia, said, the financial assistance has been very much needed by the impoverished teachers during this pandemic. The reason is that honorary teachers are also affected financially by the outbreak. "Through ACT branches spread across various regions, the financial assistance for teachers will be delivered," he explained, Tuesday (4/14).

At the moment, Abu, Romanudin and thousands of other honorary teachers, and the community in general only hope that the outbreak will end soon and life will return to normal. []