Thursday, July 18, 2024 | 03:48 WIB

Serving the nation after completing a Master’s Degree in London


Galih Sulistyaningra, elementary school teacher

Jakarta, IO – Raised in a family of teachers, including her father, mother and several family members, Galih Sulistyaningra was also expected to carry on the family legacy. 

Galih, reluctant at first, ended up studying “Primary School Teacher Education” at Jakarta State University. Her first teaching experience was at a private school implementing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics). She taught after-school lessons for international school children with upper-middle-class economic backgrounds. 

At that time, STEAM was not very popular. “I felt like the STEAM teaching method helps children learn more practically. The nature of our project-based learning makes the lessons more fun and meaningful for children,” explained Galih, as quoted from Media Keuangan. 

STEAM learning is a learning method that emphasizes children’s creativity in solving problems related to technical or scientific matters. 

Based on her experience and perceptions, Galih was keen to further her learning to understand education planning and policies better. She believed her major could help integrate STEAM-based learning and engineering design processes into education policy. 

She then enrolled at University College London (UCL) and completed her Master’s Degree, with a scholarship from the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). 

At first, Galih’s father was skeptical about her intention to pursue higher studies abroad. “Why do you have such an ambitious dream? If you graduate from Primary School Teacher Education, then be a primary school teacher,” wrote Galih on her Instagram account, recalling her father’s words. 

After graduating from UCL, Galih applied for a civil service job as an elementary school teacher using her Bachelor’s Degree certificate. She was determined to bring meaningful, contextual and STEAM-based learning to her classroom. 

Galih, a mother of one, astounded Indonesian netizens with her decision to work as an elementary school teacher at a public school. She affirmed her commitment as a scholarship awardee to contribute to the nation’s development. 

“I made this decision aiming for a bigger goal, that is, to be an Indonesian education policy maker and create a bigger impact,” she said. 

Galih, serving as a teacher at a public elementary school since 2020, has written a module for improving the teaching of numeracy literacy in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology program, becoming an expert assessor of non-text books and developed achievement assessment for the English language subject. 

Currently, Galih actively creates content on her Instagram account @galihtyanr, sharing good practices and progressive educational perspectives she learned in university. 

On her TikTok account, @galihtyanr, Galih shares videos of her daily life as a teacher. In a short video with 304,000 views as of Friday, June 14, 2024, she captioned, “What do Master’s Degree holders from LPDP scholarship do after returning home? 

Galih is not embarrassed about teaching at a public elementary school. Instead, she feels proud teaching meaningful lessons to her students. Her classes include preventing sexual violence, science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) principles, gender equality, empathy, values and humanity. 

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Galih believes in the meaning of basic education in elementary schools. Primary education is children’s longest education and transition period, from early-year education. During this period, children are developed not only in academics but also in social-emotional maturity. They are expected to be able to think critically and acquire the skills needed to move to the next level. 

Galih is convinced that elementary school teachers do not merely teach one subject, but they must be able to implement abstract concepts for children so that they can understand and correlate the concepts with everyday life. “The most challenging thing at the elementary school level is for children to look up to teachers as role models. So, we don’t only impart knowledge, but we also set examples and inspire them,” explained Galih. (rp)


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