ACTNews, SOPPENG, TASIKMALAYA - Suriani has been devoting herself as an educator for 14 years. For years, the woman from Lonrong, Jampu Village, Liliriaja District, Soppeng has been working as an honorary teacher. She teaches at an elementary school in the east of Soppeng City, in Jennae Village. Despite being only an honorary teacher, she wholeheartedly dedicated herself for education.
Suriani does not make much money from teaching. Since the beginning of her dedication, she earns only IDR 150,000 a month that is paid every 4 months. “I have no problem with that. I am doing this job sincerely,” she said, Tuesday (9/22).
Despite living far away from Jakarta, the center of Covid-19 pandemic in Indonesia, Suryani’s activities as an educator has also been affected by the pandemic. Now that the students have to learn from home, Suriani has to face new challenges. She has to not only adjust her teaching methods, but she must also spend some money for data plan.
Another teacher, Ai Srihartati (54), has dedicated herself as an educator for decades. After her husband passed away in 2011, she now has to support her children all by herself. Earning only IDR 250,000 a month, she has to support two family members. "Although I earn only a small salary, but I am happy to be a teacher,” said Ai, who has been teaching since 1993, Tuesday (9/22).
To earn extra money, Ai makes small bite-sized snacks, such as donuts, to sell to the children.
Suriani and Ai are among many Indonesian educators living in financial difficulties. Nevertheless, their dedication is unrelenting. During the Covid-19 pandemic, many of them still try to give their best to their students.
On Tuesday (9/22), Global Zakat-ACT visited the two teachers at their respective homes to provide financial assistance through the Sahabat Guru Indonesia program. These two teachers are part of the thousands of other teachers who have received their living expenses from the zakat funds.
Riski Andriana, Coordinator of the Sahabat Guru Indonesia Program, said that, since its launching on Indonesian National Teachers’ Day of 2019, nearly 5,000 teachers have received financial assistance as of September 2020. The beneficiaries are spread across 133 regencies and cities in 30 provinces of Indonesia. The financial assistance distribution involves over 2,000 volunteers from Masyarakat Relawan Indonesia. As the implementation of the program continues, the number of beneficiaries is also expected to grow.
Global Zakat-ACT provides not only financial assistance, but also online counseling with education experts. "Various kinds of assistance for these teachers are funded by zakat that people give through Global Zakat - ACT. The provision of financial assistance from the Sahabat Guru Indonesia program is a tangible form of the benefit of zakat," said Riski, Thursday (9/24).