By: Komang (girl), 18 years old, Senior High School grade 2, Jatituhu
We entered the second year of Empower program. We got a new lesson called Photovoices – a lesson which teach us to speak out our problems and potentials through photography. On this lesson, we were divided into some groups to do a specific task. From the first meeting until the sixth meeting I was with Rentini. We were given a camera to capture a photo about malnutrition in Jatituhu.
This lesson was boring, even we were thinking to stop joining. Everything was messed up, besides we just capturing photos – in this case photography is not my hobby (my hobbies are singing and reading) and we were afraid if the photo objects (the respondents) will be angry if we capture them.
On the sixth meeting, the groups were shuffled. I met Rena, Sutini, and Sutriani into my group. So do our task, we had to interview and capture a photo through different topic based on what is in your group. This time, we deal with dropped out students and early marriage. The others groups have got malnutrition, infrastructure, needy family, village potentials, and plastic rubbish. The teachers gave us these tasks because all of us were senior high student and this task was the most difficult task to do.
This task was really difficult because we were afraid of the respondents will be angry or offended if we interviewed them with the questions they won’t to answer. Lucky for us, the teachers provisioned some questions before we do the interview. They also explained how to interview the respondents without making them to be offended and comfortable to answer the questions during the interview.
We were provisioned 16 questions about the respondent’s identity, reason of dropping out from school or early marriage, the bittersweets of dropped out and early marriage, and many more.
At the first and second interview we were accompanied by the teacher. We were very nervous and almost couldn’t do the interview. We asked the teacher to take our place as the interviewer then we record the answer of the respondents. After that, we wrote the story from the interview results.
We did the next interviews by ourselves. We turned around the village to find the respondents. Word by words we tried to say and then we did it. We convinced ourselves that we could do it but how, “if we couldn’t do the interview with people we usually meet, then how we could interview the people we haven’t met? Maybe we will run away and never do the interview.” The fourth meeting was the last meeting with the respondents. This time we already confident and brave to interview them. Finally, we did it with the Jatituhu’s people.
There were some bittersweets during the interview. I will tell you the bitters first. We were started the interview at 4 PM, so we just met a few respondents. We couldn’t find them at their house, then we tried to look for them to the place they usually hanging out. It was going until late, we went home at night, besides, our home is far enough from the respondent’s locations. The sweet things were I could be hanging out together turned around the village with my friends, visiting the community’s houses, and doing interview with the people who dropped out or early marriage makes us feeling close to them. We knew their feeling and situation too, whether they are happy or not with their decision. We got so much lessons from them and it pushing us hardly to finish our education as high as possible because the happiness things we will get if we can graduate from school.
Based on the interview the early marriage and dropout rate in Jatituhu is high since 20 years ago, about more than a quarter of total number of the students are drop out or married early and it even higher now, but the illiterate children are lower. The respondents we interviewed said that most of the students who dropped out or married early are between 15 – 17 years old, even some of them were our friend at school and playmate.
There were only five respondents both drop out and early marriage students who allowed to be interviewed from the total number, so we got 10 respondents so far. Many respondents refused to be interviewed because they were shy and afraid answering an unusual question. They said that the questions are very difficult to answer. From the interview we got that they get married early because of getting pregnant first, being engaged by their parents, and some of them because they want it. Whereas the drop out issue is caused by a desire to get experience in Denpasar and money from their effort. The money they got usually they use for shopping in order to buy anything which can be looked cool and fashionable then the remains of the money they give it to their parents. Almost the students who dropped out and then work are look cool and fashionable than when they were in school. It influences the students who still in school to follow the same way. However, luckily, my friends and I (who still in school) are not drifted by. We just thinking how to finish our education with a great outcome in order to get a good job, better than them who get drop out. We are optimist that our future will be brighter than them.
This interview lesson is bringing back our spirit to study Photovoices. Now, this lesson seems interesting and we like it. We got great experiences from this lesson and the respondents we interviewed. We have to say thank you very much for them. And for the rising generation, you need to finish your education as high as you can! Don’t get married early because education is very important for a brighter future.