Schools in eastern rural and remote regions in Indonesia continue to face teacher shortages and poor education quality. Complex rural challenges have become the main reason why many urban teachers are reluctant to apply for rural teaching position or consider as future career. Preparing teachers for teaching position across rural regions through government’s leading program called Sarjana Mendidik di Daerah Terdepan, Terluar dan Tertinggal (SM-3T) is positively seen as sustainable initiatives. The effectiveness of this program, however, should be interrelated with teachers’ professional perceptions and their practical experience. This qualitative case study investigates teacher retention who appointed teaching in four rural and remote districts in West Papua. The respondents were graduate teachers who joined a one-year teaching appointment in Teluk Duairi, Womesa, West Misool and Waigeo. In order to gather data, both individual and collective interview were conducted and followed by a document review. The overall findings revealed that teachers internal aspiration and motivation play a key role in their decision-making to remain in the profession as a rural teacher. Intense socio-cultural integrations also provide significant attributes on teacher retention, motivation and adaptability to rural challenges. The viability of the program, however, seemed to be lacking of its practical theory. Some concerns regarding teachers’ initial education, rural placement and its preparatory program along with the sustainable impacts are taken into account.
Munawwarah, Monash University, Australia
Stream: Professional Training
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