Through GLS, Lecturers of PBSI UAD Improve Student Literacy

The consolidation of student and community literacy continues to be the concern of many parties, as what the lecturers of Indonesian Language and Literature Education (PBSI) of Universitas Ahmad Dahlan (UAD), Dra. Sudarmini, M.Pd. and Prof. Drs. Soeparno, did.

They did community service through Gerakan Literasi Sekolah (GLS) or School Literacy Movement to improve student literacy in SMP Muhammadiyah 9 Yogyakarta. Sudarmini said that the activities (23-24/4/2018) aimed to improve the students' literacy skills.

"The GLS program designed by the government has not been well socialized to schools, including at SMP Muhammadiyah 9 Yogyakarta. The literacy activity level of this school is still very low. This can be seen from the average number of students visiting the library daily which is only five percent of the whole students," said Sudarmini.

He added that the main obstacles in the implementation of GLS included the density of student activities with the five-day school program, the limited human resources because it had to be conducted outside of school hours, and the limited facilities and supporting infrastructure for the visitors. Therefore, the implementation of the program requires collaboration with other parties to assist and provide guidance. In this case, the role was played by the university through community service activity.

GLS is a manifestation of public awareness, especially from universities. This program is one of the national literacy programs. The goal of the program is to improve literacy skills nationally and internationally. Literacy is a basic skill that must be mastered by every person.

In Indonesia, based on data from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), more than 50 percent of 15-year-old Indonesians do not have good basic reading skills. The source mentions that Indonesia's literacy level is still at the bottom 10.

Another source from Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) on adults aged 16-65 in Jakarta, by 2015 shows that more than 70 percent of individuals are below level 1 (the lowest level) in terms of literacy.

Responding to this, Sudarmini and the team designed counseling activities and a special GLS campaign for students, including effective reading training (literature and SQ3R reading), writing training (poetry, synopsis, and reviews), as well as poetry writing contests and reviews.

"This activity is not only devoted to students. All the elements in the school, including the principal and the higher officials, teachers, administrative and library staff, and even the security guards are involved. This program is a shared responsibility. There will be a follow-up of collaboration agreement for an optimum result."

One of the GLS implementations that plays a big role on increasing student literacy is the revival of school library. School library becomes one of the fun activity centers to build school literacy.

In this activity, Sudarmini involved PBSI alumni and students as the student learning mentors. She expressed her expectation that the GLS program at SMP Muhammadiyah 9 Yogyakarta could improve the students' literacy skills and make students accustomed to reading and writing activities. (ard)