by Sr. Cerli Hutagalung, FdCC Province of Divine Mercy, Indonesia
At first glance, let us reflect on the meaning of education. Education of all time is very important. Education is the process of learning through civilization, cultural awareness, nurturing so as to develop all the talents and potentials of human being to enhance human dignity. For this purpose, three years ago a Canossian school was established in Kasongan-Kalimantan at the kindergarten level. One reason for the establishment of this school was because there was no Catholic school in Kasongan area. The presence of our Canossian school was welcomed by the local community. Then again in 2018, the local community requested for the elementary school level. This was seen as necessary, especially in terms of sustainable and holistic education.
The opening of the elementary school for the year 2018-2019 was indeed a good thing and a “challenge”. This is considered a challenge because the elementary school does not have a separate building yet. The kindergarten and the elementary school are operating in the same building. This certainly becomes uncomfortable for the learning process. The program and activities at the kindergarten and elementary schools are different. Moreover this limits the space of the students. On the other hand, the positive side is that the elementary school students seem to love and care for the kindergarten children.
Also, the joint premises encouraged the teachers to integrate students’ talents in developing programs for both schools although they are of different nature at times. Some of the activities are literacy program in the morning, short silent meditation, computer classes, music and movement. On January 2019 the teachers agreed to have Christmas celebration together. During this celebration all students of both kindergarten and elementary school were involved in the musical drama performance on the Nativity scene.
The parents were invited and were very happy with the performance and simplicity of the children in various roles. We hope that we can build a simple elementary school in the coming year as the number of children increases and there is a need for Catholic education in Kalimantan.