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Friday, 15 January 2021

MARIA ILONA TRIESTTA: LISTENING THROUGH EYES

 



Kupang City, CAKRAWALANTT.COM – The situation of Thesis Examination Room of The Special Education Program (PLB) Faculty of Teacher Training and Education Department (FKIP) San Pedro University Kupang, Saturday (5/12/2020) that afternoon seemed so quiet. Without being awkward, Maria Ilona Triestta confidently left her seat to the stage of presentation when she got a chance to answer some questions from the examiners.

 

Maria Ilona Triestta who is commonly known as Ilona was born in February 5th , 1995. This twenty-six years old girl defended on her thesis, “Meningkatkan Kemampuan Membuat Kalimat Sederhana (SPOK) dengan Menggunakan Kartu Kata pada Siswa Kelas IV Tunarungu SDLB Asuhan Kasih Kupang, ProvinsiNusa Tenggara Timur”. By moving her hands while speaking as best as she could, the daughter of the couple Mr. Marsel Robot and Mrs. Petronela J. explained the answers that she has prepared in a typed form. Nelci Therik, S.Pd., M.Pd., further explained the meaning of Ilona’s answer.

 

Despite her deaf, Ilona became the first student who was responsible for her thesis in her university. This hearing impairment was not a barrier for her to accomplish all of the process of her education in this institution, so that at the end, she could join the 15 advanced top people in Thesis Examination of PLB, FKIP San Pedro University of Kupang City. Surprisingly, she could achieve 93 as the best score of her generation.

 

“Ilona takes image media because the ears of deaf people has moved to their eyes, said her. Furthermore, she added that we, as deaf people listen through eyes. Writing a thesis is indeed hard, but I am proud that I am able to help the other deaf children to make a simple sentence in Sekolah Dasar Luar Biasa (SDLB) Asunan Kasih.”


 

She completed her thesis under the guidance of her two supervisors such as 1, Nelci Therik, S.Pd.,M.Pd., and Theodorus Mario De Robert, S.Pd., M.Pd. Within OtBil Wilson Selan, S.Psi.,M.Si, as the moderator, Ilona successfully did her thesis examination in front of Alexius Andiwatif, S.Fil., M.Si., and Drs. VinsensiusWangge, M.Pd.

 

The result of the research demonstrated that there was an improvement to compose simple sentence by students at SDLB Asuhan Kasih Kota Kupang using cards. Besides, the use of card also increased the enthusiasm of students, attention, and liveliness in the classroom. Based on the conclusion, there were two suggestions such as (1) The teachers of SDLB Asuhan Kasih Kota Kupang can use cards as one of the media to increase students’ ability to compose simple sentence. The use of cards are also recommended for the teachers in creating excitement and happiness of students to motivate them in learning process; (2) The next research  is suggested to find another media that can be applied in learning Indonesian Language for students of SDLB Asuhan Kasih.

 

Disability Children Have Potential

 

The Head of PLB Program in San Pedro University and also Ilona’s advisor, Nelci Therik, S.Pd.,M.Pd., revealed that disability children have a big potential inside themselves to achieve a higher education. However, most of them have no confidence and support from the environment. The success of Ilona has proved that disability children conquer this as long as they get supports with kinds of methods and an appropriate approach.

 

“They have encouragement to get a higher education but most of them are not confident, and have limit of supports. Luckily, Ilona’s parents are the best, even though their daughter has limitation, they always support her toward her college life. So, through her story, it can be a proff that the other disability children also have a big potential to get a higher education. Maybe for Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), it is invisible, but for me who studied in Bandung, my professor was blind. In Java, the development of special education is very big. That is what I regret why it is not like that in NTT even though it’s part of government program and there are a lot of special education in Kota Kupang. In the future, if you see children with special needs in society, do not be taken lightly because they actually have potential. Therefore, we have to build a supportive environment.”


 

Regarding the learning process and the final guidance for Ilona, Nelci admitted that there was a communication problem at the beginning but with the adjustment process it was finally successful. Disability children require a repetitive process in learning.

 

“Being the first batch in this department, Ilona was the only one who has a hearing impairment among 15 students. From this, we can say that the role and corporation of parents are important so that they can be the second teacher for their child. Take a look at mother’s role. So, I write, record, and when I get back home, it can be repeated. For the hearing impairment, the information cannot only be listened once. In addition, general and sign language vocabulary are also limited. Moreover, writing a scientific paper is difficult. Not all words in this scientific work are in sign language. Only everyday language. So we need to repeat all of the observations and interviews," she explained.

 

Heartwarming Pride

 

In her parents’ sight, the success of Ilona was a heartwarming pride. Indeed there was doubts at the beginning, but there is compassion at the end. Therefore, an expression of gratitude goes to San Pedro University that has shown its concern for disability children.


 

“The success of Ilona is actually a heartwarming pride. We ushered her into the exam room doubtfully and went back with a great compassion. In my opinion, this success is also a claim that children with special needs can enjoy education and have a brighter future. They often live in a social environment that marginalizes them. As if children with disabilities cannot reach the moon up there. I deeply say thanks to San Pedro University which has opened this department. This university really cares about teachers and teacher candidates for children with disabilities. Thousands of children with disabilities are neglected and do not get proper education. Just to quote Ilona's motto in her thesis, limitations are the advantages that God has entrusted to me," said her father, Marsel Robot.

 

News & Photos: Robert Fahik 

Transleter: Ira Luik

 

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