Teacher Wiwin: Students Absent from School to Help Parents Make a Living

Wiwin, an honorary teacher told ACT team that students in her school mostly come from underprivileged families. Most of their parents are working odd jobs or just small peddlers. Therefore, the students have to maximize their learning time at school. “At their houses, they can no longer focus on studying but helping their parents to earn a living,” explained Wiwin.

Teacher Wiwin
Wiwin Sunarsih teaches at her class. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, SUBANG – Wiwin Sunarsih has been an honorary teacher in a school in Karanganyar Village, Subang District, Subang Regency for 12 years. Wiwin teaches Islamic subject for 1st to 6th-grade students and being the homerun teacher for the 5th-grade students.

There are five teachers at the school where Wiwin teaches. Oftentimes, Wiwin is asked to replace other teachers who can not come to school despite the different subjects they teach.

“I will strive to give the best for the students to learn,” said Wiwin when met by ACT Subang team, Tuesday (9/28/2021).

According to Wiwin, students in her school mostly come from underprivileged families. Most of their parents are working odd jobs or just small peddlers. Therefore, the students have to maximize their learning time at school. “At their houses, they can no longer focus on studying but helping their parents to earn a living,” explained Wiwin.

“When they arrive home, they can no longer focus on studying but instead, they have work to help their parents earn a living,” Wiwin explained.

Wiwin is aware that many times, her students are absent from school. Later, Wiwin found out that many of them were absent due to waking up late after helping their parents working until 1 a.m.

“Turned out, after I look for them at their houses, they have to help their parents selling plastic bags or being hawkers at the market until late at night,” explained Wiwin.

Their economic conditions also made many of Wiwin's students unable to buy textbooks. Wiwin could not do much, since her financial condition is also mediocre. Her monthly salary is uncertain, depending on the available funds from School Operational Assistance (BOS).

"My salary is low. The payment also depends on the disbursement of the BOS funds. It could be a month to three months. It’s uncertain," said the woman who also has to support her five family members.[]