PURBALINGGA, CENTRAL JAVA – “Don't know? Learn it. Can't do it? Do your best. Impossible? Try anyway!” Such is the attitude to life of Khasbi Istanto, a teacher at MI NU 2 Tangkisan, Mrebet, Purbalingga, who was recently declared the winner of a competition for outstanding teachers at Central Java level run by MORA at the Gra nd Wahid Hotel, Salatiga (18-21/8). Khasbi acknowledged that the most important element in the competition was the assessment of innovative work based on using the environment as a learning resource.
"Since 2013, after being trained by USAID PRIORITAS, I have become aware of how the use of environment-based media as learning resources for students is a very effective way to achieve learning objectives. Since then, I have made 25 learning media which use things from the local environment," said this teacher with 10 years of service at the madrasah.
He created 25 innovative environment-based teaching aids that were presented to the jury appointed by MORA in Central Java.
They ranged from a numbers line using a cassava stem for subtraction and addition, a 'help tree' for learning social studies and Indonesian language, a 'royal egg basket' for social studies, an 'archipelago tree' for social studies and civics, a repeated multiplication stick and various other innovative media.
Khasbi said that the use of environment-based teaching aids enables him to overcome the limitations in terms of the availability of aids and their cost, and makes learning fun. This is in accordance with the basis of learning that is active, creative, effective, and enjoyable (known as the PAKEM approach) that has been implemented in his madrasah with the support of USAID PRIORITAS.
"Children get very excited about their lessons. They also find it easier to understand the lessons, because I try to make them contextual using objects they come across at home, in the garden, in their village, and in the environment where they live," said Khasbi, the fourth son of Sutarno and Mistiyah.
Khasbi gave an example during IPS and Indonesian lessons using the 'help tree'; he raised the issue of water pollution caused by a factory. Students played the role of trees and the environment which asked for help due to effects of pollution. Then the students also role-played a discussion involving a young man who found a real solution to the the pollution in the form of written information. These activities made the students more sensitive to their environment. Khasbi is also scheduled to participate in a national achievement competition for madrasah teachers which will be held in November 2016. (Arz)