Honestly this is my first time visiting Jeneponto. First time, I and my team mates visited BAPPEDA for introducing ourselves and the purpose of our visit. After that, we had to go to hotel for keeping our luggage there. Honestly, I don’t really like the place where I’m going to stay for around 10 days, not only the physical condition but also I think that the owner didn’t have a good knowledge of how to serve the guess well. Therefore, started from the first day, I declared not to order breakfast, lunch or even dinner there because I don’t like the way they serve their guess. So rude, not professional, and off course noisy…..
10 days in Jeneponto is quite short to cover all the things that we need for this survey, but at least I knew several conditions of agriculture and also education in the field. I and my team visited several Dinas (Department) with regards to the place where they recommended visiting. After I visited several Dinas there, I found that many Dinas has too much staffs so then they have nothing to do in the office, except chatting with other staffs. Maybe it sounds too soon to judge like that but I saw not only one Dinas, I found several Dinas staffs have the same habit.
For agriculture sector, I and Tanaka san visited farmer groups and met extensionists. I concluded from the interviews that this regency has high potency in corn, vegetables, coffee. There is one district in highland called Rumbia which is a good place for these three commodities. There is a seedling center there, but unfortunately it’s just for fruits, not yet for vegetables. Rumbia has a very good view and also good streets (jalan desa). We met one great guy called Daeng Bella and also an amazing extensionist, Mr Hasanuddin who could be the role model for farmers and extensionist. They did such an amazing job. To be success as a farmer, someone couldn’t make it without support from other extensionist. Why?? Because an extensionist usually has the information about technical farming, and a good extensionist must have approach methods to share the informations. Approach method is not about technical thing but it’s more about the method which have to use to get closer and sharing the information easily with the farmers. And this is what I’ve found from Mr. Hasanuddin as an extensionist. He is a humble guy. He has the philosophy for approaching the farmers. He proved that he is not a NATO (No Action Talk Only) type. He is extensioning, testing the new seeds and also working together with the farmers. Daeng Bellas as well is a very amazing farmer, he can prove that his hard working on corn and also his trustworthiness to Mr. Hasanuddin as the extensionist results in successful harvest.
Jeneponto posses long beach line. Due to the big potency of fisheries, fish ponds as well shrimp ponds are expanding in areas. The coastal zone farmers took mangrove area for pond purpose. But the problems occurred when there’s just 20% mangrove left, because usually mangrove area provides many planktons as fish’s feeding, also small shrimps and small fishes which they could use for aquaculture. Fortunately, there is one farmer who has his own initiative to start doing coastal conservation by planting mangrove surrounding his village. He is Daeng Sewang. Firstly, he worked with his neighbors at the end of 80-es to plant the mangrove, and after 2 years, this group also started to cooperate with Fishery Dinas. There’s also a very open minded guy from Fishery Dinas who could clearly understand the purpose of our visit, called Mr. Hamzah. He is as well a humble and cooperative guy.
Seaweed is other potency in Jeneponto. Many fishermen tried to grow seaweed since 90es. But the problem that they are facing now is about quality of seaweed. After harvest, many farmers still dry their seaweed on the street, so the micro organism could infect the seaweed. That’s how the seaweed quality is getting decrease.
Trying to summarize, general problem for agricultural harvest are how to market their products and how to enhance the quality of the harvest because some farmers did harvest earlier before the time to harvest due to the economic pressures in their family fortheir daily lives.
In education sector, I and Eriko san visited many schools especially SMP (Junior High School). Nowadays, for completing the 9 years compulsory education, the government provides BOS (School Operational Fund), therefore until SMP level, the school is not allowed to receive tuition fees from students. The fund which is every school get is depended on the number of students. The more students a school has, the more funds the school can get. So, actually base on my own perspective, I still see that this BOS fund also could create gap between the school which has many students and also the school which has small number of students. The big school has more money to use so its facilities could be more completed and the big school has more funds to hold teacher’s training rather than the small school which usually in the remote area. Surprisingly, many headmaster in remote area stated that this fund is really helpful for them in providing several facilities, while big school’s headmasters stated that before this funds came they gain more funds from student’s parents association (school committee), so they used to get more money from school committee rather than from BOS fund. We visited many SMPs. Many of them keep asking about facilities providing and also asking us for laboratory equipments, but we felt sorry because that was not the purpose of our visit. But I admire several science teachers in some schools that I have visited, they still have motivation in holding experiments in all of their limited condition. Several teachers even tried to search substitute spare parts for their broken microscopes by using the stuffs surrounding them. Even though the results wouldn’t be maximal but at least they have an amazing effort and also motivation that reflected their huge desire for doing experiments. Some schools also has small garden as a place for them practicing biology lesson. The problems which I think urgent in this region is the number of teachers still couldn’t fulfill the needs in this regency. Many teachers should teach not only one subject, but two or even three. It is so ridiculous to know that many Dinas has abundant staffs and in the other side, the number of teachers is lacking. Were I government, I would prioritize to recruit more teachers for being civil servant rather than recruit staffs to be assigned in office. Were I government………………………………