Teachers on Benan Island Inspired by Students’ Tenacity

Seeing their students’ tenacity despite the long difficult journey to school that they have to take, the teachers on Benan Island are deeply moved. “We don’t want to let them down by not coming to work while they have taken an arduous journey to school,” said Suparniah, a teacher on Benan Island who has been teaching for 14 years.

benan island students
Children on Banan Island go to school by boat. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, LINGGA REGENCY – To commemorate the National Teachers’ Day that fell on Thursday (11/25/2021) Aksi Cepat Tanggap (ACT) Tanjungpinang visited teachers at two schools on Benan Island, Katang Bidare District, Lingga Regency. After a two-hour journey from Sri Bintan Pura Port, Tanjungpinang, the team finally arrived there.

These two schools on Benan Island are the most accessible to children living in the western part of Lingga Regency. There is an elementary school and a junior high school on the island, with students coming from the surrounding islands.

The journey to go to school is not easy for the students. One of the elementary school teachers on Benan Island, Suparniah, revealed that students from the surrounding islands must sometimes spend 1 to 1.5 hours to get to Benan Island. It can take longer during bad weather.

"They are very enthusiastic about their study. Sadly, some cannot go to school due to financial hardship and long distances. In addition, some have to use the boats that their parents use to fish to go to school,” said Suparniah.

The students' struggle has inspired her and other teachers on Benan Island to continue teaching although they received only a little salary. The students are not obliged to pay so that they won’t feel more burdened.