Jeihan Agri adalah salah satu diaspora muda Indonesia yang kini bekerja di Suncor Energy Toronto, Kanada. Pria kelahiran Banda Aceh ini sebelumnya besar dan tinggal di Qatar, kemudian mengambil pendidikan di University of Toronto Canada. Saat berada di bangku kuliah, Jeihan pun turut hadir dan terlibat dalam Congress of Indonesian Diaspora pertama kali di Los Angeles tahun 2012 lalu. Melalui kongres itulah, Jeihan ikut termotivasi untuk melakukan sesuatu di Indonesia, khususnya para generasi muda melalui E-Class Learning. Dan berikut petikan wawancara kami dengan Jeihan Agri di kantor IDN Global Jakarta. 

Bisa dijelaskan konsep dasar Diaspora E-Class Learning seperti apa?

Awalnya, usai mengikuti kongres diaspora saya pulang ke Indonesia setahun kemudian dan saat itu ada Diaspora Kelas Inspirasi di Jakarta, yakni program yang diinisasi oleh Pak Anies Baswedan. Saya kemudian mengikuti program tersebut, ikut mengajar anak-anak SD sehari, and I was so happy. It was so fun dan dari situ saya merasa tetap bisa membantu to contribute from abroad. Dari situ kita memikirkan seperti apa sih kalo kita bisa bantuin konek kalian, adik-adik kalian—cause they have the computers, they have the students, they have facilities—how if I try to connect you guys with my friends in Toronto. And then, go iseng-iseng bikin schedule, ajak-ajak temen and they were interested and the classes were always booked, so iseng-iseng jadi lewat skype. So Diaspora E-Class is basicly just about connecting Indonesian di luar with sekolah-sekolah yang menengah ke bawah di Indonesia. Once they’re connected, there’s so many opportunities from online learning. But we focus on improving their English skills. What we do is we facilitate online learning for Diaspora untuk berkomunikasi dengan students di Indonesia yang under-privileged, yang tidak mampu. Kita ada dua program, program OCC (Online Conversation Class). Kita sediakan 30 menit session, we create the schedule, nanti orang dari manapun bisa sign up. Kenapa 30 menit? Karena itu lebih convenient for orang yang mau donate their time tapi kan ga terlalu lama. 30 menit kan gampang kan. Jadi kita ada orang yang lagi ga kelas, lagi break di kampus, sign up for classes. Ada yang lagi break dari kerjanya, they do a session. It’s easy, it's convenient and so we really wanna help and making it easy untuk orang Indonesia to give back to Indonesia. Basically, our goal is to facilitate, improve and also inspire the young generation of Indonesia to become global citizens. Jadi dengan terkoneksinya mereka dengan orang-orang di luar negeri, mereka jadi open minded juga.

 

Apa yang paling menginspirasi Anda untuk mendirikan Diaspora E-Class?

Inspirasi saya datang tentunya setelah mengikuti kongres diaspora pertama. I was so moved getting to know many Indonesians and non-Indonesians that are really interested in giving back to Indonesia. Second one was, I participated in Kelas Inspirasi itu dari Pak Anies Baswedan dan itu juga kayak aku sadar bahwa there’s a lot of anak-anak kecil Indonesia yang kita bisa bantu, yang we can give back and it’s also really fun to get back. Karena jauh, we wanna continue to get back tapi gimana caranya. So, the easiest way that I’ve figured out was through skype experience. So it’s the combination of that. We wanted to create a platform (application for Diaspora E-Class), but it will cost a lot of money and time. There are plans in the future, but now we’re using yang biasa-biasa aja gitu.

 

Apakah ada perkembangan atau bahkan hasil yang signifikan dengan diimplementasikannya Diaspora E-Class ini?

Our key goal, untuk mission kita berhasil, yaitu untuk facilitate and inspire Indonesian young generation to become global citizens. Our goal is to connect as many Indonesian Diaspora around the world with as many under-privileged students or marginalized students in Indonesia. Cause once they're connected, there are so many opportunities for learning. Our short term goal itu yang dua tahun ke depan adalah bekerjasama dengan komunitas Indonesia di seluruh dunia. And the other goal is to infuse online conversation program and class di kurikulum sekolah-sekolah partnership kita. Jadi kaya sekolah Smart Ekselensia di Parung ini udah masuk di kurikulum mereka, so daily mereka udah ada set-up nya. And the feedbacks are amazing. They said they’ve improved their English. Saat hendak mau memulai, saya tidak bisa melakukannya sendiri. We had a founding team, berlima kita. And all of them were mostly from North America, of Canada and USA. Iseng-iseng coba, what’s the feedback from the teachers, what's the feedback from the students. Kita tanyain. Kata gurunya, ever since they’ve first participated in the first eight months of the program, they said that the students have been more confident in speaking English, which is what we want. Kan biasa anak Indonesia malu dan ga berani kan, so they have been condifent. Jadi walaupun mereka gatau mau bilang apa, tapi berani bicara. So that’s a huge achievement for us. Their interest in going abroad, their interest in the world has increased. Which is really good. And one of our goals also to help more schools to get connected to the world through the internet.

 

Anda terlibat langsung dengan metode Diaspora E-Class ini?

