Children of Tomorrow and A Thirst For Knowledge
Once upon a time in the District of Kerinci, Jambi Province, Indonesia. There was a flock of children coming to my office at least once a week every afternoon after school hours. They visited the national park visitor center which I was in charge of its management. They came to read books. The center was equipped with library intended for children and youngsters at school age. The books collection mostly related to environment, conservation, nature and wildlife. But there are also some comic books, novel and story books. The children really enjoy reading the book, we just asked them to keep quiet and take care of the books.
Until someday one of them asked me, ” Kak (term of address or reference for a person somewhat older than the speaker), would you teach us English”. I was struck with that question, these kids at the age of elementary school showing an interest of learning English that in my opinion not common in this area. What an interesting kids. Suddenly I said yes. Though I had to devoted some time for them aside from my regular job.
Finally, once a week every Friday afternoon, we had a small class and I taught them with basic English including numbers and vocabulary. They were very exciting with the class and to make it easy and interesting I used puppets to demonstrate simple conversations.
I don’t remember how long this small class run, since it was happen 4 years ago. I think it quite long until the working days was changed from 5 days into 6 days. Means the office that previously closed at 4.30pm then changed into 2pm and the children could not come again after school hours which is after 2pm.
I still remember the time when they came with a wet clothes because it was a heavy rain and they got wet. What a faith! All is just to gain a knowledge that they believe is valuable and indeed it make me proud as their teacher and older brother (Kakak).
Dear my little fellows, I don’t know where are you and what are you now, but I always pray for you all the best, keep in faith and thirsty for knowledge. [Agung Nugroho]