The Condition and Challenges of Community Learning Centre in the Oil Palm Plantations of Sarawak, Malaysia
Sarawak is facing the problem of labour shortage in its oil palm plantations. It is difficult to recruit Malaysians to work in the plantations and, therefore, hiring foreign workers has become one of the solutions. Since the number of Indonesian workers and children is increasing, the Indonesian Government has requested to set up Community Learning Centre (CLC) in plantations for the Indonesian children in Sarawak. This article aims to explore the existence of CLC and the challenges faced by its teachers. A qualitative study has been employed, and data was collected using face-to-face interviews and interviews via telephone and text messages. The face-to-face interviews were conducted before and after the Movement Control Order was implemented in Sarawak. The first 16 CLCs were set up in 2016, and the number increased to 63 in 2020. CLC uses the Indonesian teaching syllabus, and the subjects are taught by Indonesian teachers (Guru Pamong and Guru Bina). Up to June 2020, there were 114 Indonesian CLC teachers in the state. The constraints of the CLC in Sarawak include limited classrooms, low motivation of the students, and lack of teaching and learning equipment which affects the effectiveness of teaching and learning. On the bright side, the CLC has given an opportunity to the Indonesian children in oil palm plantations in Sarawak to have primary education. After graduating from CLC, they can continue their studies in a secondary school in Indonesia since the teaching syllabus in CLC is similar to the one used in Indonesia.
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