Yeah, absolutely. Sometimes we have classes yang, di Parung Bogor itu misalnya jam 4 sore, dan di Kanada itu biasanya jam 2 pagi. Itu sering kosong. So I would stay up and I would fill in those sessions myself, biar ga kosong. Tapi sekarang agak jarang, cause  I work di lapangan jadi susah ga ada internet. Cause I work as a field engineer in oil  and gas, so di tempat-tempat terpencil ga ada internet kan susah. Dan founding team juga everyday. So we encourage each other to participate and take turns.

 

Sudah berapa lama Diaspora E-Class ini dijalankan, kemudian siapa saja dan berapa banyak orang yang berpartisipasi dalam program ini?

So we started in August 2013, jadi hampir tiga tahun. We’ve had almost over a thousand sessions and almost over 500 people from 23 negara from five continents yang udah pernah ikut and the number of students kita sekarang ada empat sekolah for partnerships, tiga di Bogor dan satu di Aceh. Our goal in the next two years untuk partnership sama sekolah-sekolah yang marginalized. So our goal is to increase the student numbers to 2000 in the next two years. Tapi pelan-pelan. Kalau cepat-cepat kan juga nanti ga sanggup kan. You also need to work on the other side, one side is the students and one side is also the teachers, which is the Diaspora. So we also need to increase our partnerships with Indonesian communities. Jadi kita sekarang tuh kerja sama dengan PPI, Permika, Permias, cause they help promote. Sekarang we don’t have any funding. Sama kedutaan juga, KJRI, Konjen, they have helped us  a lot, especially in US, I worked along with Pak Arief, IDN. We also have sponsorships, cause we also have an event called Mix and Mingle. Jadi setiap tahun, we invite our participants yang udah berkomunikasi dengan murid-muridnya lewat skype, we invite them ke Jakarta atau ke  Bogor, ke sekolahnya langsung. Kemudian kita main game, one full day event.  

 

Apakah output dari program Diaspora E-Class ini sudah berjalan sesuai dengan tujuan awal anda saat mendirikan program ini?   

Yes and no. Mostly, there are so many challenges that I will come up with later. One thing is that the expectation of being able to make this a daily thing, but right now our challenge is getting people to participate everyday. But a lot of people, udah sign up once, and then they find it hard to come back, to sign up again. Karena kadang-kadang mereka mulai dan tiba-tiba internetnya ga bekerja. So  it's kind of discouraging. Karena di Parung itu kalau hujan, udah internetnya udah habis. So kita harus make sure, kita jelasin in advance, sori sekolahnya lagi down internetnya, so please reschedule. Karena kalau tiba-tiba mereka udah mau sign in ke kelasnya dan adik-adiknya ga hadir kan gaenak juga.

 

Kendala terbesar seperti apa yang anda hadapi saat menjalankan program Diaspora E-Class ini?

Through the process, it’s all promotion. Getting the world out. It hasn't been that bad cause we have been very fortunate to know a lot of people that can help, kaya Pak Arief (Former President IDN Global). And they have been very influential. And also dubes di Qatar, dubes di Kanada, they’ve been really helpful. Tapi ke depannya kami membutuhkan support media promosi agar lebih banyak peserta di wilayah Asia. Tantangan terbesar lainnya adalah masalah internet. I think in the future, with better internet connection and lower prices, it’ll be better. Yes, it’s mostly that. Perbedaan jam antara wilayah satu dengan lainnya juga menjadi kendala. Karena waktu sekolah di sini, di Indonesia, itu mungkin udah malem di Eropa atau di Kanada, jadi that also the challenge for us to get people to sign up. Initially, people [the Diaspora] are not confident to participate  because they feel like they need to be able to teach, but we keep reminding them kalau ini semacam konversasi aja, it could be about anything as long as you encouraged the students to speak English. So we would receive e-email say, “but I can’t teach, I really wanna help but I can’t teach. Do we have to be a teacher?” Jadi kami menjelaskan bahwa ini program terbuka bagi siapa saja. We even have fourteen year olds yang ngajar adik-adik seumurnya.

 

Untuk kedepannya, apakah Diaspora E-Class akan melibatkan Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan agar program ini bisa terdistribusikan di seluruh Indonesia?

Kamipun berharap demikian. Sebelumnya di kegiatan sebelumnya kami turut mengundang Pak Anies saat beliau sudah diangkat sebagai Menteri. Beliau hadir dan menjadi pembicara di sesi kami selaku inspirator program ini. Kami mengajak serta Indonesia Mengajar to increase our partnerships with them, cause they do go to sekolah-sekolah pelosok gitu kan. Dan tujuan utama kami adalah sekolah-sekolah yang ada di pelosok-pelosok Indonesia yang marginalized students to be able to help them for their English. So maybe, with the minister now, they can help us to spread the word kepada sekolah-sekolah di sini. Misalnya seperti akses internet di sekolah yang lebih baik, atau turut mempromosikan program Diaspora E-Class. And also maybe with the minister of foreign affairs, can help push the word out to the Indonesian Diaspora communities around the world, introduce our program and how they can participate, simple as that will help a lot.

BERITA LAINNYA