Mr. Paniran, my Primary School Teacher

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Oleh Suparlan *)

Every science has their scientist, and everyone will can find the science based on the their own intelligences
(Al Ghazali)

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are sweet
(Eko Budiardjo)

Actually, I have already written about Mr. Paniran in some of my writing. I want to write something special for him. I want to write about him in a special book even it is just in a small one. This is an article about him, my primary school teacher.

Since I graduated from a Primary School of Sekolah Rakyat Tawing I, Subdistrict of Munjungan, District of Trenggalek, East Java, I never met him for a long time. I heard from my younger brother who is now a teacher in SMPN 6 Trenggalek that he is still alive. He is very old. Whatever he is, he is still one of the best teacher in my life.  His teaching and learning process is the most inspiring motivation of me.

He was not a big and tall, but was smart. He was handsome. He was not talkative, but was respect to his students. He was graduated from SPG or School of Teacher Education. He was a new teacher when I was in fourth grade in primary teacher. He is a class teacher. He was a teacher for all of the subject matters include Physical Education.

Joyful and active learning

At that time, I didn’t know what the meaning of joyful and active learning concept was. Mr. Paniran taught us with an active learning.  In every last session of his lesson, he always asked us to sing some obligated songs for students (lagu-lagu wajib). The students liked to sing a song of “sorak-sorak bergembira” and many others. After the end of singing the songs, the students then went home.

In singing the songs Mr. Paniran taught us how to sing the “solmisasi” of the songs.  We had to sing the songs with its “solmisasi”. We were very happy to sing the song, not only the Indonesian songs, but also the Javanese songs. He was a master in singing the Javanese songs too, for instance a song of “Ning Kuning-Kuning Parine Kuning”. The song was a playing song expressed the joyful of the teenagers when the rice field began to turn yellow. Mr. Paniran played the Javanese “gamelan” as well, and also Javanese dance, especially for teenagers. In an occasion of farewell party for grade six students, I was a student who had to participate as a dancing team. The dancing team was very interesting to the activities.

School Garden

Making a school garden was the most interesting to students. At that time, there were many unused fields in the village. Mr. Paniran had an idea to use the unused fields for school garden. The school principal then proposed the idea to “kepala desa”.  The primary school had a school garden for practicing a new model how to plant peanuts and long peanuts. Everyday students had to bring natural compos for the school garden. Every Saturday the students were hoeing and watering the land for planting peanuts. How was the result? Wow. Wonderful! Extraordinary!  The peanuts were growing well. The peanuts were not only bigger, but also so many in each plant of peanuts. At the end of educational year, the school was having a fiesta of peanut.  Mr. Paniran smiled happily for this result of school garden. The model of planting peanuts was to become a planting model for the society. Because of Mr. Paniran, the primary school of Tawing I was an empowerment institution for society. Home-school-society relation was very synergic for improving educational quality.


I agree with a statement of John Dewey who stated that “Education is not a preparation of life, but it is a life itself”. John Dewey also stated that “Education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform” (Dewey, 1896b). In other words, Ho Chi Minh, the Vietnamese father of education stated that “No teacher, no education, no education no social-economic development”. Mr. Paniran, my primary education teacher had already practiced the concept.  For remembrance of Mr. Paniran, I would like to send him our teacher hymn as below.

Terpujilah, wahai engkau, ibu bapak guru
Namamu akan selalu hidup, dalam sanubariku
Semua baktimu, akan kuukir, di dalam hatiku
Sbagai prasasti, terimakasihku, tuk pengabdianmu
Engkau sebagai pelita dalam kegelapan,
Engkau laksana embun penyejuk, dalam kehausan
Engkau patriot pahlawan pembangun insan cendekia

*) Website:; E-mail: me [at] suparlan [dot] com.

Depok, December 2008

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