Indonesia is a country that consists of thousands of islands. To move from island to island, a small boat or a large ship is one of the best transportation methods. Sometimes, this is an obstacle for people from the more remote islands to perform various activities, including economic and educational ones. This is the case with the inhabitants of Arar Island, an island located in Sorong, West Papua. The Muhammadiyah Alms, Infaq, and Shadaqah Office (Lazismu) and Muhammadiyah Central Board (PP)’s Public Empowerment Office (MPM) alongside several Muhammadiyah Universities (PTM) cooperated to gift three motorized vessels to the people of Arar Island on Saturday (21/9).
The head of Lazismu, Hilman Latief, Ph.D stated that the teaching and learning process in Arar Island has been difficult. Teachers have to commute to the island by boat, and they sometimes miss the boat to ferry them to the island. Often times, the teacher came to school late because of this.
“The lessons in the schools start late because the teachers are late. Classes are supposed to start at seven in the morning, but sometimes it can go as late as ten. Therefore, we decided to gift three units of motorized boats that can carry up to 20 people per unit. This way, we hope the students can learn on time,” Hilman stated when surveying the area with a group from the Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta Office of Research, Publication, and Social Services (LP3M UMY) and several other Muhammadiyah Universities.
Hilman also added that the island has one Aisyiyah Kindergarten, one Public Elementary School, one Muhammadiyah Junior High School, and one Muhammadiyah Senior High School. Each school have been developing quite quickly. The Muhammadiyah Senior High School has decided to built a computer laboratory after being gifted a grant by LP3M UMY. Hilman thanked Universitas Muhammadiyah Purwokerto (UMP), Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta (UMS) and Universitas Pendidikan Sorong (Unimuda Sorong) for their assistance in providing boats to the locals.
“I would like to thank UMY, UMP, UMS, and Unimuda Sorong that has helped the locals increase the quality of their education. I would also like to encourage other PTM in Indonesia to take part in developing education in Indonesia.” He added.
Meanwhile, the Head of MPM PP Muhammadiyah, Dr. H.M Nurul Yamin, M.Si stated that in addition to improving the education sector, these Educational Vessels can improve the local economy. The white sands and blue seas of Arar Island can charm and attract tourists. Arar Island is a short trip away from Sorong City Harbour and other harbours in the Region.
“We will teach the locals to maximize the potential of the island and make Arar Island into a new destination for tourism,” the UMY Lecturer stated. (ak)