School as usual for tsunami victims in Sumur

BANTEN, Indonesia (Bernama) – The tsunami that struck off the coast of the Sunda Strait over two weeks ago has not broken the spirit of the teachers and pupils of a primary school here. They are determined to continue with the schooling despite having to sit on the floor.

Sekolah Dasar Negeri (SDN) Taman Jaya 2, located just 40 metres from the coast of Sumur, suffered severe damage when almost 90 per cent of the school structure was destroyed after being struck by tsunami waves.

Bernama reporter found 12 teachers and 115 pupils carrying on with the lessons amidst the damaged classes, chairs, desks and school books and collapsed library and school fence.

A teacher, Rahmawati, who has been with the school since 2003, said it was the first time ever that a tsunami had hit the area although they had experienced earthquake tremors before.

“Although much of the school equipment and structure was damaged, I must continue to fulfil my responsibility to educate the children,” she told Bernama.

Malaysian GPM volunteer representative Amirul Asraf Mat Arif presents a food snack to one of the pupils of Dasar Negeri (SDN) Taman Jaya 2 School. BERNAMA

Another teacher, Asnimah, who has served the school since 2006, said she would never lose hope even though most of the school facilities were destroyed and many books had drifted away.

“Teaching is in my blood. Whatever (natural disaster) happens, I will continue to teach because these pupils are my soul,” she said.

Headmaster Supriana Suhud said he was grateful that the teachers and pupils were safe as the tsunami struck during the two-week school holiday.

“While the tsunami has destroyed most of the school, they are still excited to come to school although some are still traumatised by what has happened to the school,” he said.

He was also grateful to the Malaysian Global Peace Mission (GPM) for organising a healing programme to help his pupils who were in a state of anxiety after having gone through a terrifying situation.