Since I only teach part by part, I can easily notice those who do not comprehend; it would be different when I teach the whole class, there are usually more students, they keep running around”

That is the first response from Ms. Mulyawati, a first-grade teacher at SDN Karanganyar 2, Klari, Karawang Regency, answering the question on her thought regarding offline learning by visiting her students’ study group.

There are 32 first graders under the responsibility of Ms. Mul which many of them did not attend preschool (PAUD/TK) prior to this class. The fact that some of her first-grade students still have difficulties in holding pencils, let alone writing the letters, falls short of her expectation that they are ready to learn Theme 1 Myself. Such matter creates the first limitation that Ms. Mul should be dealing with.

The second limitation is regarding the accessibility of the students’ residences. The 32 first-graders of SDN Karanganyar 1 are divided into 6 study groups. Each day Ms. Mul visits 3 study groups. One of the groups is located quite far from her house and has steep road access due to the rocky road. “Although it’s troublesome, far away, big chance to get lost, I feel happy once I meet the kids; some of them have been waiting for me since 6 o’clock”, she said.

The limited time becomes a limitation for Ms. Mul to assist her students for a long time in every study groups. Nevertheless, Ms. Mul keeps on trying to find out her students’ learning achievement by conducting quick and simple assesment. One of the assessments is by asking her students to write or count the randomly dictated numbers.

Based on their answers, I become more familiar with thir characters and needs,[those] can not be generalized, [those] should be differentiated. For example, I would ask certain student to write the number 0 over and over again so that his writing will get better in times; and those who already are able to write, will be instructed to write more numbers. It is like when washing rice, this way the rice will be washed” she claimed. She believes that each student has different needs and should be facilitated with different method or strategy.

Statements such as ‘student who can’t comprehend is noticeable’, ‘students can’t be generalized, should be differentiated’ really remind us about inclusive education, in which learning shall accomodate different needs of the students due to their background, location, character, potential, ability or other factors[1]. It has never been predicted before that the current age of limitation actually enables to initiate such organic inclusion learning as illustrated by Ms. Mul experience. When people often say with limiation comes innovation, Ms. Mul is able to give her own touch: with limitation comes inclusion.

“Think about your constraints for a moment — not as barriers to your ability to innovate, but instead as a puzzle that holds the opportunity for creativity and great work “- David Sturt[2]

Author: Cici Tri Wanita

Editor: Masdar Fahmi

[1] UNESCO (2005b) Guidelines for Inclusion: Ensuring access to education for all Paris: UNESCO, p.13.