The Fate of Honorary Teachers in Pekalongan

With decades of service, honorary teachers in Pekalongan City are still struggling to find additional income since their salary as teachers is still far below the standard.

honorary teachers
Herlinawati's house is often hit by tidal flooding on the North Coast of Java. (ACTNews)

ACTNews, PEKALONGAN – With decades of service, the salary of honorary teachers in Pekalongan is still below the 2021 Regional Minimum Wage (UMK) of Pekalongan City, which is IDR 2,139,754. However, those teachers still continue their struggle to spread knowledge by teaching their students.

The following are some portraits of salaries and conditions of honorary teachers in Pekalongan City.

Herlinawati, 23 Years as an Honorary Teachers 

Herlinawati has been working as a teacher for 23 years. Currently, her salary is IDR 800 thousand per month. Helinawati’s husband is only an odd-job worker with uncertain income, thus the family only relies on Herlinawati’s income. Before the pandemic, Herlina used to open a tutoring class. However, it is currently closed due to the pandemic.

Herlina’s wish to renovate her house is yet to be realized until now. Apparently, Herlina’s house is located in a tidal flood-prone area in Tirto Village, Tirto District, Pekalongan City.


Herlinawati teaches her students in the class. (ACTNews)

“Currently my house’s floor is still soil, the walls have been eroded by water and are damp. I want to renovate the house but we don't have the funds," said Herlina when met by ACT Pekalongan team, Wednesday (9/8/2021).

Dharwanto, 22 Years as an Honorary Teachers 

Pabean Village, North Pekalongan District, Pekalongan City, is an area in Pekalongan that tends to be inundated by the North Coast tidal floods. Dharwanto, an honorary teacher at an elementary school in Tegalrejo, lives in the village.

Dharwanto's house is often hit by tidal floods. From teaching at the school, he only receives a salary of IDR 800,000 per month, which is not enough to meet his daily needs. Not to mention, he also needs money to renovate the house. In order to increase his income, Dharwanto also sells various types of ornamental plants. Unfortunately, the business is currently quiet due to the pandemic.


Dharwanto’s class condition. (ACTNews)

Aditya Nugraha from ACT Pekalongan Program team explained that despite being quiet due to the pandemic, Dharwanto’s business has empowered his surrounding residents to cultivate ornamental plants. "This is a matter of pride and achievement for him," said Aditya to ACTNews, Friday (9/24/2021).

Wahyu Wijan Narko, 12 Years as an Honorary Teachers 

During his 12 years as an honorary teacher, Wahyu only receives IDR 500 thousand per month. Currently, he lives in his relative’s house in Panjang Wetan, North Pekalongan while his wife and children are living in Tegal.

Aside from being a teacher, Wahyu also raises and sells lovebirds. However, during the pandemic, his customers have been decreased. “I want my wife and children to follow me living in Pekalongan. However, I don’t have enough income which can only meet my own daily needs,” said Wahyu, Tuesday (9/14/2021).