Sekolah Adat Arus Kualan Ketapang

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The learning process occurs asa result of the effort to develop knowledge, to change behavior, and to realizeself-potential. But, every person may have a unique perception about themeaning of learning itself. There areseveral factors that contribute to learning which are meaningful and valuableto consider such as the teaching of spiritual energy, self-control, understandingof the individual, and the development of the this era brain. In of globalization, education has a profound influence overthe economy and culture of a society. Education is a critical factor increating a society’s understanding of its place in a global context.Government, therefore, aims to develop its education system to see advancementfor its people and society. Thus the education system, especially in Indonesiamust also strive to achieve harmony and equity in communities.

Thedivelopment of moderenization influences the mindset ofstudents to be competitive for the workforce and to prepare themselves for a betterlife upon graduating.  However, manystudents from rural areas who move to urban areas to continue their studiesbegin to view local activities and local wisdom as antiquated andirrelevant.  They can begin to seeactivities such as working in the field, forest, or as farmers as jobs foruneducated people. As a result of globalization and technological development,the education system only focuses on academic knowledge, modernism, and formal/theoreticallearning. In this context, traditional cultural knowledge begins to beperceived as strange, old, not important and not interesting. This phenomenonis occurring with the Dayak youth of Ketapang Regency, West Kalimantan.  There is an increasing trend for these youthto pursue their studies in the city where they become more comfortable with modernismand begin to live as city people. Ultimately, they find office work in thecity, feel that this is a better life for their future, and no longer wish toreturn to their village.

Movingfrom the village to the city with the purpose of finding a better job orpermanent employment in an office can rob Dayak youth of their local wisdom, traditions,and knowledge. Sadly, local languages are also lost as city youth begin to feeljudged negatively by their urban peers for speaking their mother tongue. Thesenegative perceptions of traditional knowledge in an urban setting pose a threatto the sustainability of Dayak culture and communities.  Influenced by modernism through theireducation in the city, Dayak youth lose touch with the values they once held attheir core, such as the communal aspects of village life, strong connection totheir community, as well as to nature, especially to the forest.  Since local languages also reflecthierarchical relationships, by forgetting their mother tongues, Dayak youthalso lose touch with their place within their traditional communities and howto communicate appropriately to their elders, friends, parents, etc.

Forthe Dayaknese, the more you respect tradition the more you respect people. Themore you know your traditions the more you know the meaning of life in relationto law, nature, customs, identity, spirituality, and community.  Tradition that expresses itself as lawsof   nature, unspoken but real, is deeplypresent among the Dayak community. The Dayak world-view is grounded in nature: motherearth as a spirit, home, school, and also as provider of life resources (food,water, medicine, oxygen). Sakolah Adat Arus Kualan is emerging as a place forthe new Dayak generation to reconnect with their elders, with nature, and withDayak perspectives. It is a place where students are invited to regain theiridentity as indigenous people by learning the ways of their ancestors and byretaining traditional knowledge, and by learning the importance of holdingtheir land from generation to generation.

On May16th, 2014, activities of traditional cultural teaching and learningbegan in Tahak, Ketapang Regency. These activities were undertaken informally,not under the auspices of a ‘school’ perse. Then in 2017 P. Dessy Elma Thyana, as one ofthe organizers of said activities, met Modesta Wisa, Founder of the SekolahAdat Samabue, located in Menjalin, Ketapang Regency. Through that meeting,Dessy and Wisa shared their ideas and experiences, then decided to name thetraditional activities being undertaken in Tahak as a sakola adat. And so, SakolahAdat Arus Kualan was legitimately founded on September 3rd, 2018. Sakolah Adat Arus Kualanprovides non-formal education that teaches students through Dayak culture, traditions,and knowledge. Spiritual knowledge, traditional games, local languages,traditional cooking and medicine, Dayak wisdom, traditional music, songs anddance, traditional handicrafts, and traditional stories are all taught there.

SakolahAdat Arus Kualan is located in Tahak, Ketapang Regency, in West-Kalimantan. Asof 2018 85 students were enrolled from ages 4 through 15 years old. Local youthaged 16 or older function as volunteers to teach their younger sisters andbrothers. Sakolah Adat Arus Kualan endeavours to reconnect the new Dayakgeneration in Tahak to their elders from whom they can learn deeply about theiruniqueness, creativity, skills, and identity. Sakolah adat classes are not only held in classrooms, but moreso  through outdoor activities in theforest. Here, students learn about the leaves, roots, and trees that can beused as a food, medicine, or made into toys. Sometimes the students and theteacher play traditional games and toys in the field, and they use theclassrooms for music and dance classes as well as for language lessons. SakolahAdat Arus Kualan also facilitates learning about literacy and general knowledgesimilar to what students learn through their formal education.  The reason for teaching general knowledge andliteracy in sekolah adat is that there are several problems that are faced bythe Dayak community unique to their village context.

First,the most common problem faced by indigenous people in the small villages islosing their traditional land to corporations such as palm oil or miningcompanies. Why is that happening?  Oftentraditional land is lost to corporate entities as a result of foreign investorstaking advantage of Dayak people who are not literate and who therefore sign offon land settlements without properly understanding contracts.  The generally low level of formal educationin the village is not sufficient to prepare the new Dayak generation to protecttheir rights to their traditional land and so they are left vulnerable to loseit. Lack of literacy skills, therefore, leave Dayak people unable to make theirvoices heard by foreign interests and leave them as targets for exploitation.For this reason, teaching of general knowledge in the sekolah adat such asliteracy, mathematics, English, history and science is also critical for theirfuture as Dayak people.

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