University of Muhammadiyah Malang again achieved national achievement. This time, UMM became the recipient of the award winner of National Literacy Competition in commemoration of 44th International Literacy Day in Cilegon, Banten, on Tuesday (9/8). Daroe Iswatiningsih’s article published in Malang Post on July 19, 2009 managed to set aside reporters of Bernas Yogyakarta, Kompas, Republika, Harian Analisa Medan and Genta magazine. Article entitled "Pendidikan Keaksaraan untuk Pemberdayaan Petani/Literacy Education for Farmer Empowerment" delivered Daroe receiving an award given directly by the State Minister of Women Empowerment, Meutia Hatta. This time was the second achievement for Daroe after last year she also won the same award.
Commemoration of 44th International Literacy Day took the theme “Creating Literacy Education as a Community Empowerment Movement”. Daroe photographed the real condition of Indonesia as the agriculture country. Most of the farmers and the majority were illiterate and poor.
Chief of Bahasa Indonesia Department explained the rural poor families were mostly farm workers with incomes between 100-400 thousand rupiahs per month. According to Agriculture Department in 2006, farm workers who did not pass the primary school reached 35% (26 million families from 104 million). There were 36 million people who did not attend school and did not complete primary school.
According the mother of three children, high level of illiteracy can severely affect the low mentality, skills and productivity of farmers. Daroe cited short-term oriented business which only pursuits profit and does not understand the vast business sphere is a form of low mentality of farmers. "Besides, Indonesian farmers are lack access to knowledge, technology and information, so that they are less competitive with other countries," he said.
"Developing a Model of Literacy Education with Vision of Food Security/Pengembangan Model Pendidikan Keaksaraan Berwawasan Ketahanan Pangan(PK-BKP) could be a strategy to empower poor rural farmers," he said.
PK-BKP strategy emphasizes on Citizens Learning to have the skills of reading, writing and numeracy with curriculum approach that leads to the real needs of farmers which are integrated to agricultural extension activities which should involve groups of farmers or farmer organizations as partners. Not only that, this juice and fresh vegetable lover added that it is important to make involvement of the agricultural extension workers to encourage effective learning. "In the end, PK-BKP model to encourage farmers of being literate," she concluded.
"The success of Daroe was inseparable from the contribution of her husband, Sutawi, who is also a lecturer of Agribusiness of UMM. According to him, they often discussed and supported each other. This year, Daroe also successfully won the first winner of a writing contest. (rka/t_alf)